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Chrysler workers vote: NO to two-tier pay

first_imgOct. 8 — Following the workers’ rejection of the tentative agreement last week, the United Auto Workers gave notice to Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles on Oct. 6 of a strike deadline if a new tentative agreement was not agreed to by midnight on Oct. 7. Union locals began strike preparations — mounting signs on sticks, posting picket assignments, even calling for mass picketing at one local. Minutes before the deadline the union announced a new tentative agreement. Details are unknown as of the morning of Oct. 8, but FCA and the UAW leadership can expect stiff opposition if there is no real job security and no process to eliminate two-tier pay.First-tier and second-tier UAW workers at parts plant in California.Photo: Albert LimonA week earlier, in an act of defiance that caught everyone following the situation off guard, UAW members rejected the earlier four-year tentative agreement between FCA and the UAW by a whopping 2-to-1 margin. Clearly, both FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne and UAW International President Dennis Williams — who stated that, without question, “they will ratify it” — underestimated the rank and file. In fact, some UAW members underestimated their own co-workers. Skilled trades workers, higher-paid first-tier production workers and lower-paid second-tier workers did not realize that all three groups would take a unified stand against two-tier pay. Even longtime anti-concessions activists, who developed leaflets to encourage a protest vote, were not anticipating this unprecedented development. The other remarkable aspect of the struggle was the groundswell of grassroots activism on the shop floor. Workers who opposed the contract became organizers overnight. In some plants, they made message bearing T-shirts. In California, the message read, “Solidarity, No More Tiers, Vote No” and in Toledo the words read, “No Deal.” In UAW Local 1248, representing parts depot workers in Metro Detroit, a one-on-one educational campaign convinced a wide majority to turn down the contract. Local 1248 was one of the first to vote and set the trend for the rest of the union. Toledo Jeep workers rallied outside a contract “roll-out” meeting, chanting, “Hell no, Sergio!” and carrying signs against two-tier pay and plans to move work out of Toledo. One sign read, “Vote No to the Culture of Poverty,” a reference to Marchionne’s comment during the 2009 Chrysler bankruptcy that the UAW members had to “get used to a culture of poverty.” Toledo workers rejected the contract by a whopping 87 percent, definitively sinking the concessionary contract.The Sterling Heights Michigan assembly plant, which stands to gain high volume work if FCA goes ahead with an announced business plan, followed the national pattern roughly of 65 percent against the agreement. Even after the outcome was known, workers at the Warren, Mich., stamping plant and the Belvidere, Ill., assembly plant came out in large numbers to oppose the contract.This is more than a protest vote. This is a movement.Issues behind the worker revoltWorkers have a multitude of issues with this contract, but top on their list is that it maintains the unequal two-tier system. The company pays inferior wages and benefits and denies a pension to production workers hired after October 2007. The new contract actually creates more tiers by introducing a lower wage for workers at certain facilities, temporary workers, workers hired under this contract and by lengthening the time needed to reach top pay to eight years. Skilled trades workers hired after October 2011 still get the same wage but not the same benefits.What has provoked widespread anger is a broken promise to institute a 25 percent cap on the number of “entry level” workers. With 47 percent of FCA production workers being second tier, this cap would have allowed 22 percent of the lower-paid workers to become “traditional” employees. On the front page of the 2011 contract summary, then-UAW Vice President General Holiefield stated that at the end of the contract the cap would kick in.Thousands of workers, now betrayed, have waited four years to move up. International Vice President Norwood Jewell, who sounds like a company spokesperson, claims the language on the cap was never put into the 2011-15 contract and, if the cap was instituted, the company could not raise pay for all second-tier workers. While Jewell “can’t find” the language, rank-and-filers have found it in the 2009 bankruptcy modifications, knowing that if it was not deleted or modified in 2011, it was automatically carried over. Now that path to the top has been choked off, thus institutionalizing a divisive and unequal system that was supposed to be a temporary measure. Few workers are buying the either/or argument that the cap had to be eliminated to get everyone a pay raise — not when FCA made $3.8 billion in profit last year and Marchionne paid himself $72 million.Two-tier — never mind the multiple tiers in this contract — is an affront to union principles and another tool of the bosses to pit workers against one another. This scourge began to appear in the 1980s in the airline and retail industries; now it is widespread. Typically, when a company’s financial performance is weak, two-tier is presented as an alternative to current workers having to take a pay cut.  Thus, to sell a contract with this provision, union leaders have to appeal to bourgeois individualism — to get the workers to put their narrow self-interest above the interest of future workers. In 2007, the contract was almost voted down at Chrysler because of opposition to two-tier. Now two-tier is not a hypothetical situation at FCA.Building a culture of struggle For years we have been working together, side by side, and it is no longer acceptable that some union sisters and brothers are making substantially less than others. The primary contradiction of capitalism, as Karl Marx recognized, is that while ownership of the means of production is individual, production is social. Workers who are not directly affected by two-tier, including skilled tradespeople who voted “no” overwhelmingly, are joining with the second-tier workers in demanding equal pay for equal work. The Detroit Free Press pointed out, “UAW negotiators failed to understand the deep hostility of entry-level workers who, instead of taking a substantial raise, chose to join forces with higher-paid veterans to resoundingly defeat a proposed, four-year deal with Fiat Chrysler.” (Oct. 4) The problem now is not just one of rearranging how the money on the table is spent — Williams has stated he will not take one dollar out of the promised investment — and convincing workers it is a good deal. The bosses and their labor representatives have to deal with an awakened membership that believes union principles of fairness and equality are worth fighting for. This vote represents an unequivocal repudiation of the labor-corporate “partnership” promoted by the UAW leadership. At the opening of negotiations, Williams and Marchionne were caught in a big bear hug. Now the union leaders have two choices: change course or get out of the way. A new leadership on the shop floor is trashing “the culture of poverty” and embracing a culture of struggle.Next: The auto contracts and the fight for jobsGrevatt is a 28-year UAW Chrysler worker who works at Warren Stamping.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Publisher and provincial governor gunned down for criticising blasphemy law

