Raquel Gonoretzky

Summer 2014

Year: ILR '15

Cornell Activities/Groups/Affiliations/Leadership Roles:

  • Co-External Relations Coordinator & Co-Administrative Assistant | Ordinary People Social Justice and Peer Education Theater Troupe
  • Logistics Coordinator | Tapestry of Possibilities: Diversity at Cornell
  • Member | Early College Awareness - Cornell K-12 Outreach
  • Ambassador (Current), Vice President (Past) | ALANA Intercultural Programming Board

Discrimination In The Restaurant Industry, a project affiliated with the Worker Institute

Describe your research project: The Worker Institute partnered up with Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC) to on two different projects focused on discovering the nature of discrimination in the restaurant industry. One project was to read through and analyze interviews conducted by ROC in three major cities: Detroit, Chicago, and New Orleans. goal of this project was to gain a better understanding of race and gender discrimination found in restaurants in those cities. The second project was two-pronged and focused on sexual harassment in restaurants. One part of this project was to conduct research on current EEOC cases regarding sexual harassment in the restaurant industry, while the second part consisted of assisting ROC with their sexual harassment survey, which was distributed nationwide.

What have you gotten out of the experience so far? In addition to improving my researching and critical-thinking skills, working on this project has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge on such a widespread issue. Prior to coming on-board, I was unaware of just how serious the issue of discrimination in the restaurant industry is. Not only do certain behaviors get passed off as being merely "part of the environment," many workplace practices (both intentional and unintentional) disproportionately affect minorities. I hope to use my experience to effectively raise awareness on this topic. Considering the fact that this industry is one of the largest in the United States, it is crucial to address the issue in order to start combating the discrimination.

What kind of student might be interested in a research fellowship at the Worker Institute? Any student with an interest in workplace issues will benefit from participating in a research fellowship at the Worker Institute. There are a variety of projects to work on that go far beyond the usual realm of traditional "workplace issues" that come to mind. A student with the ability to work independently and with a desire to contribute to meaningful research with a positive impact should definitely apply!