CUNY Murphy Institute Announces Scholarships to Promote Diversity in Union Leadership and the Field of Labor Studies

February 7, 2013 | The University

The Joseph S. Murphy Institute at The City University of New York has announced the creation of new scholarships for students entering its program in Labor Studies.

Mentoring and internship opportunities will be linked to the scholarships, providing students with the support, experience, and networks they will need to succeed, said Murphy Institute director Gregory Mantsios.

“We are seeking candidates from under-represented constituencies who wish to pursue careers with labor unions or who want to develop academic careers in labor-related fields of study,” Mantsios said. “Our hope is to have some impact on the way unions and universities develop leaders.”

Mantsios thanked CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, who has committed up to $500,000 in matching funds for the new scholarship program, which will amount to $1 million dedicated to diversity. The Institute has been charged with raising another $500,000 from matching donors.

Individual student awards will be up to $20,000 for the last two years of undergraduate study, and $30,000 for two years of graduate study, Mantsios said.

Organized labor is one of the largest and most diverse institutions in the country. Along with its history of improving working conditions and advancing the rights of workers, it has stood for equality in the workplace and the society. In recent years, it has made strides in diversifying its own leadership, but the pace of change has not kept up with shifts in the racial and gender composition of the workforce. Diversity has been equally slow in coming to the academic field of Labor Studies.

“We are deeply committed to preparing a new generation of union leaders, worker advocates, and labor scholars – one that more accurately reflects the composition of the U.S. labor force,” Mantsios said.

The Joseph S. Murphy Institute was established as a collaboration between The City University of New York and New York City labor unions to provide undergraduate and graduate education for working adults, particularly in the fields of Labor and Urban studies. The Institute has attracted some of the most prestigious Labor Studies and social science faculty in the country.

For more information, please contact Rose Imperato at 212 827 0200.