first_img Organisation to go further News Follow the news on Pakistan PakistanAsia – Pacific Salman Taseer, the governor of the northeastern province of Punjab and owner of the English-language Daily Times, Urdu-language Daily Aaj Kal and the TV station B-Plus, was gunned down yesterday in the capital, Islamabad. He was shot by one of his own bodyguards, who reportedly said it was because of the influential editor’s opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy law.After a year in which 11 journalists were killed in Pakistan, more than in any other country, 2011 has begun tragically for the Pakistani media.Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the murder and voices its support for the family and colleagues of the victim, who was regarded as one of the more moderate figures in the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.“The pressure is growing on Pakistani public figures opposed to intolerance,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We call on the authorities to do everything possible to protect journalists and combat impunity. The current climate of violence is unfortunately liable to foster self-censorship within the media.”In other recent case of religious intolerance, Newsweek Pakistan Magazine received serious threats because of its coverage of the Ahmadi religious minority, a taboo subject for Muslim fundamentalists.As a tribute to Taseer’s memory, Reporters Without Borders urges the government to reform the very strict blasphemy law, which often causes problems for journalists. Freedom of expression would benefit if its harshest provisions were amended.Gunned down outside Kohsar Market, near his home, Taseer died shortly after being rushed to a hospital. Interior minister Rehman Malik said his bodyguard surrendered the murder weapon to police and confessed to shooting the governor because he had criticized the blasphemy law. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced three days of national mourning. RSF_en January 28, 2021 Find out more Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire June 2, 2021 Find out more PakistanAsia – Pacific center_img News News Help by sharing this information January 5, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Publisher and provincial governor gunned down for criticising blasphemy law Receive email alerts Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists News Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder April 21, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Region’s draw for luxury weddings on radar for international couples

