Restructuring the Edifice is a blog and website devoted to providing news and information about movements and organizations in the United States and around the world that are working for egalitarian economic, social and political transformation. It is authored by Dean Hubbard.
Restructuring the Edifice refers to a theme that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. developed in a series of speeches during the last year of his life and work, in April and August of 1967 and March of 1968. Dr. King said:
One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar . . . It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. . .
[W] e must honestly face the fact that the movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society. . . Now, when I say questioning the whole society, it means ultimately coming to see that the problem of racism, the problem of economic exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that are interrelated. . .
A nation that will keep people in slavery for 244 years will “thingify” them and make them things. And therefore, they will exploit them and poor people generally economically. And a nation that will exploit economically will have to have foreign investments and everything else, and it will have to use its military might to protect them. All of these problems are tied together. . .
Dean Hubbard is the Labor Director of the Sierra Club, the nation’s largest grass roots environmental organization, with over 2.1 million members. He is also Of Counsel to the New York City workers’ rights firm Gorlick, Kravitz and Listhaus, P.C. Previously, he served as Senior Counsel to the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO (TWU), where he advised senior leadership and staff on strategic and policy matters. He is the Chair of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Labor and Employment Committee (L&E) and a member of the NLG’s International Labor Justice Working Group. NLG members use law to advance social justice and support progressive social movements, and L&E members do so with the specific purpose of fostering workers’ human rights.
Dean represents the NLG on the International Tribunal for Trade Union Freedom of Association and the Tri-National Solidarity Alliance. He teaches graduate labor law and public policy at CUNY’s Murphy Labor Institute. He is the Vice-President of the World Organization for the Right of the People to Health Care, a transnational network of labor and community advocates for universal public health care. He is an Advisory Board member for the Middle Project, which unites progressive leaders to use power and resources to act locally and think globally to heal the human family.
From 2002-2008, Dean held the Joanne Woodward Chair in Public Policy and was the founding Director of the Institute for Policy Alternatives (IPA) at Sarah Lawrence College. As Director of the IPA, Dean initiated a day labor organizing project supporting the struggles of immigrant day laborers for human rights and dignity, a Katrina Recovery Project advocating for economic and racial justice in the rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.
From 1993-2002, he was a founding partner of Eisner & Hubbard, P.C., a progressive New York City firm advocating for workers’ rights in all aspects of labor and employment law. Dean has been fighting for workers’ human rights and egalitarian social change as an attorney and organizer since 1982.
As a scholar, he has written and taught on domestic and international impacts of neoliberal policy, human rights as a discursive frame for social change organizing, the normative functions of and relationships between labor and employment law, and social policy and the arts. Dean is also a singer, actor, playwright and director.
Dean obtained his J.D. from Northeastern University in 1987, and his B.A. from Hampshire College in 1982.
He is a Colorado native who divides his time between Washington DC, (work), New York City (passion) and Connecticut (home).
Disclaimer: The opinions you read, see and hear on this site, whether expressed by Dean Hubbard or anyone else, are the personal views of the writer, photographer/videographer or speaker/singer who expresses them, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other entity or person with which the exponent may or may not be associated, including but not limited to the Sierra Club. All photos and text are © by Dean Hubbard, all rights reserved, unless otherwise credited.