Other Group

International Comparative Labor Studies

Website:

morehouse.edu/academics/programs/international-comparative-labor-studies/about/

Location:

Atlanta, GA

Type:

College Academic Program

Founded:

2017

International Comparative Labor Studies (ICLS) is an academic program at Morehouse College, a private historically Black all-men’s college in Atlanta, Georgia. The ICLS program trains and promotes Black activists within the labor movement to advance left-of-center economic, social, and environmentalist causes. Morehouse College claims to be “uniquely situated” to offer such a program, citing its “global reputation” for producing left-progressive activists. [1]

Background and Curriculum

The senior seminar for the ICLS program is titled “Martin Luther King and Racial Capitalism.” The seminar promotes the claim that capitalism and racism have been connected throughout history. The seminar description also claims that the increased popularity of “democratic socialism” among young people “should come as no surprise,” and favorably portrays proponents of the ideology. [2]

During civil unrest after the death of George Floyd in 2020, Morehouse College endorsed a statement by one of its faculty members, David Wall Rice, who called on protesters and rioters to “rage on.” [3] In addition, David A. Thomas, the president of Morehouse, published an op-ed in the Washington Post offering “advice” to the protesters and rioters. Thomas also endorsed the left-wing Black Lives Matter movement. [4]

In 2021, Morehouse College received a $1.5 million grant from the Ford Foundation to support the ICLS program. The foundation also gave the college $375,000 to support one of its race-based entrepreneurship programs. [5]

Faculty

Cynthia Lucas Hewitt is an associate professor of sociology. In addition to her involvement with the International Comparative Labor Studies program, she is a member of the college’s African American Studies program faculty. Hewitt’s academic work promotes left-progressive perspectives on economics, race, gender, and the environment. [6]

Kipton E. Jensen is an associate professor of philosophy and religion. Before coming to Morehouse, he taught in Germany and Botswana. In his work, Jensen refers to Black radical leaders such as Malcolm X and Angela Davis as “social philosophers,” placing them alongside more mainstream black political figures such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Martin Luther King, Jr. [7]

Stephane Dunn is the director of the Cinema, Television, and Emerging Media Studies program. In 2008, she published a book on black film actors titled Baad [sic] Bitches and Sassy Supermamas. She has also written several plays with figuratively R-rated titles. [8]

Haile Laredo is an associate professor of history. His academic work focuses on Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, particularly in connection with Italian colonization of the region during the interwar period of the 20th century. [9]

Marc Bayard is a consultant with the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-of-center think tank based in Washington, D.C. that endorses environmentalist policy agendas such as the Green New Deal while opposing nuclear energy. He also spent eight years as the Africa regional program director for the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, a project of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of labor unions. [10]

References

  1. “International Comparative Labor Studies.” Morehouse College. Accessed November 13, 2021. https://morehouse.edu/academics/programs/international-comparative-labor-studies/ ^
  2. “About International Comparative Labor Studies.” Morehouse College. Accessed November 13, 2021. https://morehouse.edu/academics/programs/international-comparative-labor-studies/about/ ^
  3. Morehouse College. Twitter. June 4, 2020. Accessed November 13, 2021. https://twitter.com/morehouse/status/1268567107765231616?lang=en ^
  4. David A. Thomas. “I’m president of Morehouse College. Here’s my advice to protesters.” The Washington Post. June 22, 2020. Accessed November 13, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/22/im-president-morehouse-college-heres-my-advice-protesters/ ^
  5. “Grants Database.” Ford Foundation. Accessed November 13, 2021. https://www.fordfoundation.org/work/our-grants/grants-database/grants-all?search=%26SearchText%3Dmorehouse&page=0&minamount=0&maxamount=30000000&subjects=%26SubjectIds%3D5 ^
  6. “International Comparative Labor Studies – Staff.” Morehouse College. Accessed November 13, 2021. https://morehouse.edu/academics/programs/international-comparative-labor-studies/staff/ ^
  7. “International Comparative Labor Studies – Staff.” Morehouse College. Accessed November 13, 2021. https://morehouse.edu/academics/programs/international-comparative-labor-studies/staff/ ^
  8. “International Comparative Labor Studies – Staff.” Morehouse College. Accessed November 13, 2021. https://morehouse.edu/academics/programs/international-comparative-labor-studies/staff/ ^
  9. “International Comparative Labor Studies – Staff.” Morehouse College. Accessed November 13, 2021. https://morehouse.edu/academics/programs/international-comparative-labor-studies/staff/ ^
  10. “International Comparative Labor Studies – Staff.” Morehouse College. Accessed November 13, 2021. https://morehouse.edu/academics/programs/international-comparative-labor-studies/staff/ ^
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International Comparative Labor Studies

830 Westview Drive, SW
Atlanta, GA