2022 Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor

The Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor program is designed to foster diverse leadership in the labor movement and in the academic discipline of labor studies. Students from underrepresented populations interested in seeking an M.A. in Labor Studies, or a B.A. in Urban and Community studies with a concentration in labor, are encouraged to apply.  Recipients of the award receive up to $30,000 for graduate study, or up to $20,000 for undergraduate study.

Meet our 2022 Recipients

Yadhira Alvarez

Yadhira Alvarez embodies the characteristics and qualities essential for building a strong and dynamic labor movement – from the bottom up! She has experienced first-hand the interconnection between a powerful labor movement and strong communities. Yadhira has made a profound impact on her union, as an organizer and Chief of Staff of the Laundry, Distribution and Food Service Joint Board, Workers United, SEIU.

Her union work has brought her to areas as diverse as homecare, industrial laundries, hospitals, warehouses, and the public sector. As a lead contract negotiator, she has fought to win significant increases in wages and benefits for members, as well as large sums for workers improperly fired after COVID-19 exposures.

At SLU, Yadhira, who will be entering the M.A. in Labor Studies program this coming fall, is interested in exploring new tools and strategies for organizing, to create a much stronger labor movement in New York!  She’s especially interested in discovering tools to combat divisions that employers create at work, based on class, race, ethnicity, or job classifications.


Camilla Chavarria Duarte

Camila Chavarria Duarte spent much of her time at New York University examining how society creates and uses concepts of the “other” to divide, control, and alienate people from themselves and one another, starting from our earliest years and continuing into our lives as working and social adults.

Camila attended NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in Critical Theory and Visual Culture. While at NYU, Camila was selected for the Americas Scholars Program, an honors program that brings together high-achieving students interested in matters related to the Americas.

At SLU, Camila, who will be pursuing her M.A. in Labor Studies, hopes to develop a “thorough understanding of how labor operates in the United States today, how it is shaped and how workers come to exist only as their labor, and not as full beings.”


Rashaun Donovan

Rashaun Donovan is a Credible Messenger on a mission to help realize changes in his community, South Jamaica, Queens. He has completed the CUNY SLU Community Leadership Certificate program, where he learned about community organizing, coalition building, and how to build a 501c3 non-profit organization. Now, with this opportunity to continue toward his B.A. in Urban and Community Studies, Rashaun looks forward to digging deeper into the issues he cares about. He especially wants to see more programs that help the formerly incarcerated return successfully to their communities.

Futher, Rashaun looks forward to doing research on the impact of gun violence on perpetrators and victims. He feels strongly that an education at SLU, combined with his real-world experience in the field, will help him realize a goal: creating and building a Cure Violence Site that would promote public safety and community health in the neighborhood where he grew up.


Hannah Faris

Hannah Faris comes from a rural Wisconsin union family and was deeply influenced by witnessing the state’s attacks on public-sector unions. She is dedicated to using the skills she has developed in the area of media arts and journalism to further investigate and confront the formidable challenges faced by labor and immigrant communities.

Hannah excelled as an undergraduate at Columbia College, Chicago. After graduation, Hannah became deeply involved in community organizing with the Council on American-Islamic Relations. She assisted low-income and predominantly Arab and South Asian immigrant communities on issues such as employment, housing, and mutual aid resources during COVID-19.

At CUNY SLU, as she pursues of her M.A. in Labor Studies, Hannah is excited to expand her knowledge and writing on labor, and is particularly interested in examining the ways that workers are building power and community in non-traditional workplaces and industries, such as agriculture and the gig economy, as well as in right to work states.


Infinite George

Infinite has worked 21 years in construction, 14 as a member of Laborers Local 79, the largest LIUNA local in North America. Prior to joining Local 79, he worked non-union jobs, unsure of what to do about workplace problems he encountered.  “I was a scab laborer being exploited and working in unsafe conditions. Once I got into the union, I learned, I took the organizing and construction education classes offered, and I vowed to help others in that position. I’m a regular at rallies, meetings, and I work to convince fellow members of the importance of participation in the union – and how the lack of participation directly affects their livelihood.”

Infinite plans to continue his work as a union Shop Steward, especially helping workers who are easily taken advantage of and are willing to perform cheap labor in order to survive or stay out of jail. He is confident that the B.A. degree he is pursuing at CUNY SLU, with classes in labor, organizing, and collective bargaining, will strengthen his “tools” as he continues his mission of helping workers, and building the union he is so proud of.


