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Community Events

Town Hall Meeting
On Medicaid Expansion and Raising the Minimum Wage

Thursday, June 12
10am to 12:30pm
Hosted by Ivy Tech Community College
Room 1121/1122

Join healthcare professionals, professors, community group representatives and politicians in a conversation about expanding Medicaid and Raising the Minimum Wage.

Presented by SEIU Healthcare

Past Events

May 19
6th Annual South Bend Sings for Labor
Sponsored by Indiana University Labor Studies

May 3
May Day Film:  Inequality For All  (89 minutes, Jacob Kornbluth, 2013)

Post film panel and discussion

Marty Wolfson, director of the Higgins Labor Studies Program; Hardy Blake, director of Project Impact; Judy Fox, law professor; and Grace Watkins ’17 College Democrats
Moderated by Dan Graff, associate director, Higgins Labor Studies Program     

Inequality For All features Robert Reich—professor, best-selling author, and former cabinet member—as he demonstrates how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the American economy. Through his singular perspective, Reich explains how the massive consolidation of wealth by a precious few threatens the viability of the American workforce and the foundation of democracy itself.

Cosponsored by Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor, Center for Social Concerns, College Democrats, Community Forum for Economic Development and DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

April 25
Labor Café

TOPIC: Student-Athletes as Workers
LEADER: Billy McMahon (HIST '15)
For an overview of the Northwestern decision and what it means, there's this article:

For a less formal but more explicitly pro-athlete article explaining the issues, there's the following:

April 3
Labor Café

TOPIC:  Teachers’ unions and labor in education
LEADER:  Terry Fitzgibbons, Rector, Duncan Hall
READINGS:  In advance of the gathering, please read the following, written by Diane Ravitch, posted on the American Federation of Teachers’ website:

New York Times article about the recent National Labor Relations Board ruling on the Northwestern University case:

March 26
Working for Justice: Student Panel on Internships and Opportunities
    Veronica Guerrero '15, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern (2013)
    Ashley Murray '14, Interfaith Worker Justice Interns (2013)
    Billy McMahon '15, North Central Indiana AFL-CIO Intern (2013-14), USAS Conference (2014)
Students' experiences with workers' rights organizations and information on opportunities that you can pursue

March 24
Annual McBride Lecture
Behind the Kitchen Door:  Restaurant Workers and their Struggle for Justice
Saru Jayaraman, University of California (Berkeley) and the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

Saru Jayaraman is the Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley and the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. After 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded ROC-United in New York, which has organized restaurant workers to win workplace justice campaigns, conducted research and policy work, partnered with responsible restaurants, and launched cooperatively-owned restaurants. ROC-United now has 10,000 members in 19 cities nationwide. 

Saru is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She was profiled in the New York Times "Public Lives" section in 2005, and was named one of Crain's "40 Under 40" in 2008, 1010 WINS's "Newsmaker of the Year," and one of New York Magazine's "Influentials" of New York City. Saru co-edited The New Urban Immigrant Workforce, (ME Sharpe, 2005) and authored Behind the Kitchen Door, (Cornell University Press, 2013).

March 21
Labor Café
TOPIC: Behind the Kitchen Door: A Discussion of Saru Jayaraman’s Expose of the Low Wages and Poor Working Conditions in the Restaurant Industry
LEADER: Dan Graff (History & Higgins Labor Studies Program)
READING: Saru Jayaraman, Behind the Kitchen Door

February 28
Labor Research Workshop
Women and the Ivory Tower:  Why Family Friendly Policies Are Not Enough

Professor Jessica Collett, Notre Dame (Sociology)

February 27
Labor Café
Gender at Work: Can Women (and Men) Have It All?
Leader: Lisa Taylor (senior Political Science & Peace Studies major)
Reading: Anne-Marie Slaughter, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” The Atlantic, Jul./Aug. 2012

February 26
Making a Living Making a Difference
LIFTing People out of Poverty
Ben Reuler, Executive Director of LIFT-Chicago

An annual event exploring opportunities in the public and nonprofit sectors.

Ben Reuler will discuss his career path and offer advice to students interested in working in the nonprofit sector.

LIFT’s mission is to help community members achieve economic stability and well-being.  LIFT operates resource centers in six cities across the nation where members of the community can come for assistance.  Nearly 100,000 Members in six major cities have already committed to do the hard work needed to achieve their goals in collaboration with LIFT.  LIFT is working to establish a new standard for holistic and enduring solutions in our country’s fight against poverty.

February 14
Labor Cafe
Discussion on issues of work, opportunity, and politics in Egypt today
Leader:  Abdulla Ibrahim (MA'14, Kroc Institute for Peace Studies)

Readings for discussion:

Heba F. El-Shazli, "Where Were the Egyptian Workers in the June 2013 People’s Coup Revolution?," Jadaliyya, Jul 23 2013

Dahlia Kholaif, "Egypt's new minimum wage disappoints many," Aljazeera, Sep 23, 2013 17:00

Abdallah Erfan, "Reforming Education: Between Welfare and Free-­-Market Systems" available for download here: Reforming Education: Between Welfare and Free-Market Systems

January 31
Labor Research Workshop
The Political Economy of Human Happiness

Professor Benjamin Radcliff, Notre Dame (Political Science)

Does individual labor union membership contribute to personal happiness? What are the effects of greater aggregate union membership on the well-being of a society? In Radcliff's new book, "The Political Economy of Human Happiness," he argues that the organization of workers contributes to a more beneficial economy and society at large.  

Radcliff Chapter 6 on Labor Unions and Economic Regulation.pdf
For more information on Dr. Radcliff's book, click here.

Labor Cafe
Discussion of labor issues in the news

November 20
The March on Washington and the Forgotten Civil Rights Movement
Will Jones, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin
Jones is the author of The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights (2013) and The Tribe of Black Ulysses:  African American Lumber Workers in the Jim Crow South (2005)
Sponsored by the Department of HIstory; co-sponsored by Higgins Labor Studies Program

November 1
A Conversation about Labor, Immigration, and Radicalism in American History
James Barrett, Labor Historian, University of Illinois
Co-sponsored with the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism

October 10 and 11
Chuck Craypo Memorial Lecture and Workshops:
"Combining Research and Activism for Social Justice"

Public Lecture
Wal-Mart and Beyond: Changing Labor Markets and Innovative Labor Organizing
Nelson Lichtenstein
, Professor of History, University of California at Santa Barbara, and author of The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business
Dan Schlademan, Campaign Director of Making Change at Walmart, United Food & Commercial Workers

September 13
New Directions in Labor Organizing
Dan Graff, labor historian & associate director of Higgins
Marty Wolfson, economist & director of Higgins
Tony Flora, president of the North Central Indiana AFL-CIO