Over the past 50 years, the demographics of the U.S. labor force have changed significantly, with dramatic increases in the number of women and people of color. The racial and gender composition of national union leadership, however, continues to lag behind the demographics of the workforce. The academic field of Labor Studies reflects a similar imbalance in the ratio of students to faculty and administrators, where women and people of color are considerably underrepresented.
In supporting women and students of color, the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor program seeks to make a significant contribution toward redressing existing imbalances in these fields. Each year since 2013, the City University of New York has supported the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor program by providing an annual challenge-grant. In combination with outside donations, this financial commitment provides scholarships to students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. The scholarship is named after Joseph S. Murphy, a former Chancellor of the City University of New York and a pioneer in supporting Labor Studies at the University.