Page: About the Project
What's the project about?
In the winter of 2002, I left college to research
the college "living wage" movement. I had followed the
drama of the campaign at Harvard University through the pages of
the New York Times, and wanted to find out more.
The "Campus Living Wage Project" is the
result of that research. It's a collection of interviews with students
and other activists about the living wage campaigns and their experiences
organizing on campus.
What's a living wage campaign?
A "living wage" is generally
defined as the minimum wage to support a family above the poverty
line, and varies by area. Campus campaigns usually lobby universities
to establish a minimum wage for all university workers at a level
above the state minimum wage. (See EPI's useful living
wage fact sheet for more information.)
But campus living wage campaigns are usually about
much more than a living wage policy. They are attempts to reinvigorate
employee unions, to protect workers' rights, and to stem university
policies that hurt employees' legal and economic power. They are
also the convergence point of enormous differences within the university
"community." Campaigns bring together the afluent and
the working poor, the educated and the uneducated, and the advantaged
and disadvantaged. Campus living wage campaigns tell a story about
how very different people worked together (sometimes successfully,
sometimes not) for a common goal.
About Me: information
about me and my interest in the campus living wage.
Contributing to the Project:
if you're interested in being interviewed or posting your experiences
in activism and organizing around student-labor or related issues,
contact me here.
Interview and Edit Process:
details on the interviewing and editing process. Important to read
if you are interested in using the interviews here in an academic