By Rebecca Lurie
Black History Month is here — and we must declare Black Lives Matter well beyond any one month.
Dr. Phil Thompson shares some important facts and insights in a recent article in the New Labor Forum, “The Future of Urban Populism: Will Cities Turn the Political Tide?“ He clearly lays out that the generations of inequality and disparate opportunities between the races stems from capitalism and its use of race as a tool to create and maintain the underclass, slavery, disenfranchisement, mass incarceration, poverty, low mortality rates and economic injustice.
Thompson identifies all the challenges for a new progressivism, and yet notes that, “…change is very possible. There are already hundreds, if not thousands, of small initiatives underway in cities to disrupt or reverse these dominant negative trends.” He then challenges us to make a movement of these efforts. Continue reading Black Communities Leading the Movement for Economic Democracy
How can we make sense of the organizing coming out of today’s social change and resistance movements?
In a new article coming out in the Fordham Urban Law Journal, Professor Michael Haber connects many of today’s most important movements—from post-Occupy community organizing to the rise of the worker co-op movement to parts of the Movement for Black Lives—by looking at how activists’ growing understanding of the non-profit industrial complex has led to the creation of a new framework for social change practice, what he calls the community counter-institution. Continue reading Community-Driven Social Change in the Age of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex
The New Labor Forum has launched a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.
The 2016 election season has simmered with both an inchoate and occasionally crystal clear sense that there is something intrinsically wrong with the U.S. political economy. Despite macroeconomic indicators of post Great Recession recovery, the 99 percent remains strangled by low and flat-lined wages, increasingly precarious work, mountains of personal debt, and political disenfranchisement. The resulting anger and distress, of course, can sometimes lead to constructive possibilities.
This issue of Highlights considers the transformational potential of the present moment. We begin with a proposal for large-scale organizing aimed at asserting control over wealth and capital in the interest of poor and working-class people. In “Organizing in a Brave New World,” Stephen Lerner and Saqib Bhatti make an argument for bold campaigns that confront financialized capitalism head-on and address the racial disparities at its core.
We also take a look at a new report by Tom Liacas and Jason Mogus, “Behind Today’s Breakthrough Advocacy Campaigns.” It’s a clear and helpful guide to some of the newest and best organizing taking place today by groups that aren’t following the usual scripts, including Black Lives Matter and the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Last but not least, we include a fresh article from John Nichols about the ongoing struggle over the Democratic Party Platform. That struggle — which peaked this past weekend in Orlando — represents a fascinating window into the divide between movement activists and electoral campaigners.
- Organizing in a Brave New World by Stephen Lerner and Saqib Bhatti
- Behind Today’s Breakthrough Advocacy Campaigns by Tom Liacas & Jason Mogus, Stanford Social Innovation Review
- Democrats Toughen Trade Stance—but Reject Formal Opposition to the TPP by John Nichols
Photo by Tony Website via flickr (CC-BY-SA)
On October 19th, the Murphy Institute had a packed house for “Black Lives Matter/Fight For $15: A New Social Movement,” sponsored by the Murphy Institute and the Sidney Hillman Foundation.
The forum panelists highlighted that the growing movements, Black Lives Matter and Fight For $15, share in the struggle for access to justice and equality. These movements not only intersect but recognize that together there is the opportunity to create significant change. Continue reading “Black Lives Matter/Fight For $15: A New Social Movement” Sparks Conversation
By Donald LaHuffman
Produced for “Labor and Media Studies” with Prof. Ari Paul, Fall 2014
The United States recently exploded in protest around the country as citizens mobilized to show displeasure at the Staten Island Jury findings. The jurors decided not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner. Pantaleo had allegedly held Garner in an illegal choke hold until his death, despite Garner’s pleas of not being able to breathe during the encounter. Ensuing local and national demonstrations connected Garner’s death to the earlier police shooting of Michael Brown who was killed in Ferguson, Missouri. Community organizers have included mothers in New York City who have lost their sons to alleged police brutality in previous years in these actions. In my graduate Labor Studies class “Labor and Media” taught by Ari Paul during the fall 2014 semester, my classmates and I met five mothers who told their stories. These mothers told the stories to make sure that they were not forgotten. Continue reading A Survey of Community and Labor Perspectives in the Wake of the Eric Garner Case