All posts by Murphy Institute

Getting Involved In the Movement for Social Justice

If you are looking for ways to develop or deepen your involvement in racial justice, below you’ll find a collection of resources to help get you started, whether it be by donating, marching, signing a petition or writing your local and federal elected officials.

Articles and Resources

Photo by Johnny Silvercloud via flickr (cc-by-sa)

Prof. Sofya Aptekar’s Recent Publications

Prof. Sofya Aptekar recently joined SLU after spending six years teaching  in sociology and critical ethnic and community studies at UMass Boston. And she’s had a busy summer publishing articles and presenting papers. Here’s some of what she’s been up to:

Welcome, Prof. Aptekar!

Prof. Freeman on Teaching During the Pandemic

Beloved Prof. Josh Freeman ended his teaching career with a labor history course for masters-level students at SLU during a semester unlike any he’d experienced before. Prof. Freeman reflected on his experience teaching — and saying goodbye to teaching — during a global pandemic in a recent post on Tropics of Meta.

My last term teaching was very unusual, to say the least.  Scheduled to retire from the City University of New York (CUNY) at the end of the Spring 2020 term, my normal rotation had me teaching a masters-level course in labor history at the School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU), a course I had taught many times before.  It was just a matter of chance that this course came up as my last, but I liked the idea, because when I went to graduate school, nearly a half-century earlier, my aim had been to teach working-class students labor history.  It would be completing the circle to end my career doing exactly that.  Also, if my last class was at Queens College or the CUNY Graduate Center, where I had done most of my teaching, stopping would seem like a bigger deal, I thought, with more of a need to mark it as an occasion, which I did not want to do.      

Just over half the twenty-one students in my labor history course were working-class, a typical SLU mix of public employees and private-sector union activists, mostly female, mostly non-white, mostly middle age.  They included members of the Teamsters, AFSCME, UNITE HERE, and a couple of CWA locals.  The other students were younger, mostly white, and about evenly male and female.  They included one student from the CUNY Law School, one from the Hunter College Urban Policy Program, and a handful from the Union Semester program, which brings young social justice types to New York to intern at a union while taking courses at SLU.

For the first seven weeks, the course seemed routine.  The sessions went pretty well and the work was not particularly onerous.  Still, nothing happened that made me feel retiring was a mistake.

Everything changed when the Coronavirus epidemic began hitting New York.  By the second week in March, things were beginning to shut down.  My reading group, set to meet Monday, March 9, cancelled.  My family was supposed to do a group cooking class – a present to me from my daughters – two days later, but we cancelled because my older daughter was feeling sick with what, in retrospect, we suspected might have been COVID-19.  I had taken my bicycle from the house we rent upstate to the city to be serviced and fretted that the store would close before I could retrieve it.

By the time my class met on Tuesday, March 10, it was clear to me that in-person classes would have to be ended soon.  I told my class that evening that we might not be able to meet in person the next week and made sure I had everyone’s correct e-mail address.  Within a couple of days, CUNY announced it was moving to distance learning (what pretty-much everyone called online teaching).  My wife was still going in to her office by subway, with my daughters and I increasingly anxious about it.  That Friday she drove.  After some agonizing about where to settle in for the epidemic – mostly about the fear that entrance and exit from the city would be shut down, along the Wuhan model, separating us from our children – we decided to go upstate.  Friday night we had dinner at a favorite neighborhood restaurant, figuring that it probably would be the last time we ate out for a while.  Rules had been announced that restaurants were supposed to distance diners and fill only to half capacity, but the place was pretty crowded.  Saturday morning we packed up a lot of stuff and drove upstate.  My wife had a meeting scheduled for the following Tuesday, which she felt she had to go to, so we thought we might come back soon for a couple of days.  As it happened, we did not return to the city for two months, and then only briefly. 

…continue reading at Tropic of Meta.

