CURE Seminar Series: “Running the Rails: A History of Capital and Labor in the Philadelphia Transit Industry” with James Wolfinger

Friday, February 16
Armitage Hall, Faculty Lounge
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Presented by James Wolfinger
Associate Dean & Professor Secondary History at DePaul College of Education

Philadelphia exploded in violence in 1910. The general strike that year claimed the lives of some two dozen people and made Philadelphia a prominent point in the tumultuous national conflict over workers’ rights. That strike was a notable point, but not a unique one, in the history of Philadelphia’s transit system. My paper, “Running the Rails: A History of Capital and Labor in the Philadelphia Transit Industry,” outlines the chief arguments that I make in my recent book, Running the Rails (Cornell University Press, 2016), which details a generations-long history of conflict between the workers and management at one of the nation’s largest privately owned transit systems. In particular, I focus on how labor relations shifted from the 1880s to the 1960s as transit workers adapted to fast-paced technological innovation to keep the city’s people and commerce on the move while management sought to limit its employees’ rights. I argue that it is remarkable to see how much Philadelphia’s transit workers achieved. (more…)

CURE Seminar Series: “The Price of Race in New Brooklyn’s Real Estate” with Zaire Z. Dinzey-Flores

Thursday, January 25
Armitage Hall, Faculty Lounge
12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Presented by Zaire Z. Dinzey-Flores
Associate Professor of Sociology and Latino and Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University

“Location, location, location…” so goes the trope for how real estate properties derive their value. But how does race figure in the attribution of value for a property and a neighborhood? Based on ethnographic and mixed-method research in two demographically-transitioning neighborhoods in 21st Century Brooklyn, Dinzey-Flores considers how neighborhood spaces and property interiors are aesthetically, discursively, and materially produced and crafted by real estate actors in ways that render previously socially de-valued neighborhoods “valuable” and “worthy” of investment. Of particular focus, is the way in which racial conceptualizations—of “blackness,” “Latino-ness”, or “whiteness”—are codified and “built in” in the social desirability and economic valuation process of properties and neighborhoods. (more…)

CURE Seminar Series: “A Mission Field Next Door: Evangelical Higher Education in the Era of White Flight,” with Jesse Curtis

Jesse Curtis

In the 1960s and 1970s, white evangelicals looked warily at the American city.  The fear, flight, and disinvestment of this period involved not only questions of race, class, and economy.  Urban decline was also a religious phenomenon.  In some urban neighborhoods, white evangelical congregations liquidated their properties and moved everything – churches, schools, homes – to the suburbs.  Evangelical higher education followed this trend.  Some white evangelical colleges moved from city centers to new suburban locations, while others that stayed in the city adopted a besieged mentality.  In a moment of violence and political upheaval, many white evangelicals viewed the city as a threatening place.

(more…)

CURE Seminar Series: “On the Political Meanings of the Transformation of Property and Ownership in the United States,” with James DeFilippis

CURE Flyer

The last decade has seen significant growth in the numbers of, and interest in, forms of ownership that have been variously called, “solidarity economies” or “alternative economies” or “non-capitalist economies.” While there is a lot written about these efforts, there is relatively little that has explored the lived meanings for those involved in such endeavors. The paper will ask how participation in forms of ownership that are different from the norm in American society impacts the political understandings and meanings that are attached to those forms of ownership. In short, does being part of such a form of ownership have political meaning to participants? If so, what are the meanings and how can they be properly understood by those looking to these forms of ownership to be part of a larger socially transformative movement? Drawing on scores of interviews with community land trust (CLT) residents, staff and board members, foundation and government funders, and others, this paper will discuss and analyze the reality that for most of the participants in such endeavors, the political meanings are muted, under-explored, and often fairly minor. It is this contradiction; between the significance of the change in the ownership form and the relatively insignificant political meanings attached to that changed ownership that this paper will probe. It will do so in order to better understand the political potential and limitations of “solidarity economy” forms of ownership, and to realistically assess what can be expected of these forms by those who aspire to have a more just political economy.

(more…)

BOA, CURE, and Cleveland State hosting National Summit for Inclusive Communities at Rutgers-Camden July 21

Building One America

Organizing for Inclusion, Sustainability, and Opportunity

Building One America, The Center for Urban Research at Rutgers University-Camden, and Cleveland State University host 5th National Summit for Inclusive Communities and Sustainable Regions
 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Rutgers University-Camden
Campus Center

326 Penn St.
Camden, NJ 08102

AGENDA:
  • The State of Metro America – the Obama years, the recent election, and the days ahead.
    • Some of America’s top experts, leaders and practitioners will provide us with new data and analysis on the state of our regions and diverse middle class communities. 1. We will reflect on what was accomplished and what we learned during the past 8 years, 2. We will learn about the pivotal, but largely unreported, role of our diverse suburbs and urban centers in the recent election and 3. What this means for the future of American politics and our regions. 
  • Inclusion and Segregation
    • We will hear about the growth of diversity and inclusion but also the deepening of racial segregation, both urban and suburban in many of our metro areas. And we will discuss the social, economic and political implications of this reality that too many of our mainstream political leaders and pundits have chosen to ignore. 
  • Understanding and Building Power
    • We will spend a considerable amount of time examining issues of power. We will look more deeply at the entrenched and interconnected institutions that are sustained and profit from status-quo fragmentation, segregation and regional disparities. And we will look honestly at the political power needed, through organizing and alliances, to overcome the forces of divisions and inequality needed to achieve meaningful breakthroughs. 
  • Labor and Civil Rights
    • Drawing on our past, we know that organized labor, when firmly aligned with civil rights and the cause of racial and economic justice, have achieved enormous victories for all working people, families and communities. We will explore the overlapping interest and moral imperative for a renewed effort to align labor and civil rights to advance our shared values and intersecting interests. 
  • Issues and Stories
    • We will hear of success stories and heroic efforts around the country to promote Inclusionary housing, fair school funding, infrastructure investment, inclusive schools and stable communities at the state and regional level.
  • Training and Support 
    • We will discuss BOA’s program and strategic priorities for training leaders, organizing multiracial middle-class city/suburban coalitions, and advancing a unified narrative and policy agenda for promoting racial justice and economic opportunity. 
  • Honoring our Outstanding Leaders 
    • Building One America will recognize Clayola Brown, President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute; Kenneth E. Rigmaiden, General President, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades; and Eva Henry, Commissioner, Adams County, Colorado. Congressman Charlie Dent, Representative, 15th District, Pennsylvania will be the recipient of the Steve LaTourette Unified America Award for Outstanding Bipartisan Leadership. We will remember Joe McNamara, a great friend and director of the New Jersey Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET) affiliated with the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). 

National Summit for Inclusive Communities and Sustainable Regions, July 21 hosted by the Center for Urban Research and Education (CURE) at Rutgers University-Camden. Early registration is open and available here. Sponsorships can be purchased here.