As Founding Dean of the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU), I’m delighted to welcome you! SLU is CUNY’s newest School but one with a rich history and a bold vision: to provide access to education, diversity at every level, and equality for all.
- to expand higher education opportunities for workers and aspiring scholars;
- to promote civic engagement;
- to prepare students for careers in public service and movements for social justice;
- to educate the next generation of labor and community leaders and prepare them for leadership; and,
- to help workers achieve greater economic security.
To accomplish these ambitious goals, the School rests on four foundational pillars: Labor Studies, Urban Studies, Workforce Education, and Community Service. These pillars support a range of personal aspirations and practical needs while also serving the cause of social justice. We are the first School in the nation to give students an opportunity to focus on the intersections between work and urban life, an area that has been understudied until now.
Since our doors opened in 2018, our enrollment has increased each year, and we are proud to have attracted thousands of adult learners and traditional age students. Our undergraduate and graduate programs are taught by renowned scholars and distinguished practitioners and supported by a dedicated professional staff. In 2023, we graduated more than 140 students with degrees and certificates in Labor and Urban Studies. They are now putting their education to work in public service and social justice, as organizers, educators, government workers, and leaders of labor and other advocacy organizations. Their achievements remind us there is good news even in these challenging times: movements for social justice are alive and well, unions are gathering steam, students want to prepare for leadership in civil society – and SLU continues to make a vibrant contribution!
Whether through our faculty’s cutting-edge research and publications, our thoughtful public programming, and our innovative, ever-expanding partnerships with labor unions, community organizations and Schools throughout the CUNY system, SLU is an intellectual hub for the discussion of national and global issues concerning work, workers, and working-class communities. Our School is a place for hard questions and debate; it’s a place to test experience, learn new skills, and work toward a more equitable society. I invite you to click through this website to learn about SLU’s extensive programs, degrees, certificates, and services – and most especially – our commitment to public service and social justice.
I hope you will join us, and I look forward to meeting you.
Gregory Mantsios, Ph.D.