Wednesday, July 7, 2010

NYTS Student Helps Serve Justice to Restaurant Workers

New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) has always supported diversity and issues of gender equity. Topics of discussion at a recent Gender in the Workplace Summit where panelist Manhattan Deputy Borough President Rosemonde Pierre-Louis summed it up, “we need to create buzz and build allies to create change.”

The Restaraunt Industry Coalition, in tandem with Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY), hosted the event at La Palapa Restarant. NYTS student Prabhu Subramanyam is also a case manager for ROC-NY. Like so many of our students, Prahbu combines his education with his work at ROC-NY.

“It is unfair,” says Prahbu, ”that we cry out for justice in the church and in government, yet we don’t seek justice here in the least expected of places, with workers in the restaurant field. We want service and a smile, but we do not understand what workers in the workplace go through behind kitchen doors; sexual harassment, verbal harassment, and minimum wage. We must do something about this.”

The summit demonstrated the prevalence and impact of gender inequality in the New York City Restaurant Industry and provides best practices that can foster equality and greater opportunities for all workers. In tandem with the summit ROC-NY handed out a report titled “Waiting on Equality: The Role and Impact of Gender in the New York City Restaurant Industry.” Other panelists included Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Diana Reyna, Colors Restaurant Manager Loretta Pang, and La Palapa owners Margaritte Malfy and Barbara Sibley.

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