The CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies Foundation, Inc. is formed exclusively to support and advance the educational and research mission of the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, a constituent unit of The City University of New York (“CUNY”). CUNY is a not for profit education corporation that is exempt from federal income taxation pursuant to its status as an instrumentality of the State of New York.

The Foundation will assist in developing, improving and increasing the School’s programs, resources, and facilities to enable it to provide more extensive educational and research opportunities and services, by making and stimulating major voluntary support from School alumni, friends, corporations, foundations, and others for the benefit of the School. In carrying out this mission, the Foundation will receive, hold, invest in, and administer property, and make expenditures to or for the benefit of the School.  The Foundation may also accept and administer donations to be used for School student scholarships and similar prizes and awards.

The CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies Foundation, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) not for profit. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.


Your gift advances the educational and research mission of The School of Labor and Urban Studies, The City University of New York.

Your gift helps women and students of color prepare to take on leadership roles in the labor movement and in the academic discipline of labor studies.

Your gift supports vital internship programs helping students prepare for roles in organized labor or urban and community advocacy.

To make a major donation or wire transfer, or for all inquiries, please contact Jennifer James or call (646) 313-8307

*GiveGab retains a small percentage of each donation, not to exceed $20. There is also a standard third-party credit card fee of 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction.


Arthur Cheliotes

Arthur Cheliotes, was President of Local 1180, Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO for 39 years. During his tenure Cheliotes earned the respect of labor leader and public officials as a progressive union leader boldly advocating for his members and all workers. He has been a vocal campaigner for worker education, pay equity and the enforcement of civil service laws. Read More

He now serves the members of Local 1180 as President Emeritus and Business Manager.

He is Chairman of the Labor Advisory Board of CUNY’s School of Labor and Urban Studies.

In 2000 Cheliotes was appointed by the Queens Borough President to Community Board 7, where he served for nearly a decade. He is on the board of the Queens Council of the Boy Scouts and was recently re-elected as a Vice-President for the Bay Terrace Community Alliance. He is Vice President of the Hellenic-American Neighborhood Action Committee, which provides affordable senior housing, health care, counseling and community services to families and seniors in Queens and Brooklyn.

Cheliotes has been honored numerous other times by various organizations, including the NAACP – Freedom Award (2004); the Civil Service Merit Council Leadership Award (2006 and 2017); the Greater New York Council – Boy Scouts of America ‘Good Scout’ Award (2011); Medicare Rights Center Humanitarian Award (2012); Labor Council for Latin American Advancement Advocacy Award (2013); and the New York State Labor History Association Award for Leadership in Labor Education (2014). The Labor Press and Emblem Health honored him as a Hero of Labor in 2019.

Greg Mantsios

Gregory Mantsios

Dr. Gregory Mantsios was appointed founding Dean of the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies in January 2018, after serving for 34 years as founder and director of the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies. Read More

Prior to joining CUNY, Dr. Mantsios was a community organizer; an elected officer of AFT local 1796; a member of the sociology faculty at William Paterson University; and the Director of Labor Studies at Empire State College, SUNY. He holds a B.A. in sociology and an M.A. in Urban Studies from Queens College and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the Union Institute and University. He writes on poverty, inequality, labor relations, and education and is the editor of A New Labor Movement for a New Century, an anthology on the future of the labor movement. He is also the founder and publisher of New Labor Forum, a national journal of ideas, analysis and debate.

For the past four decades—first at Empire State College and then at the City University of New York—Dr. Mantsios has devoted himself to building programs in Labor Studies and establishing college-degree programs for non-traditional students, particularly those from poor and working-class backgrounds. These programs have provided thousands of adult learners and union members with an opportunity to earn college degrees. At the Murphy Institute, he also developed a Center for public programming, civic engagement, and leadership training. The lead architect for the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, Dr. Mantsios was also the chief campaigner for establishment of the School.

Jennifer James

CUNY SLU Foundation Executive Director
Director of Institutional Advancement & External Affairs at SLU, CUNY

With over 20 years of political and government work experience, Jennifer James has dedicated her life and career to public service. Read More

She serves as the Interim Executive Director of Development and External Affairs at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Affairs, during a transformative expansion period at the School. Committed to the improvement of social and economic conditions for individuals and families in the city’s underserved communities, she works tirelessly to support programs, organizations and elected representatives that help to facilitate their wellbeing and advancement.

