Dr. Danielle Phillips-Cunningham is an associate professor in the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Women’s Studies from Spelman College and a doctorate in Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers University. She sits on the Executive Board of the Labor and Working Class History Association and her areas of expertise are women’s labor and migration histories, feminist/womanist theories and research methods, and African American history.
Dr. Phillips-Cunningham is the recipient of the National Women’s Studies Association’s Sara A. Whaley Book Prize for Putting Their Hands on Race: Irish Immigrant and Southern Black Domestic Workers (Rutgers University Press, 2020). Her articles about Irish immigrant and African American domestic workers have appeared in Signs: The Journal of Women and Culture in Society and the Women’s History Review.
She is a co-principal investigator of Quakertown Stories, an African American public history and curriculum project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is also a co-principal investigator of the Women’s Thought Leadership Program, a program for undergraduate and graduate students interested in writing op-eds based on their research. The program is supported by a grant from the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership. Dr. Phillips-Cunningham recently co-authored op-eds with women descendants of Quakertown in recognition of Juneteenth. As a fellow of the OpEd Project’s Public Voices of the South, she has written op-eds about African American women’s laborand political organizing history.
Dr. Phillips-Cunningham’s forthcoming labor history about African American educator Nannie Helen Burroughs and her National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, D.C. is under contract. Burroughs started the first Black women’s labor organization of the early twentieth century known as the National Association of Wage Earners (NAWE). Phillips-Cunningham’s book is supported by an African American Intellectual History Society C.L.R. James Fellowship and an American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant.
Her third book project about Elizabeth McDuffie, founder of the first federal Black employees’ union and personal assistant to Eleanor Roosevelt and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is supported by research awards from the Atlanta University Center’s Robert Woodruff Library and Georgia State University’s Southern Labor Archives.
Integrating her expertise in women’s history, feminist theory, and curriculum building, Dr. Phillips-Cunningham developed a B.A. program in Women’s and Gender Studies with concentrations in Community Leadership and Health. She is also co-teaching Women Taking the Lead: Race, Gender, and Labor with her SMLR colleague Sheri Davis-Faulkner. It is the first cross-listed course between Rutgers University, Spelman College, and the Advancing Black Strategists Initiative. In 2021, they co-taught a course cross-listed between Texas Woman’s University and Spelman College entitled “Covid-19 & Black Workers: Race, Gender, and Labor.” It was the first gender and labor course offered at a historically black college and university (HBCU).
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