Working Group Awardees


From Braceros to H2A’s: Discussing the History, Present and Future of Agricultural Guestworker Programs in California

The aim of this group is to organize an event in the Salinas Valley that brings together leading scholars, journalists, and students on the Bracero Program with leaders in the agricultural industry, and elected officials to discuss the legacies of the Bracero Program 1942-1964, and the current workings of the H2-A guest worker program, or “New Bracero Program.” We aim to create a space for dialogue between researchers, agricultural employers, elected officials, students and community members. After the event, we will produce a white paper on best practices and policies.

David Montejano, Professor, Ethnic Studies, senior faculty advisor
Maggie Elmore, Lecturer, History, expert on immigration and guest worker program.
Ignacio Ornelas Rodriguez, visiting research fellow, Center for Latino Policy Research, Lead Organizer, expert on Bracero Program and current H2-A Program.

Contact: Ignacio Rodriguez Ornelas, Center for Latino Policy Research (

Labor, Employment and Race in the Era of Mass Incarceration

We discuss in-depth recent contributions to studies of crime and punishment with particular attention to the extent to which and how the penal system acts as a labor market institution that profoundly shapes individuals’ and groups’ access to economic opportunities, experiences of work, and labor market outcomes.

Christopher Herring, Doctoral Candidate, Sociology
Katherine Hood, Doctoral Candidate, Sociology
Erin Kerrison, Assistant Professor, School of Social Welfare
Armando Lara-Millan, Assistant Professor, Sociology
Amy Lerman, Associate Professor, Public Policy and Political Science
Christopher Muller, Assistant Professor, Sociology
Michael Menefee, Doctoral Student, Sociology
Steven Pitts, Associate Chair, UC Berkeley Labor Center
Dylan Riley, Professor, Sociology
Jared Rudolph, Executive Director, Prisoner Reentry Network
Sandra Smith, Professor, Sociology
Tobias Smith, Doctoral Candidate, Jurisprudence and Social Policy
Bryan L. Sykes, Visiting Scholar, Assistant Professor, Criminology, Law and Society, UC Irvine
Anjuli Verma, Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Jurisprudence and Social Policy

Contact: Sandra Susan Smith, Professor of Sociology and 2017-18 Interim Director, IRLE (

Work and Political Economy Research Group

Interdisciplinary working group for faculty and graduate students to discuss and develop research agendas related to labor and employment issues, with a particular focus on law and policy broadly conceived.

This group will bring together doctoral students and faculty from departments across campus for regular meetings to discuss respective research agendas related to labor and employment issues, with a particular focus on law and policy (broadly conceived). A wide range of disciplines, including economics, sociology, business, political science, law, public policy, and others, engage in research related to labor policy — how work is organized, how it is renumerated, and how these choices affect society more broadly. Labor policy has a home in all of these fields, and yet, unfortunately, these fields are not always in dialogue with each other. As such, students and faculty focusing on labor and employment issues may be isolated within their schools and departments, without the benefit of others with topical expertise to sharpen their anlayses. This working group would create a space for precisely such interdepartmental dialogue.

Open to doctoral students from any discipline at UC Berkeley. Contact the coordinators to join.

Contact: Diana Reddy (, doctoral student in Jurisprudence and Socal Policy and Matt Unrath (, doctoral student at the Goldman School of Public Policy.

Labor Policy Group and Berkeley Journal of Employment Law

The Labor Policy Group (LPG) increases GSPP students’ understanding and leadership on issues related to labor policy. The group facilitates conversation and interaction between students and researchers, experts and leaders on labor issues across the UC Berkeley community, the Bay Area and the country.

To come.

Contact: Amanda Gallear, MPP student at the Goldman School of Public Policy (