She has an extensive record of service to the community includes her role as senior advisor to distinguished public elected officials and organizations.  She keynoted at the Harvard University – Thomas V. Sullivan Society, on the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002 (also called the McCain-Feingold Act).  Ms. James has helped to improve and enhance the quality of life for young New Yorkers by serving as a founding board member of the New York Council of Urban Professionals (CUP), which connects, empowers, and mobilizes the next generation of diverse business and civic leaders. She has worked with grassroots organizations seeking to promote political participation in divested communities by cultivating a base of Black and Latino young adults to be equipped to serve as tomorrow’s social, community and political leaders.

Ms. James is a  gubernatorial appointment to the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation Board of Directors, to oversee compliance with the Atlantic Yards project’s public commitments, including public benefits and mitigation of project impacts. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Randall’s Island Park Alliance, as a mayoral appointment.

Joshua Freeman

Joshua Freeman

Distinguished Professor emeritus at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies and Queens College. Professor Freeman Freeman received a B.A. from Harvard University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Rutgers University. He previously taught at Columbia University and the College at Old Westbury, SUNY. He has written extensively about the history of labor, modern America, and New York City. Read More

His books include Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World; Working-Class New York: Life and Labor since World War II; American Empire: The Rise of a Global Power, the Democratic Revolution at Home; In Transit: The Transport Workers Union in New York City, 1933-1966. He is the co-editor (with Steve Fraser) of Audacious Democracy: Labor, Intellectuals, and the Social Renewal of America. Dr. Freeman has appeared in several television documentaries, including the American Experience episode, “Blackout,” and Ric Burns’ New York. He has consulted for unions and for the New York City Central Labor Council on strategy and internal education.

Sarita Gupta

Sarita Gupta is Vice President of U.S. Programs at the Ford Foundation and previously served as the Director of Future of Work(ers) program, leading the team that oversees Ford’s efforts to actively shape a future of work that puts workers and their well-being at the center. Read More

Sarita joined the foundation with more than 20 years of experience working to expand people’s ability to come together to improve their workplaces, their communities, and their lives by creating solutions to the problems they face. She has deep expertise in policy advocacy, organizing, and building partnerships across the workers’ rights and care movements, having served as executive director of Jobs With Justice and co-director of Caring Across Generations. She is a nationally recognized expert on the economic, labor, and political issues affecting working people, and is widely acknowledged as a key leader and strategist in the progressive movement.

During her tenure at Jobs With Justice, Sarita led a network of 30+ labor and community coalitions that anchored campaigns, changed the conversation, and moved labor, community, student, and faith voices into action. Jobs With Justice has been on the frontlines of successful organizing and policy campaigns to boost wages and working conditions for all working people, ensure worker voice and dignity in workplaces, and improve labor and civil rights protections for immigrant men and women.

As co-director of Caring Across Generations, Sarita spearheaded the campaign calling for policy solutions that create a much-needed care infrastructure that provides high-quality, affordable options for people who need care, support for family caregivers, and that strengthens the care workforce. Caring Across Generations was instrumental in paving the way for the Home Care Rule, the effort to provide minimum wage and overtime protections for two million home care workers.

She is a Hunt Alternatives Fund Prime Movers Fellow as well as a graduate of the Rockwood Leadership Training Program. Among the awards Sarita has received are the National Women’s Law Center Annual Leadership Award, the Frances Perkins Open Door Award, a Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Achievement Award, and Corporate Ethics International’s BENNY Award.

Dr. Gladys Palma de Schrynemakers

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban, Dr. Gladys Palma de Schrynemakers has worked unfailingly to make certain that all New York City students receive impartial admission to higher education and access to all academic program therein.  Read More

She has secured over $20 million for her institutions in competitive grants and awards, many of which address the challenges minority students encounter in earning a baccalaureate.  Frequently and prominently, she has published research on practice of constructivist theory, urban education, teaching with technology, and assessment.  A MSCHE Peer Evaluator and Chair for over 15 years, she also has served as an evaluator for New York State Education Department.  Dr. Schrynemakers is the Chief Academic Officer of CUNY’s School of Labor and Urban Studies, where currently she is working on developing joint programs with CUNY’s Law School and various NYC Labor Unions.  She is also the key officer working on the successful launching of the Urban Academy, a dynamic pipeline from community colleges into SLU, which currently includes Guttman Community College and Borough of Manhattan Community College.  Recently, she and colleagues launched an Assessment Blog in association with the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Next-Gen Assessment: A Multimedia Series for Educators Transitioning Online | Association of American Colleges & Universities (

