The NASW Foundation has selected Murphy Institute Professor Mimi Abramovitz to become a member of the NASW Social Work Pioneers. In addition to teaching at Murphy, Dr. Abramovitz is the Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and a faculty member at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Dr. Abramovitz is being honored for her “exceptional contribution to the social work profession and its ability to meet the needs of all people.” NASW’s Newly elected Pioneers will be recognized during NASW’s 60th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening October 23, 2015 in Washington D.C.
Congratulations, Dr. Abramovitz!
Next month marks the launch of Murphy Professor Michael Javen Fortner’s eye-opening new book, Black Silent Majority: the Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment. A controversial and important account of the role that some in the African-American community played in encouraging punitive policies during the 1970s, in particular the Rockefeller Drug Laws, the book asks vital questions about agency, history and how we can strive for real peace and justice in an era of mass incarceration.
Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article on Fortner and Black Silent Majority (Defending Their Homes: How crime-terrorized African-Americans helped spur mass incarceration, by Marc Parry, Aug 3rd, 2015). In it, Parry describes Fortner’s engagement with Michelle Alexander’s explosive 2010 book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness:
What vexed Fortner was that The New Jim Crow seemed to be two different books. One did a powerful job showing how mass incarceration undermines black communities and perpetuates racial inequality. The other — and this was the vexing part — advanced a political theory about how we got here. That history stressed the resilience of white supremacy. First came slavery; when slavery ended, a white backlash brought Jim Crow segregation; when Jim Crow crumbled, a backlash to the civil-rights movement spawned yet another caste system, mass incarceration. Each time, writes Alexander, an associate professor of law at Ohio State University, proponents of racial hierarchy achieved their goals “largely by appealing to the racism and vulnerability of lower-class whites.” Continue reading Crime, Punishment and the Black Community: the Untold Story of the Rockefeller Drug Laws
On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, the Murphy Institute conducted an executive briefing on labor in New York City for City Council members convened by Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Chair of the City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor.
The briefing provided City Council members with an in-depth view of the role and status of organized labor in New York and the nation. It included presentations by Murphy Institute faculty, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, and New York Central Labor Council Political & Legislative Director, Anthony Thomas. Continue reading Murphy Institute Briefs City Council on Labor in NYC
Last week, long-time Murphy Institute Adjunct Professor Basil Smikle Jr. was named Executive Director of the New York State Democratic Party. From the New York Observer:
“Basil is a national-caliber political operative and we are lucky to have him leading day-to-day operations for the State Democratic Party,” [Former Gov. David] Paterson said. “Basil combines a mastery of public policy with an inherent feel for communities throughout New York State.”
Mr. Paterson said that Mr. Smikle, a PhD candidate at Columbia University’s Teachers College, will play a “key role” in the 2016 election cycle, though he did not say specifically this would include returning Democrats to the majority in the State Senate.
Read more here.
Joseph S. Murphy Institute alum and MTA worker Richard Singleton successfully intervened in an attempted assault at his subway station at 28th Street and Park Avenue South on Sunday, March 22nd.
Richard has served as an MTA worker for almost two decades. He has graduated from the Murphy Institute with Masters of Arts in Labor Studies and Urban Studies.
Read more from the Daily News on this act of heroism.