After graduating with a BA in Urban Studies, Nicolas Pineda, Jr. was the undergraduate speaker at SLU’s very first commencement ceremony this past spring, This coming fall, he’ll be starting his advanced certificate in Labor Studies. His has been a sometimes surprising journey into city work and then the labor movement — and SLU has played a pivotal role in that journey. Pineda shared his story, and the story of studying at the Murphy Institute as it transitioned into SLU, and what it’s been like to study under labor greats like Ed Ott on the DC37 radio show a few weeks back. It’s an illuminating listen. Check it out here.
On Thursday, July 24th, CUNY SLU welcomed 37 new students from all programs for our first fall 2019 new student orientation! Faculty, SLU advisors, and student services staff were on-hand to provide students with the resources and tools needed to prepare for the fall 2019 semester and information about best practices. We look forward to welcoming our new students as well as continuing students this fall semester for what promises to be an exciting year.
In June, Professor Stephanie Luce, Chair of SLU’s Department of Labor Studies, spoke with veteran New York Newsday columnist Sheryl McCarthy on the CUNY TV series “One to One.” The conversation centered on the annual “State of the Unions” report published by Luce and Professor Ruth Milkman, as well as larger trends affecting labor unions.
It is with great sadness that we note the untimely passing on Thursday, July 11th of Héctor Figueroa, President of 32BJ SEIU and long-time member of the Murphy Institute and SLU Advisory Boards.
Héctor was a great labor leader and political powerhouse. His belief in the right of workers to determine their own destiny and to enjoy the benefits of unionization led him to wage numerous successful campaigns that brought better pay, benefits, and working conditions to thousands of women and men. He was a progressive leader with a broad vision of labor and its role in the larger struggle for social justice. He was a champion of racial, social, and economic equality. His work in defense of immigrants’ rights was outstanding, as were his efforts to expand voting rights. Continue reading Mourning 32BJ SEIU President Héctor Figueroa→
The New Labor Forum has a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.
The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion — commemorated yesterday as New York City hosted World Pride 2019 – offers an opportunity to reexamine the demographics and political goals of the contemporary LGBTQ movement in the U.S. While the media has for decades conveyed the image of the gay world as a white, middle-class, even affluent, one, the data simply doesn’t bear that out. According to a study by UCLA’s Williams Institute, the poverty rate of LGBTQ adults is, in fact, higher than for heterosexual adults. And nearly one in five members of same-sex couples in the United States are people of color. For just that reason, activists in the gay liberation movement a half century ago explicitly linked their struggle to broader movements, sometimes even anti-capitalist ones, fighting for social and economic equality. Since the 1990s, however, a sizable portion of the movement came to train its sights more narrowly on legal rights, especially the right to marry and join the military, in part conforming to the normative expectations of middle-class America.
The fact that yesterday’s enormous World Pride/ Stonewall 50 commemoration in New York City included the Queer Liberation march — an anti-capitalist, racial justice-infused alternative to the main Pride march — indicates a growing critique of the mainstream, assimilationist politics of the LGBTQ movement. We offer here two New Labor Forum articles on precisely these issues, one by Richard Blum, entitled Stonewall at 50: Whose Movement Is It Anyway? assessing the two marches and their diverging politics and constituencies; and another by Amber Hollibaugh and Margot Weiss, making the argument that the majority of LGBTQ people are poor and working-class and that the labor movement should take this fact into account as it seeks to organize in low-wage sectors where LGBTQ people make up a disproportionately high percentage of workers. And we close with an arresting poem Frank Bidart.
Table of Contents
Stonewall at 50: Whose Movement Is It Anyway?/ Richard Blum, New Labor Forum
Queer Precarity the Myth of Gay Affluence/ Amber Hollibaugh and Margot Weiss, New Labor Forum
On Friday, June 14th, the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies celebrated its inaugural commencement in the Proshansky Auditorium at the CUNY Graduate Center. Nearly 100 graduates participated, out of a class of approximately 158 students. More than 400 people, including students and their families, SLU faculty and staff, and distinguished guests filled the auditorium to capacity in celebration of the School’s first-ever graduating class. Continue reading SLU Celebrates Inaugural Commencement→
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