Tune in to WYNC on Saturday at 10am Eastern for the premiere of the New Yorker Radio Hour, featuring Hillman judge Ta-Nehisi Coates in conversation with host David Remnick.
October 19, 2015
New Labor Forum: Black Lives Matter/Fight for Fifteen
Left to right: Kendall Fells, Frances Fox Piven, Jelani Cobb, Alicia Garza. By Lindsay Beyerstein.
Black Lives Matter and the Fight for Fifteen are two of the most dynamic social movements in the United States today. These were the subject of Monday’s New Labor Forum, sponsored by the Murphy Institute and the Sidney Hillman Foundation.
Scholar and activist Frances Fox Piven introduced the panel, which was moderated by Hillman Judge Jelani Cobb.
Kendall Fells of Fast Food Forward/SEIU described the genesis of the Fight for Fifteen movement. Fast food workers were desperate, he said, because they had no consistency in their scheduling and no respect at work. One woman was fired for drinking water out of the wrong-sized cup, another for eating a single chicken nugget. At first, a $15 minimum wage for the fast food sector seemed like an unattainable goal, Fells said. Today, a $15 wage is a reality for many fast food workers in New York, California, and other states.
Alicia Garza is a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement and the executive director of National Domestic Workers Alliance. She described how veterans of the Fight For 15 in Ferguson applied their newfound leadership skills to the struggle for civil rights and police accountability in Ferguson.
The panelists agreed that poor communities are both underpaid and overpoliced, and their residents are more likely to be Black and Latino. These are the threads that tie Black Lives Matter and the Fight for Fifteen together. Fells pointed out that the same workers who were striking for respect at their fast food jobs were also getting harrassed by the police on their way to work.
October 16, 2015
Sidney’s Picks: Bernie and the Drug Baron; Wage Theft in the Big Apple
ProPublica and AL.com share October Sidney for "Take a Valium, Lose Your Kid, Go to Jail" Series
Grant Blankenship for ProPublica.
Nina Martin of ProPublica and Amy Yurkanin of AL.com win the October Sidney Award for exposing Alabama’s attempt to twist an anti-meth-lab law to punish women for using drugs during pregnancy. The arrests of hundreds of new mothers combine the worst excesses of the War on Drugs with the anti-abortion movement’s “personhood” agenda.
Find out how this remarkable piece of investigative journalism came to be in an interview we call The Backstory, with Lindsay Beyerstein.
October 9, 2015
Sidney’s Picks: Elephants, Planned Parenthood, and the Nobel Prize
“We take ‘no strings’ quite seriously,” said Cecilia A. Conrad, the foundation’s managing director. “They don’t have to report to us. They can use the funds in any way they see fit.” [NYT]
Coates, the author of the best-selling memoir, Between the World and Me, is one of 24 outstanding winners. This year’s MacArthur fellows include a cutting-edge brain researchers, visual artists, economists, and a puppeteer.
September 25, 2015
Sidney’s Picks: Homeless City Workers, Pesticides, and Nazi Memorabilia