Skip to main content
Cornell University mobile logo

Worker Institute Blog

Worker with a mask in a restaurant
The Worker Institute brings together researchers, educators and students with practitioners in labor, business and policymaking to address issues related to confronting systemic inequality and building a fair economy, robust democracy and just society. We will share opinion, analysis, research, data, insights and training from our faculty and staff.

New Year Message from Risa L. Lieberwitz, Academic Director, The Worker Institute

Risa Lieberwitz Professor of Labor and Employment Law Chair, Department of Labor Relations, Law, & History

Dear Worker Institute Friends and Colleagues,

As we begin the new year, I am honored to greet you as the new Academic Director of The Worker Institute. This year marks an important moment for The Worker Institute -- the 10th anniversary since the launch of The Worker Institute in 2012! It is a good moment to celebrate how much the Worker Institute has achieved in the past decade and to look forward to continued accomplishments in the coming years. 

Since its founding, the Worker Institute has stayed true to its mission to promote innovative analysis and responses on contemporary labor issues. Through its research, policy, and educational initiatives, the Worker Institute has addressed key labor issues of our times – expanding collective rights for all workers through unions and worker centers; placing class, gender and racial equity at the center of labor organizing; engaging in dynamic education and training for current and future labor leaders; and responding to the climate crisis through innovative policy measures that include high-wage union jobs that sustain family and communities.

During the difficult years of the pandemic, The Worker Institute has maintained its active agenda, with broad press coverage for recent hard-hitting applied research reports. These include “Essential but Unprotected: App-based Food Couriers in New York City,” examining app-based delivery workers’ harsh working conditions, which worsened during the pandemic; "Sweeping Change,” documenting an innovative model for confronting workplace sexual harassment in the California janitorial industry; and “Combatting Climate Change, Reversing Inequality: A Climate Jobs Program for Texas.”

I am fortunate to be stepping into the Academic Director role at a time when the Worker Institute's programs are so vibrant and exciting. This is due to the extraordinary work of the entire Worker Institute team and to the inspiring leadership over these ten years – most recently by my predecessor, Professor Ileen DeVault as Academic Director, and by current Executive Director Patricia Campos-Medina. 

Thank you for your support of The Worker Institute! It is an honor to join the team and I look forward to our work together.

In solidarity,

Risa L. Lieberwitz, Academic Director, The Worker Institute


Subscribe to Email Updates