Category Archives: Events

Video Highlights from Next System Project NYC Convening at Murphy

On March 11th and 12th, the Murphy Institute hosted The Next System Project NYC, an incredible two days filled with workshops, panels and discussion around the question:

If the current system isn’t working, then what comes next? And how can we get there?

Over 500 people came through to join in the conversation, where we dug into topics including alternatives to incarceration, community land trusts, reinvestment networks, alternative currencies, building low carbon cities, open source technology, social movements and much more. Check out some highlights from the event in this short video.

EVENT: Reworking Labor: The Case of Uber and the Gig Economy (4/6)

A Student-Organized Forum


This forum will examine the transformation of work at Uber, a leader in the burgeoning “gig economy.” Advocates of this new model argue that the “gig economy” offers flexibility and allows for much greater worker autonomy. And, in the case of Uber, they contend that the company has provided jobs and taxi service to the outer boroughs and to underserved communities. Yet, how is this new model affecting the system of worker rights and employer responsibilities? How does the new technology associated with this model dictate wages and working conditions? Uber and its ilk merit special scrutiny in light of their potential role in rewriting legal and legislative precedents in other workplaces and industries.

Speakers Include:

  • James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist at the Fiscal Policy Institute
  • Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director of New York Taxi Workers Alliance
  • Katie Unger, former Deputy Commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, consultant, writer and longtime New York labor activist.

Photo by Rob Nguyen via flickr (CC-BY-SA)

What’s Next: A Career Networking Evening (3/8)

Career Networking Event

On International Women’s Day, this networking event will be an opportunity for Murphy Institute students and alumni to speak with successful women (and men) from a variety of fields in order to help better understand how to improve their careers.

Light refreshments will be provided.

You will:

  • Practice and Improve your networking skills
  • Find out what potential employers are looking for when hiring
  • Find out about potential job openings


There is a Future for Low-Income Housing in NYC – If We Work for It!

At this morning’s breakfast forum: “Is There a Future for Low-Income Housing in New York City?”, panelists and audience members had a wide-ranging and animated discussion about constraints and opportunities for achieving the goals of Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan. HPD’s Brent Meltzer, a housing preservation specialist and Assistant Commissioner for Community Partnerships, presented the Mayor’s Plan and fielded questions on density, preserving affordability, and the challenges of gentrification. Ismene Speliotis, Carlton Brown, and Lavon Chambers contributed perspectives from advocacy, affordable housing development, and labor. Some of the many take-aways:

  • We need better, more aggressive ways to capture land value to increase rates of affordability.
  • We need airtight ways to bind our housing goals and targets to our workforce development goals and sanction unscrupulous developers and contractors.
  • Housing should not be built in isolation—community planning is needed to comprehensively address neighborhood needs—community organizing is the backbone of community planning.
  • Change in urban areas is inevitable; the issue is how to manage change and eliminate displacement.
  • The non-profit housing sector is underutilized and the city needs to stop over-relying on developer-contractors.
  • Union pension funds should be freed up to invest in housing developments that their members can afford to live in.
  • We need a mix of housing typologies not currently allowed by zoning—single-member households make up over a third of the city’s households but restrictions on density prevent construction of small units. The result: single-member households double, triple, and quadruple up—competing with families for multi-bedroom units.

See two of the presentations from the forum here:

Lavon Chambers, Laborers Union5

Ismene Speliotis, Mutual Housing Association

Recap of Last Night’s Diversity Scholarship Event at The Murphy Institute

John Mogulescu Is the Senior University Dean for Academic Affairs and Dean of the School of Professional Studies

Last night  the Murphy Institute hosted the second annual Promoting Diversity and Excellence in Union Leadership and Labor Scholarship Reception.  It was a wonderful evening.  Four emerging labor leaders received the 2014 Rising Leader Awards.  That was followed by the awarding of the first five Murphy Institute Scholarships for Diversity in Labor.  The scholarships had been initiated by former Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, who provided initial financial support of $100,000 in 2013, with the possibility of an additional $400,000 depending on our ability to raise matching funds.  The overall potential for scholarships assuming that we meet the match is close to $1 million.

Chancellor Milliken kicked off the evening with greetings.  He reinforced the commitment of the University to the scholarship program, congratulated the winners and Murphy Director Greg Mantsios, and emphasized the importance of the labor movement to the city of New York.  The Chancellor was gracious and supportive.

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