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Gleeson Named an Access to Justice Scholar

Head shot of Associate Professor Shannon Gleeson

Professor Shannon Gleeson is one of seven professors nationally named to the Access to Justice Scholars Program 2021-22 cohort.

The American Bar Foundation and the JPB Foundation sponsor the program to support faculty research, provide mentorship and build intellectual relationships to improve access to justice and to combat poverty.

With support from Cornell University, the Russell Sage Foundation and the American Bar Foundation, Gleeson will work with ILR School colleagues Kate Griffith, the Jean McKelvey-Alice Grant Professor, and Patricia Campos-Medina, executive director of The Worker Institute, to research the impact of immigration status on worker precarity, especially in the era of the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racial inequality.

Drawing on over 280 interviews with Central American and Haitian migrants in the New York City region, they will examine how immigration status intersects with race, gender, national origin and the local political context in ways that shape worker outcomes and mobilization.

“This research is a critical shift away from studying immigration status in isolation as a binary variable. It instead considers the impact of immigration status in the contextual reality low-wage workers face,” Gleeson said.

Alex Colvin, Ph.D. ’99, the Kenneth F. Kahn ’69 Dean and the Martin F. Scheinman ’75, MS ’76, Professor of Conflict Resolution, said, “In addition to recognizing Shannon’s status as a leading national scholar studying the issue of immigration, support from the Access to Justice Scholars Program will help further this important research project focusing on the impact of immigration status on workers.”

Gleeson is a full professor and incoming chair of ILR’s Labor Relations, Law, & History Department. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from the University of California, Berkeley. Before starting at ILR, she was on the faculty of the Latin American & Latino Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Her books include Accountability across Borders: Migrant Rights in North America (University of Texas Press, 2019, edited with Xóchitl Bada), Building Citizenship From Below: Precarity, Migration, and Agency (Routledge, 2017, edited with Marcel Paret), Precarious Claims: The Promise and Failure of Workplace Protections in the United States (University of California Press, 2016), The Nation and Its Peoples: Citizens, Denizens, Migrants (Routledge, 2014, edited with John Park), and Conflicting Commitments: The Politics of Enforcing Immigrant Worker Rights in San Jose and Houston (Cornell University Press, 2012).

Gleeson’s ongoing National Science Foundation-funded research with Els de Graauw examines the local implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The Access to Justice Scholars Program is funded by two foundations. The American Bar Foundation is a Chicago-based, independent, non-profit research institute that focuses on the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law, legal institutions and legal processes. The JPB Foundation is a private foundation whose mission is to advance opportunity in the United States through transformational initiatives that empower those living in poverty, enrich and sustain the environment, and enable pioneering medical research.

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