YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University’s Center for Working Class Studies celebrated the 25th annual Working Class Studies Conference Wednesday night.

The conference actually happened during its 26th year due to COVID-19.

The husband/wife team of John Russo and Sherry Linkon, who now live in Washington, D.C., returned to Youngstown for a panel discussion at the Steel Museum.

They founded the conference — YSU hosted the first one — and eventually started YSU’s Center for Working Class Studies, which is still around today.

“Twenty-five years for any center is quite amazing in the academic community these days. The whole idea still gets a lot of interest. The working-class perspective blog that Sherry and I run has 140 journalists from all over the world that get to blog once a week,” Russo said.

YSU has no major in Working Class Studies, though Linkon says it would be the perfect place to start one.

The Working Class Studies Conference started on Monday and ends on Thursday. Most of it has been virtual.