Photo by Eden, Janine and Jim via flickr (cc-by)

Director, Student Support Services, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

Student Support Services (SSS) is a federally-funded TRIO grant program and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The mission of the SSS Program is to provide comprehensive academic support services that increase the retention and graduation rates of eligible undergraduate participants by fostering academic success in a supportive educational and holistic advising environment at the University at Buffalo. The SSS Program at UB serves a minimum of 275 participants.

The Principal Education Specialist (Director) of Student Support Services (SSS) will provide direct oversight and supervision of all activities and collaborative efforts in accordance with the established goals and objective of the approved grant project. The Principal Education Specialist will implement student recruitment, application and selections procedures for the SSS project. This individual will be responsible for training staff and other stakeholders pursuant to all federal regulations, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars, Electronic Data Gathering Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) System, college policy and procedures. The Principal education specialist will plan and monitor the budget in accordance with program goals and generate financial reports and statements. The Principal Education Specialist will also oversee the recordkeeping system that facilities program planning, development, execution, and evaluation. This addition, this individual will supervise and evaluate all SSS staff.

The University at Buffalo (UB) invites inquiries, nominations and applications for the position of Principal Education Specialist within Student Support Services (SSS). As an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer, the Research Foundation will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin and veteran or disability status.

Outstanding Benefits Package
Working at UB comes with benefits that exceed salary alone. There are personal rewards including comprehensive health and retirement plan options. We also focus on creating and sustaining a healthy mix of work, personal and academic pursuit – all in an effort to support your work-life effectiveness. Visit our benefits website to learn about our benefit packages.

About UB
The University at Buffalo is SUNY’s most comprehensive public research university, and an outstanding place to work. UB amplifies ambition for faculty and staff by offering endless possibilities to achieve more. Here, people from all backgrounds and cultures challenge and inspire each other to discover, learn and succeed. Dedicated staff and engaged faculty collaborate to further knowledge and understanding, and develop tenacious graduates who are valued for their talents and their impact on global society. Visit our website to learn more about the University at Buffalo.

As an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer, the Research Foundation will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin and veteran or disability status.

Minimum Qualifications

  • The Director must have a Master’s degree in in higher education, student affairs, student personnel administration or counseling.
  • The Director should have at least six years of experience working directly with undergraduates, particularly lower-income, first-generation college students and/or college students with disabilities.
  • The Director should have at least three years of experience with budget development and monitoring, professional staff supervision, and program administration and assessment.
  • The Director must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills, in addition to facility using computer applications.
  • The Director should demonstrate the ability to develop productive working relationships with faculty, campus officials, staff, community members, and students.
  • The Director should demonstrate knowledge of and sensitivity to undergraduates from diverse cultural, economic, and academic backgrounds.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ph.D. degree in higher education, student affairs, student personnel administration or counseling is highly preferred with two or more years working in a college or university setting.
  • Demonstrated skills in designing programs designed to enhance the quality of the academic and personal lives of low-income, first-generation and disabled students.
  • Demonstrated ability to assist student in a culturally diverse environment.
  • Knowledge of postsecondary school application, admission, transfer policies, and financial assistance processes.
  • Experience with successful grant writing.
    Excellent interpersonal skills, communication (written and verbal), planning, organizational and analytical skills.
  • Ability to exercise considerable judgment and discretion in establishing and maintaining good working relationships. A positive and professional demeanor is a must.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, and Outlook. A strong working knowledge of database software.

Salary Range


Work Hours

Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Evening and weekend as needed to meet professional obligation.



Policy and Civic Engagement Coordinator, Community Voices Heard (CVH), New York City

Community Voices Heard (CVH) is a member-led multi-racial organization, principally women of color and low-income families in New York State that builds power to secure racial, social, and economic justice for all.  Founded in 1994 by welfare recipients in New York City working to fight unjust welfare policies, we have since expanded our organization to include working on multiple issues throughout New York State. Our core organizing issues include fighting for a just social safety net, good jobs and access to them, truly affordable housing, sustainable and resilient communities, immigration reform and a participatory democracy.

