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Save the Dates: Spring 2024

2/21 - NJ Institute of Social Justice, "New Jersey’s Place in Black America” SPIA and African American Studies

2/23 - Redefining Risk and Deploying Capital to Advance Racial, Economic, and Environmental Justice — Lynne Hoey, Kataly Foundation

3/15 - The Future of Journalism and Media Literacy in New Jersey — New Jersey Civic Information Consortium, the Stories of Atlantic City Program, and the Center For Cooperative Media

3/22 - From Extraction to Restorative Economics — Ayushi Vig, New Economy Coalition

4/5 - Understanding and Advocating for Queer Communities: Policies and Realities in New Jersey — Garden State Equality, Bridges4Life

4/19 - Collective Ownership and Wealth-Building — Olivia Watkins, Black Farmer Fund

Upcoming Events

Past Events

NJ's Place in Black America event flyer

New Jersey's Place in Black America

A conversation with Dr. Taja-Nia Henderson, Dean, Graduate School of Rutgers University-Newark, Christina Swarns, Executive Director, The Innocence Project, Brandon McCoy, President, The Fund for New Jersey, Ryan P. Haygood, CEO & President, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, and Keith A. Wailoo, Henry Putnam University Professor of History and Public Affairs, Princeton University.

Journalism and Democracy: 2023 Public Humanities Forum

A keynote speaker and two panels of experts, featuring historians and journalists, will discuss the history of democracy, active citizenship and participatory journalism.

MPA Lunch Speaker Series

“The Impact of Zoning Regimes on Residential Segregation and Displacement”

Matt MleczkoMatt Mleszko, Eviction Lab PhD Student

Matt Mleczko is a doctoral candidate in Population Studies and Social Policy and a Prize Fellow in the Social Sciences at Princeton University. He primarily studies housing inequality and housing policy, with a particular interest in policies that promote affordable housing and integrated, cohesive communities. His dissertation explores the evolution of residential integration in the 21st century and its connection to zoning and land use policy. Matt is also a graduate student researcher with the Eviction Lab and a member of the Princeton Affordable Housing Board. 


"Fixing Bugs in Democracy"

Sam Wang teaching class with a studentSam Wang, Professor of Neuroscience

Addressing gerrymandering and improving representational democracy across the country.





"Building Worker Power Through Labor Standards Enforcement"

Christine BlumauerChristine Blumauer, Princeton SPIA Alum, MPA '18; Executive Director, Office of Policy, New Jersey Department of Labor

Christine Blumauer’s MPA Lunch Series Talk centered around big initiatives at the New Jersey Department of Labor, namely the work force development programs and grant making initiatives to support different worker populations. Blumauer says her passion lies with wage and hour advocacy for worker populations who can’t speak up for fear of being fired. These populations include older workers, undocumented workers, and workers of immigrant descent who face systemic barriers for coming forward on issues of overtime eligibility and wage theft. Blumauer spoke about how the Covid-19 pandemic “cut through the red tape” for many industries, particularly for migrant and seasonal workers. Blumauer spoke about her experience proposing legislation through the Governor’s Office and how she helped draft the bill for the creation of the Office of Strategic Enforcement with a commitment to equity and which codifies a data driven approach to increase workers’ power. During her talk, Blumauer addressed maternal health, mentioning New Jersey as being a leader in the modernization of Family Leave Insurance, as one of less than 10 states which has temporary TDI/Family Leave Insurance of anywhere between 12 weeks and 6 months, following a European standard of paid leave. The Office of Apprenticeships at the New Jersey Department of Labor leads in the country for building a model for those workers who do not want to go the college route to earn a living. This office provides employers who take apprentices with grants. Blumauer proposed a culture shift on at will employment, advocating for employment contracts, which provide employees with a profound safety by binding worker to employer.

Academic Programs

Graduate Policy Workshop on Mercer Community College James Kerney Campus Vistioning Project

Undergraduate Policy Task Force on Maternal Equity in New Jersey

Undergraduate Senior Theses:

                Ella Gantman: Jail Based disenfranchisement in NJ in 2022 (advisor Udi Ofer)

                Abdelhamid Arbab: Religious Accommodations for Incarcerated Muslims in the NJ State Prison System (advisor Udi Ofer)

Undergraduate Policy Advocacy Clinic: Working with ACLU NJ on civilian oversight of police

Garden State Fellowship inaugural fellow: Mayu Takeuchi (SPIA undergraduate)

Grad Course: Identity, Power, and Policy (SPI 531) Devanne Brookins (Associate Research Scholar) and Keith Wailoo – Site visit to Camden, NJ, re: residential segregation

Career Development Office in Partnership with Steven Strauss (John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs & Co. Visiting Professor) Management Conference: Public Sector Leadership, Innovation and Management in the Digital Age; several NJ state gov’t officials

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