Herby Phanord

After obtaining an Associate’s Degree in Fine Arts, Herby decided to put his academic pursuits on hold to dedicate his time and energy to raising a family. More than a decade later, he has reached a point in his life where all of the focus and attention that he put into parenting is finally starting to pay off. He found himself thinking more passionately about returning to school and finally earning his Bachelor’s degree.

Herby Phanord is, as he describes, “a city government employee, a laborer, and the son of immigrants,” who didn’t think he had what it took to be awarded a Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor. He is now part of our 9th cohort of Diversity Scholarship awardees, and will use this award to complete his BA in Urban and Community Studies at CUNY SLU.


Lisa Pinkard-Adams

Lisa Pinkard-Adams has never been shy about volunteering to solve problems she sees. When she noticed that a well-known local politician didn’t have any signs up in her community, she just called him up and jumped in to help!  He appreciated her talents, and soon offered her a job as his Central Islip campaign manager.  Lisa has found great satisfaction through the political process of connecting with members of her community, especially people who have been historically underrepresented and didn’t believe they had the power to effect change.

Lisa’s varied background has prepared her to be the effective leader she is today, representing union members for the Professional Employees Federation (PEF). At Fordham University, she majored in Legal Studies, and earned a Masters in Social Work, concentrating in Policy, Leadership and Not-for-Profit Management.

Lisa, who will in fall 2022 begin SLU’s M.A. in Labor Studies program, firmly believes that building “people” is the biggest part of building “community,” and she is forever committed to educating all those she encounters on the importance of education, civic engagement and the possibilities of collaborative change.

Marius Marinescu Finds a Vision—and His Voice—at SLU

Marius Marinescu Finds a Vision—and His Voice—at SLU

Marius Marinescu is living the American dream. “Whatever that is,” he said. “I’m still trying to figure it out.”

Marius was born in Brasov, Romania, in the historic region of Transylvania. There, he said, “I grew up in a totalitarian regime where I was inducted into the Youth Communist party at a young age, without my consent. The Communist party was trying to brainwash us, telling us we were living in a perfect society where everyone was equal. In actuality, we were powerless.”

He went on, “I grew up with minimal TV in Romania, and all it showed was Communist propaganda. So I became an avid reader. I liked history best, especially the fantastic books printed before the second World War. We had to hide them so the government wouldn’t confiscate them. They were beautiful, prized, secret cultural gems, the only way we could secure factual knowledge of the past.” Continue reading Marius Marinescu Finds a Vision—and His Voice—at SLU

The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone seeks a Business Development Officer

The mission of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ) is to sustain the economic revitalization of all communities in Upper Manhattan through job creation, corporate alliances, strategic investments and small business investments. UMEZ facilitates economic development in the neighborhoods of Central, East and West Harlem, Washington Heights; and Inwood.

UMEZ is a recognized Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund, with over $80 million in assets. UMEZ is proud to be a part of a national network promoting economic growth by financing businesses, creating jobs, and rebuilding neighborhoods.

Job Title: Business Development Officer

Reports to: Senior Vice President for Commercial Lending

Summary:

Under the direction of the Senior Vice President for Commercial Lending, the BDO is responsible for sourcing new clients, as well as, interfacing with existing clients. The BDO provides outreach and awareness to the community regarding small business lending products offered by UMEZ, conducts interviews with prospective borrowers, and participates with the local community and business organizations to promote UMEZ’s products and services.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities (Include the following and other duties may be assigned):

  • Under the guidance of the Senior Vice President for Commercial Lending participate in various business development activities by building purposeful relationships to procure new loan applicants for UMEZ loan products with local businesses in the target market.
  • Provide one-on-one counseling, referral opportunities, and customer support to small businesses in order to assist their efforts to secure funding.
  • Develop new referral and partner relationships and maintain existing ones.
  • Cultivate new lead referrals to enhance conversion rates from loan inquiry to completed application.
  • Engage in public speaking and participate in networking events.
  • Assist local entrepreneurs and strategizing with them to overcome business development issues; advises clients on the loan application process and basic criteria used to determine creditworthiness.
  • Gather client application information and visit clients’ and loan applicants’ business locations to verify information, check on progress and offer technical assistance, referrals, and follow-up as necessary.
  • Recommend appropriate UMEZ loan products to fit the needs of small business owners.

May be asked to attend non-work hours events or meetings as it relates to engaging and representing UMEZ’s mission to cultivate community partnerships and promote lending activities.

