February 06, 2009

Author, wage expert to deliver Honors lecture

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A dream of the American Dream is as close as many Americans are going to get, according to author and wage expert Beth Shulman.

Shulman will deliver the spring 2009 University Honors Program Lecture Series talk at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at the Student Center Auditorium. Her discussion is “Squeezed, Strapped and Trapped: The Costly Reality of the American Dream.” A book signing and reception follows the lecture. The event is free and open to the public.

Shulman is the author of “The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans”. She is also co-chair of the Fairness Initiative on Low-Wage Work, an informational organization that seeks to give information to the media about low-wage workers and their families.

Shulman’s book examines the fragility of the “American Dream” for millions of Americans working low-wage jobs, and the “widening gap between the rich and the poor.” In her lecture, she discusses the many challenges facing low-wage workers that go beyond just the wages -- the benefits, the limited sick time, the schedule and other issues.

Besides appearing at SIUC, Shulman speaks at other universities and conferences nation-wide. Her television and radio appearance credits include CNN, PBS, ABC and NPR. Her articles appear in such publications as Wilson Quarterly, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and The Nation, to name a few.

Early in her career, Shulman was a civil rights lawyer based in Memphis, Tenn., where she worked on employment discrimination and school desegregation cases. Her service includes working with The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, President Clinton’s Advisory Council for School to Work Opportunities, the Aspen Institute, the National Employment Law Project, Financial Markets Center, Wider Opportunities for Women and American Rights at Work, to name a few.

The University Honors Program sponsors this U-Card event. University Honors at SIUC is for students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher. For more information about the University Honors program, visit www.siu.edu/~honors/ or call University Honors Director Lori Merrill-Fink at 68/453-1688 or lomerfi@siu.edu.