All posts by Murphy Institute

Lead Organizer North Bay Jobs with Justice/Living Wage Coalition

Lead Organizer: North Bay Jobs with Justice/Living Wage Coalition seeks a qualified candidate for the position of Lead Organizer.  Deadline for applying is May 12, 2014. The position will begin July 1.
North Bay Jobs with Justice is a long-term, strategic alliance of labor, faith, immigrant rights, civil rights, and community-based organizations working together to build a progressive movement for economic and social justice. North Bay Jobs with Justice is based upon a direct action model of solidarity and reciprocity, and we organize strategic campaigns in the common interests of our broad-based membership. Campaigns include: the right to organize, living and minimum wage, anti-big box, immigrant rights, racial and gender justice, community benefits, health care for all, opposing cuts to the social safety net, corporate accountability and tax fairness. The organization is affiliated with the national Jobs with Justice network and is based in Sonoma and Marin counties with an office in Santa Rosa, California.

Find Out More

The Burden of Atrocity

We are years into a 13 year Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, officially underway since May 2012.  If that math seems messy, it is one small indication of the  long, deep, and still confounding legacy of that war.  Faculty member Penny Lewis wrote about our memory of the class dynamics of the antiwar movement in her book, Hardhats, Hippies and Hawks: The Vietnam Antiwar Movement as Myth and Memory (Cornell University Press, 2013), and returns to the subject in a review essay published in Jacobin and Salon this past week. 

Testifying in 1971 as part of the Winter Soldier Investigation, a war crimes hearing sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton distinguished the American war in Vietnam from other conflicts:

There’s a quality of atrocity in this war that goes beyond that of other wars in that the war itself is fought as a series of atrocities. There is no distinction between an enemy whom one can justifiably fire at and people whom one murders in less than military situations.

Concluding this thought by reflecting on the experience of soldiers and veterans, Lifton observed, “Now if one carries this sense of atrocity with one, one carries the sense of descent into evil.” Continue reading The Burden of Atrocity

Workers Unite! Film Festival 2014

NYC Celebrates Global Labor Solidarity
MAY 9TH TO MAY 19TH, 2014

The Workers Unite! Film Festival aims to showcase student and professional films from the United States and around the world which publicize and highlight the struggles, successes and daily lives of all workers in their efforts to unite and organize for better living conditions and social justice.

This year we honor the Joseph Murphy Institute for Workers Education and Labor Studies, based at The City University of NY.

FRIDAY, MAY 9th OPENING NIGHT –Cinema Village theater one
Salute to the Next Generation of Labor leaders and Socially Conscious Filmmakers
@22 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003, (212) 924-3363

Continue reading Workers Unite! Film Festival 2014

Angela Davis May Day Statement: Saving the Graduate Center for Worker Education

This article was originally posted by Portside on May 1, 2014

I join with the many students, faculty, labor leaders and elected officials who call upon Brooklyn College President Karen Gould to restore the Graduate Center for Worker Education to its full academic glory as a leading graduate program for New York’s working class. The GCWE developed generations of labor, legal, academic and political leaders and activists for over 30 years.

The recent tragic destruction of the Graduate Center for Worker Education and the wholesale purging of progressive faculty, staff and graduate students is an unconscionable assault on an invaluable urban working class institution. Brooklyn College also ended its support for the Center’s  esteemed peer review journal “Working USA”. Reminiscent of the McCarthy era, under the pretext of administratively prosecuting Professor Joseph Wilson, and tellingly, without any substantiated legal or administrative findings, Brooklyn College used the attack as a cover to dismantle the Worker Education program.

Continue reading Angela Davis May Day Statement: Saving the Graduate Center for Worker Education

Welcome to The Murphy Institute Blog

We are thrilled to be launching the Murphy Institute Blog.  The Joseph S. Murphy Institute (JSMI), part of the School of Professional Studies at the City University of New York, comes out of a singular collaboration among labor unions, city workers, community organizations and academic institutions and their faculty and staff. JSMI is the place where people who make the city run come to study how to make New York and the rest of the world a better place to live in and to work.

Continue reading Welcome to The Murphy Institute Blog

Returning to Union Semester

Union Semester fall 2007 participants from left to right: Alex Bloom, UFT member and teacher at PS 8 in Brooklyn, Ryan Richardson works at New York Taxi worker Alliance, Sally Kim works at the UAW Global Organizing Initiative in Detroit, Emma Lang is the Board President of the Bread and Roses Heritage Festival in Lawrence, MA and Sarah Hughes is the Coordinator of the Union Semester Program at the Murphy Institute.

Sarah Hughes came on as the Union Semester Program Coordinator at the Murphy Institute in February.

“Tourists take pictures of the World Trade Center site; I go to press conferences there and meet rescue workers trying to get workers’ compensation. Tourists shop down Broadway or see the musicals; I march down Broadway with other union members to end the war in Iraq and meet striking stagehands.”

On my first day of work at the Murphy Institute as the coordinator of the Union Semester program, I found this newsletter clipping on my desk, with a picture of a much younger me at the top. It was an article I had written for the CWA 1180 Communique, where I had been placed as an intern when I participated in the Union Semester program in the fall of 2007.

Continue reading Returning to Union Semester