first_imgLUXURY weddings at venues like the world’s best hotel in Adare Manor will be the focus of a new drive by Fáilte Ireland who is targeting the lucrative overseas market to bring more business to the regions.Engage! Luxury Destination Wedding Summit is being hosted for the first time in Ireland following a successful bid by Adare Manor to showcase the best of Ireland to 250 top international wedding planners, designers and influencers from over 18 countriesSign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Supported by Fáilte Ireland the major industry-led event will focus on driving revenue from this growing market for regions across the country.Led by Adare Manor and Conference Ambassador Tara Fay, the event is responding to research that shows almost 80 per cent of overseas luxury destination weddings are influenced by a wedding planner, and this week’s event will be an opportunity to showcase the country to leading wedding industry buyers from key European, US and emerging markets. Paul Heery, General Manager at Adare Manor said “We are delighted to welcome the Engage! team and delegates to Ireland and Adare Manor. This global industry leading event attracts the best of the best from around the world, who come together to discuss and share innovative ideas. One of the most popular industry events in the global calendar, it allows for open and honest networking in a non-client and non-competitive environment. Careful attention is paid by Engage! to create an intimate atmosphere for every individual attending that blends structure and downtime, and here at Adare Manor, this is what we do best. We take great pride in hosting this international delegation as we believe it is a huge opportunity for Adare Manor, Limerick and Ireland to have this summit here in Adare. The opportunity to showcase what we have to offer for destination weddings and events worldwide is immense”.Sample itineraries and visitor experiences for prospective wedding parties, as well as the region’s attractiveness as a wedding destination through its high-quality food, variety of venues and luxury offerings, and its world-class hospitality and scenery, will all feature in the luxurious week-long showcase.  Linkedin Ann & Steve Talk Stuff | Episode 29 | Levelling Up Exercise With Oxygen Training at Ultimate Health Clinic WhatsApp Adare Manor named 5th World’s Most Romantic Hotel 2021 Print Previous articleWatch: Sanctuary Runners – Limerick people running in solidarityNext articleMinister’s airport strategy flies in the face of regional development Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Twitter NewsBusinessRegion’s draw for luxury weddings on radar for international couplesBy Staff Reporter – October 24, 2018 1742 center_img Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Adare Manor retain the Michelin Star Email Brendan O’Connor announced as new General Manager of Adare Manor Adare Manor named ‘Ireland’s Leading Hotel 2020’ Advertisement TAGSAdare ManorbusinessLimerick CountyNewstourism last_img read more

New search planned for missing NJ 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez

first_imgNew Jersey State Police(BRIDGETON, N.J.) — The family of 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez, who has been missing for more than a month, is planning a “massive search” in Bridgeton, N.J., on Sunday.“We still have hope that we will find her. We will never give up the hope,” Norma Perez Alavez, Dulce’s grandmother, said in Spanish at a press conference Wednesday. Alavez asked for the members of the community to get involved.Jackie Rodriguez, who served as an interpreter for Alavez, said the civilian search will go door-to-door with fliers and check areas “that have not yet been searched.” It was not immediately clear which areas Rodriguez meant.Bridgeton Police Chief Michael Gaimari told ABC News law enforcement had no involvement in Sunday’s efforts.The family plans to pass out fliers of the sketch that authorities recently released of a man who is believe to be a “possible witness.” They hope someone will recognize the man, who was allegedly at the Bridgeton City Park around the time Dulce went missing.The search, which will cover parts of Bridgeton and other nearby cities, begins at 9 a.m. at the park.Dulce has been missing since Sept. 16, and authorities have few answers to countless questions surrounding her disappearance.“We have not given up and remain hopeful that we will determine the circumstances that led to Dulce’s disappearance,” Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said in a statement on Oct. 16.No suspects have been identified.The sketch of the “possible witness” was released last week. The prosecutor’s office said the man in the sketch is someone who they want to speak with, but noted they are not identifying him as a suspect or person of interest.Anyone with information on the man or the case is asked to contact Bridgeton Police Department at 856-451-0033 or anonymously text information to TIP411 with the word “Bridgeton.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Best practice