For more information please check out our web page at:


Community Voices Heard is seeking a Policy and Civic Engagement Coordinator to help advance our justice organizing in low-income communities in New York City, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange and Rockland counties.  The organization is seeking someone to join the leadership/ management team of the organization and help to bring our work to the next level.  After undergoing dramatic expansion over the past year (in terms of locations, membership and issues), the organization is now positioned to have an even greater impact on a broader range of policies at the local, state, and federal levels.

CVH seeks an individual interested in bringing technical skills and expertise to the grassroots – someone wanting to support the development of policy from the ground up and anxious to fuse one’s policy/ research work with ongoing direct-action organizing campaigns.  This is an ideal position for individuals with experience or interest in action-oriented and participatory research methodologies.

Policy and civic-engagement work will be oriented around our current organizational policy priority areas, and working within CVH’s sister 501(c)(4) organization Community Voices Heard Power to help ensure that prospective endorsed candidates align with our values and will advance the organizations campaigns.

The position provides a unique opportunity to engage multiple strategies for assisting in moving campaigns forward:

  • Develop Policy Proposals: craft proposals for local policies and programs that support the advancement CVH’s campaigns in low-income communities.
  • Support Campaigns: work with community members and organizational staff to develop and implement campaign strategy to win policy proposals at city and state levels.
  • Provide Training to Community Members: develop and conduct trainings for community leaders on policy issues and processes.
  • Advocate for Change: participate in meetings with elected officials and governmental committees, and help prepare community members to do the same, to promote organizational policy proposals.
  • Work in Coalition: facilitate meetings with allies and additional stakeholders in order to advance progressive policies and programs in line with CVH’s campaign goals.


Prospective candidates should possess the following qualifications:

  • Vision and a commitment to unapologetically building power for low income communities of color.
  • Excellent analytical, writing, and oral communication skills.
  • Familiarity with a relational organizing model.
  • The capacity to work independently and collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Graduate degree in public policy / administration, urban planning, social work, or relevant field is desired.  College-level coursework in social sciences is a minimum requirement.
  • Experience in quantitative and qualitative research and analysis, including facility with data analysis software, is preferred.  Research design and project management experience is a plus.  Previous exposure to action-oriented participatory research methodologies is an advantage.
  • Proficiency in more than one language is desired but not required.


Salary commensurate with experience.  Excellent benefits including vacation days, personal days, holidays, medical/ dental/vision healthcare coverage, and 403(b) plan.


Please email a resume, writing sample, names of three references and a cover letter detailing your interest in this position and the organization to: with “Policy and Civic Engagement Coordinator” in the subject line.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, CVH strongly encourages people of color, women, and LGBTQ individuals to apply. Resumes will be accepted until the position is filled.  Preference will be given to applicants who submit materials by September 30th.

Program Manager, Emerald Cities, Los Angeles, CA


Job Type: Full-time

Please forward resume to: Emerald Cities Collaborative

Attn: Office Manager

1140 Connecticut Ave., Suite 900B

Washington, D.C. 20036

Due Date: August 14, 2020

Organizational Background

The Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC) is a national non-profit organization comprised of labor unions, community organizations, social justice advocates, development intermediaries, research and technical assistance providers, and socially responsible businesses. ECC partners are united around the goal of building high road – sustainable, just and inclusive – regional economies. The Collaborative envisions a future in which American cities are the greenest and most equitable in the world, leading the way to head off global climate change while creating a vital new economic sector with low-income and communities of color as central actors and beneficiaries in this new economy. Visit our website for more information:

EC-Los Angeles

EC-Los Angeles works to ensure that southern California implements equity-focused sustainable development projects by connecting residents and businesses from disadvantaged communities to jobs and contract opportunities in energy efficiency, renewable energy and green infrastructure. Specifically, EC-LA is the workforce education and training implementer for the Southern California Regional Energy Network (SoCalRen), a network of over 100 government agencies. SoCal Ren is organized to provide project development, financing and workforce services to government agencies to help meet California’s energy efficiency goals. The three major programs include: 1) e-Contractor Academy a series of workshops and coaching services for minority, women and disadvantaged contractors in green building skills, 2) ACES – a high school program that provides high school and college credits and industry skills certificates in energy-related fields; and 3) the Green Pathway Career Program, a workforce training program for Transition Age (emancipated foster) youth in energy efficiency careers. ECC is also developing a high school-college career program in clean water infrastructure.

