The Kalmanovitz Initiative is thrilled to welcome Dr. James C. Benton as director of its new Race and Economic Empowerment Project. In his role, Dr. Benton will be conducting research, directing advocacy, and convening key stakeholders on issues that impact workers of color, especially those in the greater Washington, D.C. area.
James is a U.S. historian who studies labor history and the ways in which organized labor has been affected by trade policy, economic change, and industrial decline from the New Deal to the present. His forthcoming book, Fraying Fabric: How Trade Policy and Industrial Decline Changed America (University of Illinois Press) explains how missteps by business, labor, and government leaders on trade policy after World War II contributed to the backlash that benefited Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
Before joining the Kalmanovitz Initiative, he worked in the Office of the President at Georgetown, where he assisted university leaders in their ongoing work, with the Society of Jesus and descendants of enslaved people sold by the Jesuits, of honoring and remembering the university’s connection to slavery. He earned a Ph.D. in United States history and a masters’ degrees in history and liberal studies from Georgetown University, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Please join us in welcoming James to the KI and continuing to engage him on our collective efforts on racial and economic justice.