first_imgPersonnelToday’s monthly series reveals how managers deal with business problems andenhance performance. Inthis issue, Mike Eccles, from Huntsman Tioxide, explains how a stress surveytransformed the company atmosphere, creating a less stressful environment for everyone. HuntsmanTioxide, previously part of ICI, is one of the world’s largest producers oftitanium dioxide pigment, which is used primarily in the production of paintsand plastics. It employs more than 3,000 people worldwide, spans more thanseven countries and has a production capacity of 570,000 tonnes a year.AtTioxide’s central research and development site in Billingham, the health,safety and working environment of employees has always been given highpriority. A small group of staff are qualified in counselling skills andvoluntarily assist colleagues on site by offering the opportunity to discussany issues or concerns in confidence. In 1997 these counsellors (TheCounselling Network) approached the management team with concerns about peoplewho were feeling over-stressed for various reasons. Management agreed thatsomething needed to be done.Severalproblems faced the counsellors: identifying the cause or causes of stress,finding out who was affected and, of course, trying to help. The CounsellingNetwork also knew they should avoid spending a lot of money researching aproblem that might turn out to be affecting only a few people – who might behelped in a different way. Bearingthis in mind, the Network approached the Lancaster Group, which specialises infinding ways of alleviating stress in the workplace. After consultation withthem, the Huntsman counsellors championed the conduct a “stress survey” amongall employees, to assess the extent of the problem accurately. Howwe implemented the changeThesurvey was designed to find out what types of stresses individuals are underand to show which situations create stress and how staff deal with them. Whilethe Lancaster Group prepared the survey, The Counselling Network beganeducating Tioxide staff to ensure they felt confident with the process andtrusted the confidentiality of the results. The management team stepped backfrom the proceedings to avoid the outcome being affected by their intervention.Thecounsellors talked with each team individually, explaining exactly what thesurvey was for, why it was being proposed and how it would work. The investmentin explaining how the survey worked paid off, with an 80 per cent response rateto the survey – one of the highest the Lancaster Group had witnessed. Confidentialitywas maintained throughout the process. Completed questionnaires were analysedby The Lancaster Group before mailing the feedback to individual’s homeaddresses rather than to the company offices. Huntsman Tioxide had access onlyto group and team results which allowed them to identify problem areas and planchanges while retaining the anonymity of the individual.Afterreceiving the feedback from The Lancaster Group there were many implicationsfor the company. If employees did have a problem with stress then Tioxide hadto be prepared to propose a solution. Helpcame in various ways. The Lancaster Group provided everyone with a bookletabout reducing the impact of stress in their lives. Also, consultants wereavailable for anyone whose feedback had shown them to be highly stressed andunable to deal with it. Itwas strongly felt by the counsellors and the management team that there shouldalways be an avenue outside the company for anyone who felt they needed totalk, so employees were encouraged to seek help from whomever they feltcomfortable with.Positiveoutcomes for the businessThemost positive outcome from the survey has been a change of attitude. Employeesnow talk about stress. It has developed from being something that was sufferedin silence to something that can be discussed and solved. Anumber of practical measures have been introduced to help change the workingenvironment. For example, one team has introduced aromatherapy and hasinstalled equipment in the office to try to combat stress, while another teamhas started a lunchtime fitness group, going to the gym to work out any stressor frustrations. Ithas also been acknowledged that, to a large extent, the feeling within a teamis dependent on how it is managed. The company has always encouraged managersto get feedback from their teams and the survey highlighted how important thisis as a tool. As a result, more people have taken the opportunity to learn moreabout their own style as a manager and how they can adapt in order to improvethe atmosphere within their team.Stressis no longer something to be hidden away at Huntsman Tioxide.  By facing up to the problem, talking aboutit and making changes to combat it, workers at Huntsman Tioxide no longer letstress rule their lives. Therehave been several additional surveys at Billingham since 1997, both checking onprogress and extending the depth of the analysis. Other Huntsman Tioxide sitesworldwide are following the initiative with surveys either completed orplanned.  Proofof success is always a challenge but the Billingham Site did its part last yearin delivering the group’s best performance for a very long time. Toptips: Carrying out a stress survey–Try to dissipate any concerns or threats people might feel at first, it is veryimportant to educate people about why the survey is needed. Carefully plannedopen communication is essential.–It is essential to maintain the confidentiality promised, should a rumour beginas a result of the survey no one would ever take part again.–It is important to see it as more than just a survey, the company has got to beprepared to help following the feedback. If stress is an inherent part of thejob, try to educate staff about coping mechanisms which will enable individualsto deal with it.–Ensure you have an independent company such as The Lancaster Group doing thesurvey, this provides great reassurance for everyone, and they have expertsavailable to talk through any problems.Thebest professional network you will ever join. TheBest Practice Club is a professional knowledge network, pooling the ideas andadvice gleaned from a diverse and global membership which spans manufacturingand service industries as well as the public and private sectors. Through acombination of education and shared experience, members are able to identifyand adopt best business practices.Fora full information pack, contact 0800 435399 or visit www.bpclub.comwww.lancastergroup.co.uk Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlecenter_img Comments are closed. Best practiceOn 3 Apr 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Northrop gets $322.5m for AARGM-ER work

