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Lois

Lois Gray Innovation Initiative

 

The Lois Gray Labor Innovation Initiative will hold a day-long symposium and awards ceremony. This event will foster a dynamic dialogue around innovation in the labor movement, recognize and honor individuals and organizations that are demonstrating innovation, and raise funds to grow Lois’ endowment to The Worker Institute.

 

Our Commitment to Lois’ Vision

Lois with Lillian Robers
Lillian Roberts and Lois Gray. Lillian Roberts served as the first woman African-American Associate Director of District Council 37, Commissioner  of the New York State Department of Labor and eventually before her retirement, Executive Director of District Council 37, AFSCME.

Lois Gray was a pioneer in the field of labor education. She had a vision for raising up the collective voice of working people. In 2012, Lois helped establish The Worker Institute at Cornell ILR. The Worker Institute engages in research and education on contemporary labor issues. Lois saw the institute as a place to generate innovative thinking and solutions to problems related to work, economy, and society.

Before her passing in 2018, Lois created the Lois Gray Fund for Innovation with a personal, million-dollar gift. Lois recognized the vital role The Worker Institute plays in creating a unique space for labor leaders to learn, explore, examine and experiment.

The Worker Institute is deeply honored and appreciative of Lois’ gift, and we are incredibly thankful for the opportunity she has given us to continue her legacy. Using Lois’ gift, we will be launching the Lois Gray Labor Innovation Initiative in 2020.

In consultation with Lois’ family, the Worker Institute Advisory Council and other key stakeholders and partners, we will develop a comprehensive program for the initiative. This program will include public events, training workshops, research, and outreach. The Initiative's goal is to bring together labor leaders, union members, scholars and other allies to advance innovative ideas for protecting and expanding workers' rights.

The Lois Gray Labor Innovation Initiative will hold a day-long symposium and awards ceremony. This event will foster a dynamic dialogue around innovation in the labor movement, recognize and honor individuals and organizations that are demonstrating innovation, and raise funds to grow Lois’ endowment to The Worker Institute.

Lois Spier Gray, 1923 - 2018

The Worker Institute mourns the passing of a champion of workers' rights.
Lois Gray
Lois Spier Gray, 1923 - 2018

Distinguished Labor Educator Lois Gray Establishes Fund to Support The Worker Institute

Professor Lois S. Gray, founding director of the ILR’s first Extension office, establishes fund and donates $1 million to support The Worker Institute
Former ILR Dean Harry Katz and former Associate Dean Lois Gray
Distinguished Labor Educator Lois Gray Establishes Fund to Support The Worker Institute

Union Women’s Summer School Celebrates 40th Anniversary

The Worker Institute celebrates UALE Northeast Union Women’s School’s forty-year legacy of empowering women in the labor movement
Union Women’s Summer School Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Events

Closing Plenary: Labor in the 21st Century National Conference

The closing plenary’s three featured speakers -- Ariel Avgar, Erica Smiley, and Elizabeth Shuler -- discussed the future of the Labor Movement and the role of ILR, activists, and unions in it.
Worker with a mask in a restaurant
Closing Plenary: Labor in the 21st Century National Conference

Worker Institute hosts National Virtual Conference on Labor in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities

On March 26, 2021, the ILR school celebrated its 75th anniversary by hosting a National Virtual Conference on Labor in the 21st Century Challenges and Opportunities: A Worker-Centered Economic Recovery, A Changing Legal and Regulatory Environment, A Contested Political Terrain.
Package Delivery Worker
Worker Institute hosts National Virtual Conference on Labor in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities

A Changing Legal and Regulatory Environment: Labor in the 21st Century National Conference

This breakout session of the Labor in the 21st century discussed some of the most pressing legislative and regulatory issues for workers and their organizations. It explores current challenges and opportunities for reform.
Book and scales
A Changing Legal and Regulatory Environment: Labor in the 21st Century National Conference

Contact

For more information or help with a gift to the Lois Gray Fund for Innovation, please contact:

Patricia Campos-Medina, Executive Director
The Worker Institute, Cornell ILR
570 Lexington Ave, 12th Floor
New York, NY, 10022
pec1@cornell.edu

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