Welcome to SLU’s 2021 Virtual Graduation Celebration!
Check out the 2021 virtual graduation celebration video, read the message from the Dean to the class of 2021 and be sure to browse through the interactive journal.
Dean’s Remarks To The Class Of 2021
You, the Class of 2021, have worked long and hard—especially this past year and a half—to reach this very auspicious moment in your lives. I extend my warmest congratulations to you and to the families and friends who have supported you along the way.
Behind your efforts stand SLU’s magnificent faculty and staff. I want to thank them for their extraordinary dedication to our students and our School—for giving their all through thick and thin. They are the ones who got you to this momentous occasion.
Although for New Yorkers the threat of COVID is finally starting to decline, we are still operating in a pandemic world. Some of us are still coping with illness and personal loss. Our hearts go out to you who are still suffering.
At the same time, some good has come of this terrible scourge. The pandemic has taught us some valuable lessons, and we have reason for hope.
One thing we have learned is that leadership counts! And it counts on every level, from the White House to City government, to our unions and workplaces, to the communities where we live and raise our families.
We have learned how important leadership is from bitter experience—years of failed leadership at the top levels of government resulting in a health crisis like no other in our lifetime; the resurgence of violent racism; rampant and growing economic and social inequality; and ultimately, an assault on democracy itself.
We also learned that advocacy and grassroots activism count as much as leadership! It is my hope that our students—especially you, the Class of 2021—are well-prepared on both counts. Because the challenges ahead are daunting.
We have to fight for a health care system that is available to everyone in our society—rich or poor, immigrant or native-born.
We have to put our whole hearts into the fight against race hatred and discrimination of every kind— against women, the LGBTQ+ community, and immigrants.
We cannot and must not tolerate sexual harassment of any kind.
We have to defend the right to vote—for everyone—and the right to a safe, clean environment—for everyone.
And that’s just the short list.
My point is, we—all of us—have to be engaged, in the workplace and in our communities. For some of us that means participating in movements for social justice. For others, it’s participation in the political system. For many of us, it’s both. The bottom line is that we can help to create and implement humane and equitable public policy … if we do our part.
And here’s where hope comes in. The pandemic, which has torn apart the fabric of daily life, has made it impossible for us to look away from the social and economic injustice that has put people of color, the poor, and the working class across the globe at greatest risk.
What gives me hope more than anything else is that the growing resistance to inequality is coming from young people, people of color, activists from the LGBTQ community—those who have been traditionally disenfranchised in our society. And that is true whether you are looking at the Black Lives Matter movement or the surge of interest in electoral politics.
That’s not to say there isn’t a role for the older generation. Just look at what’s coming out of the White House these days—these are bold new proposals and they are being delivered in response to the upsurge of political activity from the ground level.
I believe our students—especially the Class of 2021—are well prepared to take on the challenges ahead. At the School of Labor and Urban Studies, students learn in a humanistic environment, where knowledge, ideas, and practical skills become tools for social change, and where a moral compass is the guide.
Every day, someone from this School and this University—someone like you—is out there changing the world in ways both big and small. You can be that person. You have the knowledge now, you have the skills and the motivation. You can be a change agent and a change leader.
So if you weren’t already committed to public service and passionate about social justice when you first came to SLU, we sure hope you are fired up now!
Congratulations to you all, the SLU Class of 2021.
Gregory Mantsios, Ph.D. Founding Dean
SLU Alumni Association
We are enormously proud of our alumni, and whether it’s been two years or twenty-two years, we look forward to welcoming them back to their alma mater.
Are you an alumna of CUNY SLU or of the Joseph S. Murphy Institute (CUNY School of Professional Studies)? Whether you graduated two years ago or twenty two years ago, we want to hear from you! Join School Of Labor and Urban Studies Alumni Association
CUNY SLU alumni may sign-up for one-on-one career and professional development sessions through SLU’s Office of Career Services. Click here for more information and to schedule an appointment with a Career Services Counselor.
Support SLU students in their pursuit for knowledge and justice by donating to the SLU Foundation! The SLU 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.
The Alumni Talk Event Series
The SLU Alumni Association hosts the Alumni Talks event series, as well as in-person and virtual networking events. Alumni are invited to host, facilitate, and plan upcoming events in the Alumni Talk series. Do you have a topic you would like to talk about? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit CUNY SLU’s Center for Public Engagement for more information on special events and seminars throughout the year.
Are you interested in enrolling at CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies? Find out more about joining the SLU community.