Alumni (National Fellow)

Nancy Banks

National Fellow
Ph.D. Columbia University in the City of New York (2004)
Professional Sector:
Dream Mentor:
Thomas Sugrue
New York University
Fields of Interest:
African American History
Urban History


Nancy Banks is dean of students at Fieldston Upper School in New York.

Thesis Description:

The Struggle over Affirmative Action in the New York City Building Trades, 1961-1976
While much scholarly work has been devoted to federal civil rights policy in the 1960s - including several studies on the growing commitment by the civil rights movement and the federal government in that decade to Affirmative Action - Banks believed there had been scant attention paid to Affirmative Action as it relates to the building trades unions, nor to the bitter and lengthy conflicts between civil rights activists, minority workers, and union members. Drawing upon a number of sources - including government documents and court records; the correspondence of political leaders, union officials, and civil rights organizations; and personal interviews with workers, politicians, and labor activists - Banks dissertation explored how Affirmative Action conflicts played out in New York City between 1961 and 1976, and analyzed the impact that they had on the development, implementation, and evolution of the nation’s union-targeted affirmative action policies.

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