Alethia Jones

Distinguished Lecturer at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, Alethia Jones was formerly the director of the Open Society Fellowship Program. Prior to joining Open Society, Jones directed education and leadership development for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest health care union local in the United States. Read More

She led a team that crafted customized learning experiences to deepen the movement building capacity of members and staff. Jones began her career managing policy initiatives for New York City’s first female Caribbean-born council member, Una Clarke, and subsequently held faculty positions in urban politics and public policy.

Jones’s teaching, writing, and consulting address immigrant integration, informal community banking, urban and racial politics, U.S. health care, and worker rights. She currently serves on the board of the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies Foundation and Training for Change. She has advised the Advancing Black Strategists Initiative’s Movement Fellows Program (Jobs with Justice) and the Leadership Center for Democracy and Social Justice at CUNY.

Jones has received fellowships from Coro, the Ford Foundation, MIT, the University of Virginia, and Yale University and consulted for nonprofit and labor organizations. Jones taught at MIT, Yale, Mount Holyoke College, and SUNY-Albany, in addition to teaching comparative urban studies in Brazil, South Africa, and Vietnam. She is co-editor of the award-winning book, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith (with Virginia Eubanks).

Jones has a PhD in political science from Yale University and a BA in urban studies and cultural anthropology from Columbia University.

Gouri Sadhwani

Teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on non profits, labor, and immigrant issues at at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. She most recently served for over seven years as Executive Director of the Akanksha Education Fund in the U.S. a public charity that funded innovative education programs in India. Read More

Prior to joining Akanksha she served as Deputy Executive Director at Amnesty International USA. She oversaw AIUSA’s largest department and led Amnesty’s domestic campaigns and activism work with its membership and supporter base of over 500,000 activists in the US.

She has also served as Special Assistant to the President of the Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ, the largest building service local in the US, where she led the union’s work on grant making, social justice, membership engagement and strategic partnerships. Her prior experience includes five years as Executive Director of the New York Civic Participation Project, which brings together labor unions and community partners to promote and protect immigrant rights. As Executive Director of the Hague Appeal for Peace she worked with a coalition of over 100 international organizations and UN agencies on peace and justice campaigns.

She serves on several boards including the American India Foundation, Pure Legacee, the Glen Ridge City Council Environmental Advisory Committee and, Friends of Watsessing Park Conservancy.  Ms. Sadhwani is a graduate of the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University where she earned a Master’s in Public Administration.

Burt Sacks

Burt Sacks

Associate Dean for Operations at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, Burt Sacks previously served as the former chief executive of the Board of Education of the City of New York and the former senior assistant to the president of the United Federation of Teachers. Read More

He joined the City University of New York as Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Management Services in 2008.

As the former Deputy Vice Chancellor for Operations in the Office of University Relations, Mr. Sacks provided administrative oversight of the Office of Communications and Marketing, the Office of State Relations in Albany, CUNY-TV and Citizenship Now!. He also served as an adviser to the Chancellor on special projects.

In his 33 years with the New York City Board of Education, Sacks served under five chancellors and for a decade, from 1992 through 2002, was its chief executive. During his tenure, he had direct responsibility for the Office of Community School District Affairs, the Office of Monitoring, the Office of Special Projects, Nonpublic School Reimbursable Programs, Office of Zoning, Office of Student Safety and Prevention Programs and the Office of Charter Schools. He also was the liaison for the New York City Police Department’s Office of School Safety. In his work for the New York City Board of Education, Mr. Sacks supervised employees and oversaw and monitored budgets while acting as a liaison to the community school districts. After leaving the board in 2002, he became the senior adviser to the president of the United Federation of Teachers. He held that post until coming to CUNY.

Mr. Sacks holds a professional diploma in educational administration from Yeshiva University. In addition to a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees from Long Island University, he did post-graduate study at New York University’s Graduate School for Public Administration.

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