Where: The Murphy Institute, 25 W. 43rd St., 18th Floor
When: Friday, October 21st, 6-8pm
The ongoing killings of people of color too numerous to name, the killing of Police Officers in Baton Rouge and Dallas, and the occupations of the Fraternal Order of Police by BYP100 and the Movement for Black Lives Matter have escalated calls and action for systematic change. It is urgent that the Labor Movement and our communities confront the complex and interlocking dynamics of law enforcement, unionism, and racial justice.
The Murphy Institute aims to bring together academics, activists, students, and practitioners to pose crucial questions concerning the criminal justice system, and the labor movements’ place and responsibility within it. We will host a series of roundtables and discussions, opening with this October 21st forum and culminating with a two-day conference April 28th and 29th. These events are designed to wrestle with the fundamental questions of unionism and solidarity, race and class, with the ultimate goal of finding a real path toward more equitable criminal justice.
- Carmen Berkeley, is a radical civil & labor rights activist, writer, and trainer who currently serves as the youngest Director for the Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Department at the AFL-CIO. Berkley’s passion training organizers and activists has allowed her to train with Midwest Academy and Wellstone Action, and to serve as a Co-Founder of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, LLC.
- Joo-Hyun Kang is the Executive Director of Communities United for Police Reform
- Eugene O’Donnell, Professor at the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He was an officer in the New York Police Department, a prosecutor with the district attorneys’ offices in Brooklyn and Queens, and a police academy instructor.
- Dorian Warren, Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, an MSNBC Contributor, and Board Chair of the Center for Community Change. He is the former Host and Executive Producer of “Nerding Out” on MSNBC’s digital platform, shift.msnbc.com.
- Moderated by Ed Ott, Distinguished Lecturer in Labor Studies at the Murphy Institute. He has over 40 years of experience in the labor movement, most recently as Executive Director of the New York City Central Labor Council.
The forum is free but registration is required.
For more on this topic, join us at the Murphy Institute on October 19th for this month’s Labor Forum: Black Lives Matter & the Fight for Fifteen: A New Social Movement?
When looking to reform our obviously broken criminal justice and carceral system, at what point must we examine the structural causes of urban crime? Can we address some of the damning injustices of our criminal justice system without first addressing urban poverty and the conditions that produce and uphold it?
The latest issue of Dissent Magazine features a debate from two corners of the Murphy Institute. Murphy Prof. Michael Javen Fortner, whose new book Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment came out to wide coverage and acclaim this fall, argues that we need to begin by taking an honest look at the roots and effects of urban crime if we want to achieve meaningful and enduring criminal justice reform.
Meanwhile, Marie Gottschalk, professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, member of the New Labor Forum editorial board, and writer of Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics, argues, “Alleviating the poverty and income inequality that are at the root of extraordinarily high levels of violent crime in certain communities will take some time. In the meantime, no compelling public safety concern justifies keeping so many people from these communities locked up or otherwise ensnared in the carceral state.” Continue reading Debating Criminal Justice Reform
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
Organizing 2.0 brings together hundreds of leaders, organizers, fundraisers, techies and activists to share our collective wisdom, skills, and talents. There will be workshops, trainings, discussions, consulting and networking opportunities, visionary speakers, and a provocative debate around strategy and practices.
Over two days here at the Murphy Institute, we will bring together hundreds of people to learn from each other, share stories and strategies and build our skills, organizations and movements. Featured tracks focusing on online to offline organizing, digital strategy, member engagement and much more.
Register here: http://www.conference.organizing20.org/
Scholarships are available.
For more information, email clenchner[at]organizing20[dot]org
Note: this post is from 2014. The 2015 Organizing 2.0 conference will be held April 10-11 at the Murphy Institute.