Scholar Info

Tom Marvin

Associate Professor

English Department, American Studies Program, Sam Masarachia Scholars Program


Starting from Scratch: Building Community Support for Labor Organizing

My research (Marvin, "Starting from Scratch: Building Community Support for Labor Organizing in Indianapolis," Labor Studies Journal, 2015) identifies several factors that contribute to greater effectiveness of community and labor coalitions, including using local organizers with specialized knowledge of and investment in the local community, and well-structured service-learning and internship opportunities for students interested in becoming organizers. I translate both of these ideas into practice by training local organizers through the Masarachia Scholars program. My research is based on over eight years of participant observation of labor and community coalitions in Indianapolis and includes survey and interview data as well as research into the historical, political and cultural context of Indianapolis. This research has the potential to better everyday life for all Indianapolis workers by increasing their standard of living, giving them a voice in the workplace and strengthening their communities.


(317) 278-4690