first_imgThe US Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $322.5 million contract for the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) program.AARGM-ER program is leveraging the AARGM that is currently in production.The extended range version will be integrated on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft and configured for internal carriage on the F-35 Lightning II.“AARGM-ER extended range coupled with AARGM lethality will meet a critical defense suppression requirement while protecting our strike aviators,” said Cary Ralston, vice president, defense electronic systems, Northrop Grumman.AARGM is an air-launched missile with the capability to rapidly engage air-defense threats. AARGM is currently deployed with the US Navy and U.S. Marine Corps on the F/A-18C/D Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. AARGM is also integrated on the Italian Air Force’s Tornado Electronic Combat aircraft. Photo: Photo: Northrop Grumman View post tag: US Navy View post tag: AARGM-ERcenter_img View post tag: Northrop Grumman Share this articlelast_img read more

New crackdown on drink and drug-fuelled crime

first_imgFreshers are the targets of a new Oxford City Council campaign to crack down on drink and drug-fuelled bad behaviour in the town. Leaflets have been sent to all freshers declaring the penalties for alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour and an advertising campaign on buses and local radio has been launched.The campaign is running in conjunction with Operation Bratwurst, which aims to cut drink-fuelled crime in East Oxford. Police officers and community support officers are on hand at night in East Oxford to inform people about responsible drinking and the dangers of excess.Officers will be visiting pubs and late-night venues and giving advice to staff on how to deal with drug misuse on their premises. A drug dog detection team will also be out in East Oxford for two evenings.The radio campaign, which is launched today, will cover a number of aspects associated with people having a safe night out in Oxford including interviews with the police, drug dog company and A&E staff. There will also be interviews with people who have abused drugs and alcohol.last_img read more

Shoulders Welcomes Selby to Commissioners Race

first_imgBen Shoulders, Democrat candidate for Vanderburgh County Commissioner, District 1, tonight released the following statement regarding the entrance of Sean Selby into the race as the Republican candidate:“I would like to congratulate Sean Selby on winning the Republican Party caucus tonight, and to welcome him to the race for County Commissioner, District 1. In the coming months, I look forward to the opportunity to exchange ideas about how to build an even stronger and more vibrant Vanderburgh County.”FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

