Publicly-funded labor-activism in Ohio

The Center for Working-Class Studies (CWCS) at Youngstown State University (YSU) was the first academic program in the U.S. to focus on issues of work and class. CWCS members have been at the forefront of "new working-class studies," an international movement that brings together academics, artists, activists, students, and others who are interested in the history, experiences, stories, and politics of the working class.

Started in 1996, the CWCS is housed in YSU’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and closely affiliated with the American Studies Program. The Center offers courses in American Studies, English, History, and Labor Studies, including a four-course graduate certificate and a focus area within the American Studies MA program. Along with two co-directors, Sherry Linkon and John Russo, the Center has twelve faculty affiliates, eight community affiliates, and a full-time administrative assistant, Patty LaPresta. Located in Smith Hall, the CWCS has offices, an art gallery, a library, a classroom, and a computer lab.

Our Mission: To increase awareness of and respect for working-class life and culture through education, the arts, media, and research

Our Goals:

* Provide models and resources for teaching about working-class life and culture in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and community settings

* Promote awareness of and appreciation for writing, art, and other creative expressions of working-class experience

* Advocate for public policies that serve the interests of working-class people

* Support research that critically and respectfully analyzes the experiences, conditions, and needs of the global working class


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