Background and Experience

  • Undergraduate degree in business or a related field
  • Basic knowledge of finance and acumen for reviewing and analyzing financial statements.
  • Advanced writing and oral presentation skills
  • 1-2 years in lending experience with small businesses or work experience in community development.
  • Excellent business development, outreach, detail-oriented, and have strong follow-up skills.
  • Must be able to engage in a tactful manner with potential borrowers, existing borrowers, and community partners.
  • Strong presentation, communication, customer service and relationship-building skills.
  • Effective communicator with cultural competency to connect with a diverse audience.
  • Community residence and/or familiarity with Upper Manhattan community preferred.

Personal Characteristics

  • An energetic and resourceful person with a strong interest in community engagement
  • A self-starter; a team player; a strategic thinker; a creative problem solver.

Language Skills: Bi-Lingual, English and Spanish, a plus but not necessary

Education: Undergraduate degree in business or a related field

Supervisory Responsibilities: This job has no supervisory responsibilities.

Employment Type: This is a full-time position

Salary Range: The salary for this position is commensurate with experience.

Benefits:

The benefit package includes medical, dental and vision insurance as well as a 401K plan.

Interested candidates should e-mail or mail a resume and cover letter to:

Danessy Pico

Human Resources Manager

55 West 125th Street, 11th Floor

New York, New York 10027

HR@umez.org

Attn: Community Lending Officer

No Phone Calls or Faxes Please

The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone seeks a Loan Administrator

The mission of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ) is to sustain the economic revitalization of all communities in Upper Manhattan through job creation, corporate alliances, strategic investments and small business investments. UMEZ facilitates economic development in the neighborhoods of Central, East and West Harlem, Washington Heights; and Inwood.

UMEZ is a recognized Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund, with over $80 million in assets. UMEZ is proud to be a part of a national network promoting economic growth by financing businesses, creating jobs, and rebuilding neighborhoods.

Job Title: Loan Administrator

Reports to: Senior Vice President for Commercial Lending

Summary:

The Loan Administrator assists the lending team and will support the team’s responsibility for loan deployment and credit administration. The Loan Administrator is responsible for verifying materials submitted by applicants are accurate and ensuring checklist items are collected and complete. The Loan Administrator works closely with underwriting to package material and ensure that all required documentation is accurate and complete prior to the underwriter’s evaluation and risk assessment. The loan administrator also works to facilitate closings, including obtaining pre-closing items, and assisting with properly documenting files after closing.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities (Include the following and other duties may be assigned):

  • Responsible for developing an appropriate level of product knowledge to assure documentation for underwriting is collected in advance
  • Review all borrower application materials thoroughly examining for completeness and accuracy
  • Follow up with applicants to obtain accurate and timely documentation
  • Address applicant inquiries and questions relating to application materials
  • Evaluate application eligibility to submit to underwriting
  • Maintain loan application tracking
  • Organize application information to facilitate underwriting and closing in accordance with all documentary and collateral requirements.

 

Background and Experience:

  • Experience working with Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)
  • Proven experience in loan administration or loan processing
  • Advanced writing and oral presentation skills
  • 3-5 years of experience as a loan processor, loan administrator, or paralegal
  • Understanding of direct lending procedures
  • Strong organizational, communication, and customer service skills.
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Community residence and/or familiarity with Upper Manhattan community preferred.
  • Bi-Lingual, English and Spanish, a plus but not necessary.

 

Personal Characteristics:

  • An energetic and resourceful person with a strong interest in community engagement
  • A self-starter; a team player; a strategic thinker; a creative problem solver.

Language Skills:  Bi-Lingual, English and Spanish, a plus but not necessary

Education:  Undergraduate degree in business or a related field; paralegal experience is a plus

Supervisory Responsibilities: This job has no supervisory responsibilities.

Employment Type:  This is a full-time position

Salary Range: The salary for this position is commensurate with experience.

Benefits:

The benefit package includes medical, dental and vision insurance as well as a 401K plan.

Interested candidates should e-mail or mail a resume and cover letter to:

Danessy Pico

Human Resources Manager

55 West 125th Street, 11th Floor

New York, New York 10027

Locke’d Out

Written by: Alvin Baugh

In my first semester at the School of Labor and Urban Studies I was asked to read some writings by John Locke, a philosopher whose ideas are fundamental to the founding of the United States. As I read Locke, I saw an intersection between his ideas and my own life. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, adherents to Locke’s 17th century theories have allowed many Black Americans, African Americans, and descendants of African slaves to have their possessions, homes, and land robbed from them by means of deception, thievery, even murder, resulting in no generational wealth, limiting a Black family’s ability to own a home even into this 21st century.