New faculty: Bruno Carvalho

first_img New faculty: Lauren Williams Art historian maintains deep connections to landscapes of her youth New faculty: Shawon Kinew New faculty: Robert Reid-Pharr Math professor gives department a dose of algebraic combinatorics Professor sees ‘expansive opportunity’ in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality ‘Open City’ author will urge creative-writing students beyond genre limits center_img New faculty: Teju Cole This article is part of a series introducing new faculty members.Bruno Carvalho has published research on topics ranging from environmental justice and race to city planning and literature. His award-winning “Porous City: A Cultural History of Rio de Janeiro” made the case for his native city as a place of cultural history defined by porous spaces and structural inequalities. Carvalho earned his Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures at The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 2009. He is co-editor of the book series “Lateral Exchanges,” about architecture and urbanism in a global context.Q&ABruno CarvalhoGAZETTE: Can you talk about your research?carvalHo: My research is a bit wide-ranging, but it broadly focuses on cities as lived and imagined spaces, especially in Brazil. I’m beginning work on a cultural history of futures. We can think of much of modernity in terms of competing visions of what the future ought to be like. In contrast, today, with the realities of climate change and labor precarity setting in, it often seems as if a dreadful future is inevitable. In the 1920s, for example, some vied for car-centric and highly segregated cities, others for mixed-race, multicultural utopias. Urban visions have become in many ways more modest and contingent. Contemporary urbanism absorbed important lessons from the failures of top-down, authoritarian, modernist projects, and though that’s of course a good thing, the daunting scale of our challenges demands that we conceive transformations with imagination and ambition.Reflecting on how the future was conceived in the past can help to expand the realm of possibilities. Most of my research brings together perspectives from the social sciences, design, and cultural materials. Art, literature, film, and historical knowledge can all push us to confront entrenched intuitions and stretch the limits of the thinkable. We shouldn’t assume that cities are doomed to the levels of segregation so common in the United States today, nor that this will solve itself. The study of the past can act as an antidote to a type of conformity that our dire problems sometimes produce.A lot of people already get that a certain status quo is untenable, whether it’s fossil-fuel dependency, hyper-concentration of wealth, or the war on drugs. But as I like to remind my students, if the scale of needed changes seem unviable, unforeseen social, political, and technological transformations happen as a norm.I also have a body of research on the 18th-century period, which includes publications on topics like the emergence of anti-black racism in scientific thought, and on how the circulation of French translations of U.S. constitutional documents played a role in failed independence movements in Brazil. The Enlightenment sometimes appears to nonspecialists as this pivotal, but sort of flattened phenomenon — in some circles tied to progress and freedom, in others to Eurocentrism and exploitation. Rethinking the Enlightenment from the perspective of Brazil helps to foreground some of its tensions and contradictions, and allows us to trace the formation of modern ideas about sovereignty and individual liberty, as well as about race and white supremacy, cities as harbingers of civilization, and nature as a resource rather than something to which we belong.GAZETTE: Last fall, you taught a seminar called “Writing and Urban Life”; this spring you’ll teach a graduate seminar called “Imagine Futures,” and you have a Gen Ed course debuting in two years. What are they about?carvalHo: The fall seminar was a great welcome to Harvard. It brought together a wonderful group of graduate and undergraduate students. Writing and urbanization have entangled histories, and have become central to the very ways in which we constitute subjecthood in the modern world. Both are relatively recent developments in our history as a species. We discussed some very large questions and reviewed canonical debates, but we also concentrated on a set of authors from the past century or so, mostly from Brazil, who in various ways push us to “denaturalize” a lot of what we tend to take for granted about urban life. Much of the writing we analyzed is attuned to the strangeness in familiar modes of being, as well as to the perils, promises, and potentials of this massive experiment in which urbanites are now engaged: living closely in density among strangers. That’s just not how most humans before us did it.This spring’s seminar will look at how past ideas of what the future should look like have helped to shape cities in all sorts of material ways — say, for example, associations between order and progress with geometric patterns like the grid. We’ll also try to recover ideas that largely lost out but can resonate today, such as challenges to human exceptionalism that contemplate the place of other life forms in the worlds we’ve built. We will discuss how in the history of planning, the unplanned and even the improbable happen often, and how the future is, by definition, out of reach and, therefore, always in a way imagined. We will focus on Brazil, the country; like the Americas as a whole, it’s a fertile space to generate these reflections because so many futures were projected on it throughout colonial and modern history. Brazil has been alternatively conceived as Edenic and dystopian. We’ll focus on historical turning points in urbanization and culture and try to understand their specificities, but we won’t lose sight of our current predicaments. After all, our collective planetary futures are very much at stake in regions like the Amazon, which is now a contested site for different visions of what the world ought