The Murphy Institute and CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies have provided a unique venue for labor and community-based leaders and activists to engage in intellectually rigorous debate and discussion on the most pressing issues of our time.

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Public Programming page

Our commitment to support the examination and resolution of the myriad struggles confronting poor and working-class communities lays the foundation for the Institute’s ambitious public programming, which attracts over 1,500 people annually and has featured:

  • Prominent SLU faculty, including Francis Fox Piven, Ruth Milkman, Deepak Bhargava, and John Mollenkopf.
  • Nationally renowned scholars, including Manning Marable, Lani Guinier, Rodolfo de la Garza, Adolf Reed, Patricia Williams, and Marie Gottschalk;
  • National and International Elected Officials, including Nydia Velazquez, Ruth Messenger, Fernando Ferrer, Melissa Mark-Viverito, British Member of Parliament John Eatwell, and former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff;
  • Civil and human rights leaders, including Reverend Al Sharpton, Benjamin Jealous, and Rigoberta Menchu;
  • Leaders of labor unions and federations from the U.S., Canada, France, Guatemala, India, Mexico, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

To view upcoming events, click here.

To view videos of past events, click here.

Or visit our archives of past events.

“Black Led Antiracist Unionism: The Legacy of Ben Fletcher & I.W.W”

GUEST SPEAKER:  Peter Cole Author,Ben Fletcher: The Life and Times of a Black Wobbly, Second Edition (PM Press)

MODERATED BY:  Kafui Attoh – Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, CUNY SLU

Seismic Shifts: Organized Labor & Covid’s Impact on the Economy

GUEST SPEAKERS: Heidi Shierholtz, Director of Policy, Economic Policy Institute;  Marc Levinson – Chief Economist, SEIU

MODERATED BY:  – Joshua Freeman, Distinguished Lecturer of History, CUNY SLU

“The First 100 Days: Policy Priorities for Labor & Social Justice Movements”

This virtual event, to be moderated by Professor Deepak Bhargava of the CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies, will feature interviews with two panels. The first panel, features Dorian Warren, President of Community Change and Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of the Advancement Project. This first panel will explore the policy agendas that racial justice, voting rights, and criminal justice movements will push in the Biden Administration’s first 100 days, and what they might expect President Biden to prioritize. The second panel, features Felicia Wong, President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute, and Ellen Dichner, Distinguished Lecturer in Labor Studies at CUNY SLU. This second panel will explore the policy agendas that labor and economic justice movements will push in the Biden Administration’s first 100 days, and what they might expect President Biden to prioritize.

Going Big: Reversing Trump’s Agenda & Modernizing Labor Rights


Medicare for all and it’s competitors

Excerpt from “The Makings of a Progressive Foreign Policy” Forum

Zwelinzima Vavi Excerpt from TUED Climate Conference