The Shift: Work

07/13 Tuesday | 12pm

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NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge, Civic Signals, The Social Science Research Council, and The Knight Foundation invite you to a discussion on Work in the series on “The Shift,” featuring Ana Oliveira, David Grazian, Lisa Cholmondeley, moderated by Melissa Fisher.

“The Shift” explores the social implications of the current shift of public life to digital space in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each episode focuses on one big theme teasing out bigger issues and questions. It features researchers, practitioners, thought leaders, and activists in conversation who observe and comment on this process of shifting.

This fifth episode on “Work” will focus on how COVID-19 has shifted the structure, meaning, and places of work. It will explore the ways the pandemic has accelerated inequalities in the workplace, including class, racial, gender, and digital divides such as those between frontline and office workers, working parents and individuals without family obligations, and others. Panelists will offer their insights on how to create material and digital workspaces that reflect values of anti-racism, gender equity, and social justice.

The conversation will be illustrated live by Rosa Colón Guerra.

Ana L. Oliveira has been a voice and a force for change in improving the lives of those people in the greatest need for more than 30 years. As President and CEO, she leads the New York Women’s Foundation mission to create an equitable and just future for women and families. The Foundation achieves its goal by uniting cross-cultural and community alliances that ignite action through innovative and bold justice-oriented solutions. Oliveira has increased The Foundation’s annual grantmaking from $1.7M to more than $8M today. Under Oliveira’s leadership, The Foundation has been a pioneer in igniting many cultural justice movements of today, including Me Too, the closing of Rikers Island, and the NYC Fund for Girls and Young Women of Color. She has also led critical cross-sectoral partnerships to advance women’s rights. Prior to The Foundation, Oliveira’s career focused on issues surrounding substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, and incarceration. She served as Executive Director of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) and she previously led and directed innovative community-based programs at Samaritan Village and the Osborne Association. Oliveira attained her M.A. in Medical Anthropology and a Ph.D. (hon) from the New School for Social Research. She was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and resides in New York.

David Grazian is a Professor of Sociology and Communication and Faculty Director of the Urban Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Grazian is also currently a visiting scholar at New York University’s Institute for Public Knowledge. Grazian received his B.A. from Rutgers University in 1994, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2000. He teaches courses on popular culture, mass media and the arts; cities and urban sociology; classical sociological theory; and ethnographic methods. In his research he employs a variety of ethnographic and other qualitative methods to study the production and consumption of commercial entertainment in the urban milieu. He is the author of four books: Blue Chicago: The Search for Authenticity in Urban Blues Clubs (Univ. Chicago Press, 2003), On the Make: The Hustle of Urban Nightlife (Univ. Chicago Press, 2008), Mix It Up: Popular Culture, Mass Media, and Society (W.W. Norton, 2010; 2017), and American Zoo: A Sociological Safari (Princeton Univ. Press, 2015). He is currently writing a book on nonstandard urban workspaces in the new economy for the University of Chicago Press.

Lisa Cholmondeley is committed to the idea that design happens at all stages of a project. As a Principal in our San Francisco office, Lisa is passionate about space and design, and is motivated by the challenges of making ideas reality. She has been a key member in the delivery of several large, complex, mixed-use developments in the Middle East. A trained architect, Lisa has spent almost half of her career working on interiors, and strongly advocates for the development of spaces that have a shared story between the exterior and interior experience. Prior to joining the San Francisco office, Lisa’s career at Gensler included experience in London, Doha, and Abu Dhabi. She has taught architectural design at both Howard University and the University of Tennessee. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University, and a Master of Arts degree in History and Theory of Architecture from The Architectural Association.

Melissa Fisher, a cultural anthropologist, is a Visiting Scholar at New York University’s Institute for Public Knowledge, an Associate Researcher in the Global Foresight Project based out of Stockholm University’s Department of Anthropology,  a Distinguished Principal Research Fellow at the Conference Board in NYC, and an Adjunct Professor in Public and International Affairs at Columbia University. Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia, Melissa was the Laurits Andersen Professor in Business and Organizational Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. Melissa’s expertise lies in organizational studies, with a focus on globalization, socio-cultural practices, gender, technology, and work. Her first book, a co-edited volume, Frontiers of Capital: Ethnographic Reflections on the New Economy (Duke University Press, 2006) explored how cultural practices and social relations were altered by radical economic and technological innovations during the turn of the new millennium. Wall Street Women (Duke University Press, 2012), her second book, examines the first generation of women in finance and the making of market feminisms. She is currently working on a book on the future of work in the age of pandemics. Melissa sits on a number of advisory bodies, including the Women’s Leadership Council at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Social Difference, and is a US Delegate to the Women’s 20, the policy group that advises the G20 on gender issues. She earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Columbia University and her B.A. in English at Barnard College.


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