Fifty years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 first prohibited racial and ethnic discrimination in employment, more remains to be done to fulfill the law’s promise of integration. Discrimination continues to be a consistent feature of American labor markets. Disparities in access to education, skills, training, networks, and mentoring contribute to inequalities and occupational segregation.

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Care workers, including both child care and hands-on direct care providers, number 5.5 million and are employed in some of the most dynamically growing and lowest-paying jobs in the American economy. Their “priceless” work, of such critical importance to families and society, rarely offers more than miserable wages and shoddy benefits. Improving these jobs and

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Metropolitan Coalitions

Today, the ever-more-attenuated relationship between workers and companies with economic power over their jobs creates obstacles for those who wish to expand opportunities for worker organizing, especially among low-wage workers. The ever more distant nature of the relationship between unions and communities makes those obstacles harder to surmount. Changing this landscape will require new strategies. Major

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For legal, social, and economic reasons, it is difficult for worker organizations to organize, bargain, and strike across entire contractual supply-chains, networks, industries, occupations, or regions. This paper proposes four large-scale reforms to diminish these difficulties and actively facilitate organizing and striking across multiple employers: First, an entity should be deemed an “indirect” employer of

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July 2015 In order to increase the capacity of food programs serving food insecure individuals Cook County, the Chicago Department of Procurement Services should require all city food contracts to be awarded to businesses that participate in food recovery programs with the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Authors Jennifer Kim, Cornell University Doug Ortiz, DePaul University

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July 2015 Chicago boasts over 15,000 restaurants yet still struggles with arguably the most basic of human rights: access to healthy and affordable food. Since donations to local food pantries have not kept up with local need, this policy proposes using tax and limited liability incentives to leverage food suppliers as to collect food donations

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Roisin Ellison and Joe Hallgarten of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts call for a new model of education that emphasizes creativity.

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Michelle Miller, co-founder of Coworker.org, asks what the union of the future will look like.

Chelsea Barabas of MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative examines the future of workforce development and educational credentials.

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Denise Cheng, affiliate researcher at MIT’s Center for Civic Media, looks at barriers to growth in the sharing economy.

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