Published February 9, 2021

In the midst of a winter rife with the effects of climate change, the race to vaccinate communities against COVID-19 is heating up. Meanwhile, issues of diversity in government and fairness in business are debated as passionately as ever. Insight on these topics comes from Rutgers experts and newsmakers who appear in stories across a broad spectrum of print, web, and broadcast venues.

Tired of heavy snow? Get used to it—that’s the expert opinion of David Robinson, New Jersey state climatologist and director of the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers. Robinson is quoted in The Washington Post about the connection between climate change and recent blockbuster snow totals along the East Coast. “I absolutely believe there is the potential for ongoing, perhaps enhanced, snowstorms in the Northeast in the next few decades,” Robinson asserts.

The Washington Post | Recent blockbuster snow totals along East Coast may be tied to climate change

Celebrities who publicly get a COVID shot are doing their part to defeat the virus, but there are other ways to promote vaccination among hesitant communities. NJ Spotlight News reports on everyday people convincing loved ones and others to trust medical science, schedule an appointment, and roll up their sleeves. “I think that strategy is even more effective than [going] on TV,” says Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Vice Chancellor Denise Rodgers, who is featured in the story. Rodgers cites the power of hearing advice from “someone I actually know. Every single person who is willing to get the vaccine should then become a vaccine ambassador.”

NJ Spotlight News | A one-woman campaign urging COVID-19 vaccination

Democrats celebrating the role Black women played in helping the party take back the White House and the Senate need to do more to empower Black women, writes Brittney Cooper, an associate professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, in an op-ed she co-authored for the Daily News. “The willingness to see Black women as superheroes, ironically, allows people to dismiss us as leaders,” Cooper and Joanne N. Smith write. “We don’t want to be put on a pedestal. We want to be put in charge.”

New York Daily News | How New York City can best honor Black women’s voices

Susan Schurman, a distinguished professor of labor studies and employment relations at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, pays tribute to the late John J. Sweeney, the former leader of the AFL-CIO, in an op-ed in The Star-Ledger. “Sweeney’s steadfast focus on convincing the Federation’s member unions to return to their roots and organize workers launched the biggest change in the American labor movement since the merger of the AFL and the CIO in 1955,” Schurman writes. “He also led unions away from the Cold War obsession with anti-communism toward support for democracy around the world.” | American workers just lost one of their greatest champions | Opinion

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has changed America for better and for worse, says Rebecca Kolins Givan, an associate professor of labor studies and employment relations at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. Amazon’s size and power, she tells MarketWatch, means the company has “a real opportunity to set standards for workers—whether that means giving them a voice on the job or having safer workplaces.” And despite Amazon’s increased profits during the pandemic, “workers who have been deemed so essential are being left in harm’s way,” she adds.

MarketWatch | 3 ways the Jeff Bezos-era Amazon helped and hurt U.S. workers and consumers

An essay in The Atlantic spotlights an exhibition at MoMA PS1 in Queens, New York, guest-curated by Rutgers American studies professor Nicole Fleetwood, entitled Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration. Fleetwood, who has authored a book by the same name, focuses on art by prison inmates—collages, paintings, miniature 3-D vistas, and more. According to the article, these works challenge viewers “not just with visions of suffering, but also with glimpses of camaraderie, intimacy, and vitality.”

The Atlantic | The Breathtaking Ingenuity of Incarcerated Artists

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