The Case for the Maximum Wage

For classist put-downs, a maximum wage just may be the ultimate antidote. How raw can class contempt get? Take a look at the venom that oozed out earlier this spring from Ronald Havner, the CEO of Public Storage, America’s biggest self-storage company. This year, for the first time ever, enterprises like Public Storage have had to publicly disclose the ratio between what they pay their CEOs and what they pay their workers. Public Storage’s disclosure revealed that Havner grabbed $10.5 million last year, a whopping 439 times the $23,921 his company’s median – most typical – worker took home. A... Read More

Breaking the Silence about Class in One Liberal Denomination

In 2012, I was lucky enough to attend a remarkable weekend-long Class Action Train-the-Trainers mega-workshop. I did not attend to learn techniques to raise awareness about class and classism but instead to improve my skills as a trainer on the topic of communications and marketing. While the focus of the Class Action workshop was, of course, on social class issues, I had been told by other trainers that the weekend session was also a way to incorporate popular education techniques into my workshops. Little did I know when I signed up for the training that it would inspire me to not only provide facilitation... Read More

The Prosperity Gospel and Classism

As a Christian and a formerly homeless person, I have seen how classism seems to run rampant in American Christianity. This is especially evident in what is often called the Prosperity Gospel. The Prosperity Gospel, in short, is a particularly inviting deception that equates spiritual blessings with material success. Of course, it is entirely conceivable that once a person decides to live according to spiritual wisdom rather than careless foolishness, one might find oneself advancing in material gain. If someone, for example, has been blowing their money on drugs, hookers and other forms of escape, the person would naturally notice... Read More

A Total Commitment to First Gen Students

Instead of a program located in one department, Mount Holyoke provides a dynamic, collaborative initiative focused on ensuring that the august institution is meeting the particular needs of first gen students. According to Latrina Denson, associate dean of students for community and inclusion at the college, the collaborative, the First Gen Network, is comprised of administrators, faculty and staff who come together to ensure that first gens can successfully navigate the various components of college life that could pose challenges. They connect regularly with the college’s First Gen Low-Income Partnership, or FLIP, a student organization for first generation and low-income students that helps students find... Read More

B1GS: First Gen College Students

I am a sophomore at Rutgers University-Camden, studying psychology with a minor in childhood studies and social work. I am also – with great pride – a first generation college student. I aspire to become a child psychologist. During the spring semester of my freshman year, I had the opportunity to attend the Class Action First Gen Summit with six other classmates. This experience was welcoming, influencing and uplifting. It wasn’t until this summit that I truly looked at myself and acknowledged what I have accomplished. At the summit, I learned that my identity as a first gen student was... Read More

Feel the FLoW

Throughout my first years of college, I couldn’t help but notice I was different than my peers. I couldn’t tell exactly what it was, but it was a constant feeling of separation. As I tried to explain this sensation to my friends, it became obvious that nobody else could feel this difference but me. It was an invisible, omnipresent reminder that I didn’t belong. I walked around campus feeling inferior, doubting my own academic abilities, and contemplating whether college was the best option for me. It wasn’t until I took my first sociology class that I obtained the tools necessary... Read More

Roseanne and the Changing Working-Class

When ABC’s Roseanne premiered in 1988, it arrived in the era of Reaganomics with policies that stripped power from unions, sent blue collar jobs overseas and flattened wages throughout the Rust Belt.[1] Roseanne Barr, creator and star, argued the show intended to “speak directly to working-class viewers in an active feminist voice over the people’s airwaves about the true nature of Reaganomics on their lives.”[2] For nine years, audiences watched as the Conner family scrapped to get by in a world that never let them get ahead. Only in the final season, when Roseanne wins the lottery, do the Conners experience... Read More

Roseanne: A Working-Class (S)hero Returns

The Roseanne reboot promises to tackle love and politics. Pack your bags and hit the road, folks. On  March 27th we’re going back to Lanford. The return of the hit 80s/90s sitcom Roseanne is the latest in a wave of nostalgic revivals hoping to recapture our hearts. And while other reboots have stirred up controversy, few have been as hotly anticipated – and debated – quite like Roseanne has. Here’s what we know: 20 years have passed since we last saw Dan, Roseanne and their blue-collar brood. Dan is alive. Jackie is a Nasty Woman. The kids now have kids... Read More