to be like.Next academic year when Neil Brenner, professor of urban theory at GSD, is back from sabbatical, we will co-teach a Gen Ed course called “Living in an Urban Planet.” So even though it’s already a cliché to say that more than half of the world population lives in cities, we actually tend to underestimate how much of the planet urbanization encompasses. If we think of energy systems and refuse, for example, or even the circulation of urban cultural production, where do our cities end? In this course we will discuss urban transformations at various scales, from the planetary to the sidewalk. It’s been stimulating to work with Neil on this. We share a number of interests, and tend to approach related questions in very different but complementary ways.Gazette: You are leading an effort to create a secondary field in urban studies, something you were involved in at Princeton. Is it meant to be a cross-disciplinary effort, and what kinds of conversations do you hope will come from it?carvalHo: My dream is to build a program in urban studies like our cities at their best: places of intellectual exploration, encounters with difference, lively exchanges. Urban experiences, much like a liberal arts education, can expose us to multiple ways of being and belonging in the world. They can move us to step outside of ourselves, to inhabit multiple perspectives, to exceed our assigned roles. Because there are already so many wonderful urban-related courses, and because there is no formal urban studies curriculum outside of the professional schools, we have the opportunity to build something really special. An urban studies curriculum can bring together students and faculty with mutual interests, but whose paths might not cross otherwise. At Princeton, we built a thriving program, and saw how it had transformative potential, especially for undergrads. Urban studies can introduce students to very basic facts about the world around them that they might not otherwise learn, like the role of segregatory housing in the U.S. wealth gap. It can introduce issues like inequality in resonant ways. Urban studies presents opportunities for poets and engineers to discuss different standards for value, or for anthropologists and computer scientists to rigorously debate the blind spots and uses of big data or GIS.An institutional space around the urban could help us to break down siloes, building links across disciplinary and geographic boundaries. Neil, Eve Blau (GSD), and I are working with several colleagues on addressing some of these issues by reviving the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative, which Eve and Julie Buckler, Samuel Hazzard Cross Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature, created as part of a grant funded by the Mellon Foundation.GAZETTE: There has been so much challenging news coming out of Brazil, from the devastating National Museum fire to the recent presidential election. What are your thoughts about the cultural future of your homeland?carvalHo: Brazil’s cultural landscapes are full of dynamism and utopian yearnings that have worked to destabilize structures of inequality, broadening the horizons of possibility. As elsewhere, we have recently seen extremist political movements take advantage of a very understandable sense of disillusionment and frustrations with futures that never arrived. Early in Brazil’s election, when not many expected surprises, I wrote a long essay on the appeal of politicians positioning themselves as anti-establishment, promising a return to a fantasy-based past, and of groups that have turned digital tools like YouTube and WhatsApp into engines for far-right radicalization and for the spread of misinformation. I think we cannot underestimate the grave threats to the environment, to a free press, to research and education and to vulnerable populations in Brazil, including indigenous groups. But there are many people fighting for democracy too.The least important thing is setting ourselves up to say “I told you so.” We have to continue standing up for evidence-based approaches to our problems, but that won’t be enough. We also need to nurture alternative, inclusive visions for the future. One person who did that brilliantly was Marielle Franco, a young, Afro-Brazilian native of a Rio de Janeiro favela who was elected to the city council and was assassinated last year. Sidney Chalhoub (professor of history and African and African American studies) and I are planning an event here at Harvard with feminist leaders and former colleagues to celebrate her legacy. We do not yet know for certain who was behind her murder, but we know that the last electoral cycle empowered some individuals who mocked or made light of her death.There are also renewed threats to the Amazon in growing deforestation and attacks on indigenous people. Brian Farrell, director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Monique and Philip Lehner Professor for the Study of Latin America, and professor of biology; postdoc Bruno de Medeiros; and I are collaborating on a conference called “Amazonia and Our Planetary Futures.” We are assembling specialists from government, the private sector (including biodiversity economies), scientists, and indigenous leaders. It’s all hands on deck to avert catastrophe and create better futures! Along with building on his own work, sociologist hopes to ‘nurture and inspire’ young researchers Related New faculty: Ellis Monklast_img read more

Nonprofit in alleged $60M bribery scheme to plead guilty

first_imgCLEVELAND (AP) — A plea agreement for the nonprofit used to funnel payments for an alleged Ohio bribery scheme has been filed in federal court in Cincinnati. The agreement filed Friday shows that Generation Now Inc. has agreed to plead guilty to a racketeering count, allow the seizure of nearly $1.5 million from two bank accounts and accept a sentence of five years’ probation. Authorities say former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others also indicted on racketeering charges used Generation Now as a conduit for FirstEnergy Corp. to secretly fund a $60 million bribery scheme.last_img read more