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SLU Virtual Graduate Celebration Honorees Announced

Four SLU students and alumni will be honored at our upcoming Virtual Graduation Celebration.
Urban Studies MA graduate KenDell Jackson has been selected as the student speaker for the event. A Labor Management Consultant at 1199SEIU Training & Employment Fund and a lifelong Bronx resident, Jackson’s Capstone project examined health disparities in his home borough. During his time at SLU, Jackson was the winner of a University Student Senate Peer Mentorship Scholarship, which recognized his work as a volunteer coach for the Velocity Track Club, where he coaches fifty young athletes including his daughters, Tiarra and Karly.
Two SLU alumni, Kristina Ramos-Callan and Bradley Kolb, will receive the SLU Distinguished Alumni Award. Ramos-Callan began her studies at SLU in the Healthcare Administration Certificate Program and completed a Master’s in Urban Studies as a proud member of the class of 2018. Ramos-Callan’s career in healthcare stretches back to her first job, at age 17, as a ward clerk at a neo-natal intensive care unit. Today, she serves as a Program Manager at United Hospital Fund, where she works to give voice to communities often left on the fringes. Recently, Ramos-Callan developed a collection of Covid-19 resources for pediatricians and families that has been distributed throughout the City and State.

Continue reading SLU Virtual Graduate Celebration Honorees Announced

Student Union Election Results

We are delighted to announce the results of the first ever SLU Student Union election.

Co-Chairs: Siddika Degia and Justin Sanchez

Treasurers: Lawrence Ben and Brian Fluerantin

Secretary: Jake Head

Steering committee: Eriam Lopez and Nicolas Pineda

Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee: Glen Guild, Eriam Lopez, Brian Hunt, and Siddika Degia. Continue reading Student Union Election Results

Video: Rethinking Immigration

On May 1st, the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies faculty hosted “Rethinking Immigration,” an online conference featuring movement leaders, academics, and policy experts discussing the roots of the crisis we face, progressive immigration policy goals, and strategies to achieve those goals. The even featured Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, and now, videos from the conference are up online for anyone who missed it. Check them out here.

Online Event: Fighting COVID / Building Power: Workers & Unions on the Frontlines (5/19)

Tue. May 19 * 9:00am-10:15am
Online Forum via ZOOM


Speakers include:

Angeles Solis * Make the Road New York
Director of Worker Organizing
@AngeMariaSolis @maketheroadny

Eric Loegel * TWU Local 100
Vice President, Rapid Transit Operations (RTO)
@EricEddy100 @TWULocall100

Mark Henry * ATU Local 1056
President / Business Agent
#ATULocal1056 #1u

Nikki Kateman * Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW
Political & Communications Director
@nmkateman @Local338

Joshua Freeman * School of Labor & Urban Studies
Distinguished Professor of History @cunyslu #CUNYSLU

Diana Robinson * School of Labor & Urban Studies
Union Semester Coordinator @Ddee1985 @cunyslu


The Unemployed Fight Back: An Interview with Frances Fox Piven

The post was originally featured at Organizing Upgrade. Reposted with permission.

By Marc Kagan

On April 23th, 2020, some 26.5 million Americans were unemployed, and the St. Louis Fed has estimated that 47 million people may be unemployed by the end of June, with unemployment reaching 32%. The Congressional Budget Office expects at least a 9% unemployment rate through 2021 and perhaps beyond. Tens of millions more will have exhausted their savings, facing mounting debt, evictions, foreclosures. All this on top of the existing problems of neoliberalism’s economy of precarity. As is usual, the crisis will hit the working poor, people of color, and youth the hardest.

What strategies and tactics can organizers and working people more broadly draw on today, in order to build social and political power in this crisis? Historically, the unemployed have organized themselves into networks of mutual aid in moments of crisis, but also to make transformative political demands, often with direct action as a central tool. Marc Kagan talked to Frances Fox Piven, author of Poor People’s Movements, about past efforts, and current possibilities. Fox Piven is a prolific writer, a long-time practitioner of the unruly, disruptive behavior she so often advocates, and even an effective lobbyist—she is credited with playing a central role in the 1993 “Motor Voter” Act. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.  

Marc Kagan: Tell me about previous efforts of the unemployed and their advocates during economic crises? Are there commonalities that we should be looking to now?

Frances Fox Piven: Of course there are. When large numbers of people are unemployed they become desperate. Just the fact of unemployment and need and starvation is not exactly what drives people to protest, but if they also think that they have some rights that are being violated in this time of disaster, they are very likely to protest. Continue reading The Unemployed Fight Back: An Interview with Frances Fox Piven

Stephanie Luce: The Coronavirus Crisis Exposes How Fragile Capitalism Already Was

With various states moving to “re-open” the economy and bring things “back to normal,” it benefits us to look at what we might return to — and how the conditions we’ve come to accept as “normal” played such a significant role in getting us to the current crisis.

In Labor Notes last month, SLU professor Stephanie Luce outlined how we define the economy — and how the illusion of a strong economy has helped produce our current dysfunction:

Capitalism is ideologically based on the principles of individualism and competition, but it becomes completely clear in a pandemic that what’s needed is solidarity: collective solutions that help everyone.

For example, if we assume profit should guide health care decisions, millions of people won’t be able to afford treatment, or even testing, and the virus will just continue to spread. The market solution would let rich people buy ventilators for themselves, just in case, while hospitals need them. So far, the U.S. has made no promises that a vaccine will be free or affordable. Continue reading Stephanie Luce: The Coronavirus Crisis Exposes How Fragile Capitalism Already Was