Fighting Inequality: Class, Race, and Power is a joint conference of the Labor and Working-Class History Association and the Working-Class Studies Association, hosted by Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. The conference will be held from May 28-31, 2015, at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Conference Sponsors

The Labor and Working-Class History Association is an organization of historians, labor educators, and working-class activists who seek to promote public and scholarly awareness of labor and working-class history through research, writing, and organizing.

The Working-Class Studies Association supports and promotes interdisciplinary and activist projects focused on working-class lives and culture. The WCSA publishes a semi-annual newsletter, holds annual conferences, sponsors an awards competition, and provides online resources.

Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor develops creative strategies and innovative public policy to improve workers’ lives in a changing economy. The Initiative draws on Georgetown’s distinctive identityits commitment to intellectual excellence, grounding in the Catholic and Jesuit traditions, history of inter-religious cooperation, global reach, and prominence as an arena of policy debate in the nation’s capitalto advance prosperity, broadly-shared economic justice, and respect for the dignity of labor.

The Center for Working-Class Studies at Youngstown State University was the first academic program in the U.S. to focus on issues of work and class. The Legacy Fund was established to perpetuate the work of the center after its closing in 2012.


Welcome to Georgetown! This year’s Fighting Inequality conference represents an important collaboration between two organizations with overlapping interests, the Labor and Working-Class History Association and the Working-Class Studies Association. By joining forces, we will bring together over 400 speakers and participants for four days of discussion of class, labor, and inequality in the U.S. and around the globe. We have participants from a variety of disciplines, perspectives, and places. We hope the diversity of this gathering will foster conversations that take us beyond our established circles and familiar concerns, generating new ideas and new relationships through which we can all continue to fight against inequality and for justice.

Many people helped make this conference possible, starting with the members of the Program Committee and the Local Arrangements Committee. They helped to frame the conference theme, plan plenaries, review proposals, organize sessions, and plan special events. We thank them for their contributions to making this conference a reality. A few individuals deserve special thanks, however. Vail Kohnert-Yount, Program Manager at the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, and Jessica Chilin-Hernández, the KI’s Administrator, handled most of the online and on-the-ground arrangements for the conference, from setting up the online tool for managing submissions and registration to ordering food and arranging for dorm rooms. This conference simply would not have happened without them.

Most important, we thank you for joining us for Fighting Inequality. You are the ones who will, in the end, make this conference tick.

In solidarity,

Sherry Linkon and Joseph McCartin
Conference Co-Chairs