John (Jay) Arena is an associate professor of Sociology at the City University of New York’s College of Staten Island. He specializes in post–civil rights black politics, with a focus on struggles over the imposition of neoliberal reforms. His publications in this area include Driven From New Orleans: How Nonprofits Betray Public Housing and Promote Privatization (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012) and Expelling Public Schools: How Antiracist Politics Enable School Privatization in Newark (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2023).
He is also a long-time labor and community activist, first in New Orleans and for the last decade in the New York–New Jersey area. The latter efforts have included participation in the successful movement to close the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) concentration camps in New Jersey, as well as rank-and-file reform efforts in the Professional Staff Congress union.