Panel: Social Unionism to Bargaining for the Common Good in Higher Education: Then and Now

Panel Description

This panel will discuss the battles over social unionism that took place within the New York City Teachers Union (NYCTU) in the 1930s and expand the panel to connect the history of social unionism in the 1930s with BCG today. Panelist Andrew Feffer is the author of the published book Bad Faith: Teachers, Liberalism, and the Origins of McCarthyism (2019).

Panelists Bios

Charles Toombs, PhD (Purdue University), is Professor and Immediate Past Chair of Africana Studies, San Diego State University (SDSU). His area of specialization and publications are in African American literature. He is President of the California Faculty Association (CFA) and previous SDSU CFA Chapter President. He serves on AAUP’s Committee A, Academic Freedom and Tenure, and he is one of AAUP’s representatives to the New Deal for Higher Education Campaign Steering Committee. He was one of six U.S. union leaders invited by the Shanghai Education Union for meetings in China, March 2018. He was selected as the San Diego State University Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unsung Hero for 2018, 2014 SDSU Faculty Diversity Award recipient, and African American Educator of San Diego County for 2011 by Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. He is committed to anti-racism and social and cultural justice.

Ellen Schrecker is a professor emerita of history at Yeshiva University who has written extensively about the Cold War Red scare. Among her books are No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities (1986), The Age of McCarthyism: A Brief History with Documents (1994), and Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America (1998). She has also edited several volumes including Cold War Triumphalism: Exposing the Misuse of History after the Fall of Communism (2004). A former editor of the AAUP’s magazine, Academe, she also writes about academic freedom and the university and has recently published The Lost Soul of Higher Education: Corporatization, the Assault on Academic Freedom, and the End of the University (2010). Her current project is a study of professors and politics during the 1960s and 1970s.

Andrew Feffer’s research areas include the history of education, McCarthyism and political repression in US history, the American democratic tradition, history of American pragmatism, New York City history, and urban social movements.  He is the author of Bad Faith: Teachers, Liberalism, and the Origins of McCarthyism (New York: Fordham University Press, 2019), on anticommunism in the New York City municipal colleges and public schools before WWII; The Chicago Pragmatists and American Progressivism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993); and articles on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American intellectual, cultural and urban history. His work has appeared in Journal of the History of Ideas, Journal of Urban History and other publications.

Professor Marilyn Sneiderman directs the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization at Rutgers’ School of Management and Labor Relations, bringing with her 30 years of experience in labor, community, faith based, immigrant and racial justice organizing, as well as extensive experience in managing large staffs and managing intensive organizational change work.  For 10 years, Sneiderman directed the National AFL-CIO’s Department of Field Mobilization, where she helped launch the national “Union Cities” initiative. The campaign focused on increasing the capacity to support and win organizing, political and policy campaigns in states and cities throughout the country. Working with the AFL-CIO’s International Unions, State Federations, and Central Labor Councils, the program was designed to unite community, union, religious, and civil/immigrant rights groups to build local movements to fight for social and economic justice in states and cities.   Sneiderman most recently served as Executive Director of AVODAH, a national Jewish social justice organization where she expanded the scope, impact and budget of the organization. Prior to her work at the AFL-CIO, she served as education director at the Teamsters International Union and on the senior faculty of the George Meany Center for Labor Studies, where she focused on leadership training, civil and women’s rights, and labor/community organizing. She also served on the faculty at Georgetown Law School and was the community organizer at AFSCME.  Sneiderman has consulted with a number of national unions on organizer training, organizational development, leadership and management, and in executive coaching. Sneiderman edited Organizing Guide for Local Unions and Numbers that Count, which introduced the “organizing model of unionism.” She also co-authored Labor in the Pulpits with Kim Bobo. She started her work in the labor movement as an AFSCME shop steward, local officer and delegate to her labor council in Madison, Wisconsin.  Sneiderman has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. She serves on the boards of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund and Interfaith Worker Justice. In 2000 she was named one of the 25 most influential working mothers in the United States by Working Mother magazine.

Malini Cadambi Daniel the is Director for Higher Education of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Her responsibilities include the development of SEIU’s national higher education campaign including new adjunct faculty organizing, policy and political advocacy, and other program development.