Call for Participation - Constructing the New Social Compact: A Public Forum on Empowering the Post-Pandemic Working Class

The FES DC is proud to partner with the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University to convene a major public virtual gathering April 28 - May 1, 2021, to envision, define, and lay the groundwork for a new social compact.

The conference invites participants who can contribute to the exploration of ideas about the social compact, through scholarship and / or activism.

As the United States embarks on a transition in presidential leadership, the coronavirus pandemic has upended the world’s economy, and thrown into sharp relief the systemic racial, gender and class inequalities that were embedded in the New Deal-based social compact. That social compact is now fast eroding. At this crucial juncture, working people face five interrelated crises of historic proportions: dysfunctional systems of health and care; racial and gender injustice; climate emergency; economic disaster; and an ongoing weakening of democracy. History reveals that such moments of upheaval are transformative, offering a window of opportunity that is ripe for large-scale, innovative structural change. The current political and socioeconomic system has profound shortcomings. The pandemic, alongside ongoing changes in capitalism, has created a unique moment to envision and advance a bold new social compact for the 21st century that centers working people’s security and needs over calls for austerity.

The gathering will bring together activists, academics, faith leaders, policy experts, global labor activists, workers, philanthropists, labor organizations, elected leaders and others to analyze, evaluate, and propose next-gen solutions for the intersectional issues affecting working people's lives in a post-pandemic world including, though not limited to: wealth distribution; social reproduction; equal pay; living wages; student debt; immigration policies; universal health care; fair housing; just scheduling; access to quality child and elder care; safe jobs; sustainable climate; data democracy; gender, racial and LGBTQ justice; labor law; criminal justice reform; constitutional reform; and the future of workers.

In particular, the project committee seeks historians and other academics to help infuse the discussion with historical context about the last social compact’s creation and shortcomings. We also seek activists and practitioners who can offer a unique perspective on the conference topic. We seek global perspectives on the social contract, including from a range of perspectives from non-Western nations, and proposals that center issues of immigration and migration. We also particularly encourage young people and students to bring their vision and voices to the gathering.

The committee accepts proposals for panels, workshops, presentations, individual talks or papers, cultural offerings, videos, or other proposals for conveying ideas around themes including:

The Crisis of Health and Care; Inclusion and Equity in a New Social Compact; The Climate Crisis; The Post-Pandemic Economy; The Future of Democracy and Workers

Learn more about the project and how to submit a proposal here.

USA and Canada

+1 202-478-4390

+1 202-478-4390

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