Category Archives: Faculty Writing

Publications, Podcasts and Commentary by SLU Faculty, Staff and Alumni

Ruth Milkman and Stephanie Luce have published their annual report on the geographic, demographic, and occupational makeup of union membership in New York City, New York State, and the nation. This new study considers the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns, which generated vast job losses across the United States. The New York City metropolitan area, where the pandemic’s impact was felt earlier than elsewhere in the country, suffered severe job losses in 2020. The authors note that the decline in employment among women workers was greater than among men—in sharp contrast to the Great Recession, which hit men harder. Read State of the Unions 2021, listen to Profs. Milkman and Luce discuss their findings on SLU’s podcast, Reinventing Solidarity, or watch them on SLU’s TV show, City Works.

The 10th anniversary of Occupy Wall Street

The 10th anniversary of Occupy Wall Street generated a flurry of publication and commentary from SLU’s faculty. Penny Lewis, Stephanie Luce and Ruth Milkman published a retrospective of the Occupy Wall Street movement in The Nation: “Did Occupy Wall Street Make a Difference?” and discussed it on a number of podcasts including Jon Weiner’s Start Making Sense, Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly on Marketplace, and Upstream. Professor Milkman also commented on the movement’s legacy with SLU Distinguished Alumna Nastaran Mohit of NewsGuild on Belabored.

Juan Battle has been particularly prolific this year. Here is a short list of his publications, written with others:
  • Physical Activity and GPA: Results from a National Sample of Black Students“, Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment (with Eric Weston and Howard Zeng).
  • Refugee Higher Education & Participatory Action Research Methods: Lessons Learned From the Field,” Radical Teacher (with H. Yanay).
  • Mathematics Identity and Achievement Among Black Students,” School Science and Mathematics (with Shawanda Chapton, and L.Gonzalez).
  • “Married or Divorced?: Outcomes on Black Student Educational Attainment.” The Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 89(1): 9-23 (with Shawnda Chapman, and CalvinJohn Smiley)
  • “Aint Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Black LGBT Sociopolitical Involvement.” Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships, Vol. 7(2): 1-23, (with Nicole Lewis and Robert Peterson).
  • “Relationships between Sports, Physical Activity Participation, and Phys-Ed GPA: Results and Analyses from a National Sample of Asian American Students. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, Vol. 21(3), 1469-1478 (with Robert Weston and Howard Zeng).
  • “Familia y Educación: A Quantitative Assessment of the Impact of Parental Configuration on Educational Attainment for a National Sample of Latinx Students,” Race Ethnicity and Education, Vol. 23(1): 21-38 (with CalvinJohn Smiley).

Other recent publications by SLU faculty, staff and alumni include:

  • Stephanie Luce, “The Living Wage, Fight for $15, and Low Wage Worker Campaigns in the U.S.,” in The Living Wage: Advancing a Global Movement, edited by Tony Dobbins and Peter Prowse, Routledge, 2021, and “Racial Justice is Vital to Union Growth,” Democratic Left.

And in the Fall 2021 issue of SLU’s journal New Labor Forum:
  • Ellen Dichner, “How a Biden Labor Board Could Advance Workers’ Rights.”
  • Kressent Pottenger, “Always Essential: Grocery Store Work in a Pandemic.”




A Debate on Bargaining for the Common Good

In this piece from Organizing Work, Marianne Garneau debates with labor organizer and journalist Chris Brooks and veteran union negotiator Joe Burns about Bargaining for the Common Good and its use as a model for connecting workplace fights with broader social demands.

Read part one and part two here.


Strike for Democracy

Labor Studies Professor Stephanie Luce writes about organizing in the labor movement to defend democracy in the event of a contested election. She notes that some unions are trying to connect their core activists with local “protect the vote” groupings in key states and cities to show up to polls and fight to make sure every vote is counted.

Read it here in Organizing Upgrade.


Photo Credit: Joe Brusky

Old Wine in New Bottles: Gender and the Gig Economy

Ruth Milkman has published “Old wine in new bottles: gender and the gig economy” about her study (along with Luke Elliott-Negri, Kathleen Griesbach, and Adam Reich) of the platform-based food economy, which had an explosion in demand when COVID-19 hit. She found that the majority of the workers were white women, and describes the “class-gender nexus” of this element of the gig economy.

Read about it in WorkinProgress.


Photo Credit: Leo Chen via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

How Does the Past Look from Here?

In “How Does the Past Look From Here? Notes from a historian” SLU faculty member Joshua Freeman compares today’s pandemic and politics to the events preceding and following the flu epidemic of 1918, and argues that this time, the yearning for a return to “normality” may be misplaced.

Read it here in Moyers on Democracy.


Photo Credit: Influenza Hospital Ward (Library of Congress)

Social Security for All

By Deepak Bhargava and Mimi Abramovitz

The economic crisis that accompanied the COVID pandemic pushed the safety net into the spotlight—and millions of Americans have found it threadbare. People seeking help for the first time are learning what poor and working-class people—mostly women and people of color—have long known: that in times of crisis, the net doesn’t catch you when you fall.

In this their latest piece for the American Prospect, CUNY SLU Professors Bhargava and Abramovitz retort that now is the time for a revolution in American social policy.