Position Description:

The Program Associate is a mid-level position at Emerald Cities Collaborative with primary responsibility for managing SoCalRen Green Pathway Career (GPC) program in San Gabriel Valley, but will also support other aforementioned REN programs as needed. The candidate will report directly to the EC-LA Program Director but is part of both the larger SoCalRen program team and the ECC family.

The Green Path Career (GPC) Program provides Transition Age Youth (TAY) access to the emerging Energy Efficiency (EE) sector by offering education, training and work experience in the field. This initiative is made possible through collaboration between the SoCalREN, San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG), Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS), and Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services. The program is designed to eliminate the barriers TAY face while navigating the EE sector, providing TAY the opportunity for training in Building Performance Institute (BPI) certifications to emerge successful by providing the resources and support needed to begin their EE career.

The program is designed to address the barriers TAY face when aging out of the Foster Care system and moving into the growing workforce. The program aims to assist TAY youth by eliminating the barriers of the EE workforce sector, this is done by providing certification training, supportive services, and the coaching needed to enter the workforce.

The Green Pathway Career program provides a multi-step approach that assists a participant in entering the Energy Efficiency workforce from the initial recruitment phase to becoming Job/Career Ready.

Duties and Responsibilities
Program Administration/Management
· Build, staff and manage GPC workforce multi-stakeholder partnerships to train and support participants;
· Scheduling, staffing, and maintaining basic documents such as agendas and minutes for GPC meetings and working groups;
· Working with REN contract managers to assure compliance with their requirements
· Staffing partnership meetings
· Assist with monthly and quarterly reporting
· Track and monitor the enrollment, training and placement of participants
· Prepare reports that provide demographic profile of participating youth, number of enrolled participants, employers, and job placements.
· Help develop collateral materials for program initiatives, and update data reports and program website content
· Participate in regular REN and ECC team meetings
Training and Placement
· Assist with marketing and outreach to transitional aged foster youth and identify students interested in participating in the GPC Program;
· Develop training partnerships and work with trainers to ensure program and participant success;
· Develop on-the-job training opportunities with REN partner organizations and contractors;
· Conduct training workshops regarding resume building, interview preparations and job search assistance.
Other miscellaneous duties as assigned
· Bachelor of Arts/Science with 3-5 years’ experience; and master’s degree preferred;
· Associate Degree acceptable with 5-7 years of related professional experience;
· Prior program management experience in the field of workforce development; education and training;
· Experience and passion working with disadvantaged youth;
· Detail oriented with proven administrative/management skills
· Communicate effectively – verbally and in written form
· Ability to work under pressure and to multi-task – organize and track multiple contractor trainings, campus schedules, enrollment procedures, and student achievement.
· Takes initiative and ability to work independently
· Act judiciously under pressure and adhere to established protocols and procedures at all times.
· Use the Microsoft Office software to perform presentations, tracking, desktop publishing, and other professional software

Salary and Benefits: Commensurate with experience.

Emerald Cities Collaborative is an equal opportunity employer. Personnel are chosen based on ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, marital status or sexual orientation, in accordance with federal and state law.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $0.00 per hour


  • Dental Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Paid Time Off
  • Vision Insurance


  • Monday to Friday
  • Overtime

COVID-19 considerations:
We are all working remotely from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Bachelor’s (Required)

Company’s website:


Company’s Facebook page:


Benefit Conditions:

  • Waiting period may apply
  • Only full-time employees eligible

Work Remotely:

  • Temporarily due to COVID-19