The application of Locke’s theory of possessions and property have had negative consequences, over and over throughout my life. My family is not an anomaly. Many Black American families have had similar experiences living in this country.

Continue reading Locke’d Out

SEIU (Service Employees International Union) seeks a Senior Political Program Manager (Member Programs)

SEIU (Service Employees International Union)

JOB TITLE: Senior Political Program Manager (Member Programs)

SALARY: MGT E; Annual salary starts at $107,543

LOCATION: Remote

ORGANIZATION OVERVIEW:

The 2 million members united in the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are at the forefront of a movement to build power for working people and empower all workers to form unions, no matter what job they do. SEIU members are from every walk of life, every political party, every background, every faith. They come from communities with their own stories and strengths, and that makes the Union all the more powerful because there’s strength in numbers. SEIU members work across the healthcare spectrum providing high quality care and services. They are the workers who keep our nation’s airports running and make sure landmark buildings are clean and secure. They provide essential public services and give a foundation of learning to our youngest and brightest. SEIU members believe in and are fighting for a Just Society where all workers are valued and all people respected—no matter where they come from or what color they are; where all families and communities can thrive; and where we leave a better and more equitable world for generations to come.

PURPOSE: The Senior Political Program Manager assists the International Union in strengthening its National member political engagement program and works closely with SEIU national, area, state and local leadership to build lasting, sustainable infrastructure and capacity for member political programs. The Senior Political Program Manager will help design and implement:

  • The national member political engagement program, which includes candidate pipeline, national leadership academy, member communication and education support and support for locals with their member political engagement to support the work of the political department
  • Ongoing political education, skills development and training programs for local union political staff and members.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES: (Any one position may not include all of the specific duties and- responsibilities listed. Examples provide a general summary of the work required and should not be treated as a total and complete list of expected duties to be performed by employees in the classification.)

  • Assist Local Unions with developing member programs focused on education, mobilization and leadership development;
  • Build and coordinate National Member political engagement workshops, toolkits and other national programs;
  • Enhance the political infrastructure of SEIU through partnering with Area Political Directors to include member leadership development as a core component of State Council plans; political and legislative programs, and through developing grassroots training and education programs for members and local union staff.
  • Recruit, hire, train, supervise and evaluate staff assigned to member political programs in the Region when called upon to do so by State Councils or Local Unions.
  • Track and report national member political activism, development and mobilization

CONTACTS: SEIU International Union staff, Local Union and affiliate leadership, State Councils, and other organizations and individuals as required.

DIRECTION & DECISION-MAKING: This position reports to the Assistant Political Director of Member Political Programs and the incumbent works largely independently.

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE: The Senior Political Program Manager position requires a high level of proven leadership and judgment and must demonstrate knowledge of grassroots political organizing. At least five years of direct experience with electoral campaigns, legislative campaigns, or union organizing, and a background that would provide for the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Developing and implementing comprehensive political plans.
  • Working independently with elected SEIU leaders and staff at various levels of the organization in complex political situations.
  • Possessing thorough knowledge of political campaign strategies, planning and execution.
  • Working with voter files, Voter Activation Networks (VANs) and voter targeting.
  • Possessing effective oral and written communications.
  • Developing strong working relationships and the ability to work on a team.
  • Managing and assessing multiple high-priority programs and priorities in different
  • Managing a program budget and implementing strategic plans.
  • Managing and developing electoral and grassroots campaign plans, logistics and
  • Meeting deadlines with minimal supervision.
  • Working with leaders, staff, and partners and operating with a high level of judgment
  • and discretion.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:

Must have the ability to work in an office (or similar) setting with or without reasonable accommodation. Travel in addition to long and extended work hours are required.

VACCINATION REQUIREMENT: Candidates will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon commencing employment. Reasonable accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis for either a) a certain medical condition(s); b) on the basis of sincerely held strong religious beliefs and practices or c) as otherwise required by law.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:

A resume is required for all applications and a cover letter is highly suggested. Your cover letter should explain your reason for wanting to work for SEIU, an example of how you demonstrated success in a similar position and a description of how this position fits into your long-term career plan.

Apply Here

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