Over the past 50 years, the demographics of the U.S. labor force have changed significantly. The composition of national union leadership, however, does not reflect the changing demographics of our workforce. The academic field of Labor Studies reflects a similar imbalance. The Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor is dedicated to the purpose of fostering representative leadership in the labor movement and in the academic discipline of Labor Studies.
Each year since 2013, the City University of New York has supported the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor by providing an annual challenge-grant. The CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies raises matching funds annually with donations from generous individuals and organizations representing various sectors and professions, including labor unions, academia, non-profit organizations, and businesses. The scholarship was designed to create pipelines that will bring underrepresented individuals to the forefront of the labor movement and labor education. Each year the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies will award up to $150,000 in scholarships to qualified applicants, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels.