Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies

Exploring Human Rights and Disability

Today marks the first day of Winter quarter for UW students. At the Bridges Center, we are gearing up for a busy season.

On Friday, January 10, we are proud to sponsor our first event of the year, a symposium held in memory of the late Paul Miller, UW Professor of Law and a Bridges Center Faculty Associate.

The day-long event will honor Miller's legacy with a series of presentations and discussions on the place of disability within international human rights. More information is below.

Additional events this quarter include our first annual Labor Studies Social on Thursday, January 30, and five different events as part of our Winter 2014 Labor Studies Book Series. We hope you will join us!

BRIDGES CENTER EVENTS


Friday, January 10

Paul Steven Miller Memorial Symposium: Exploring the Intersections of International Human Rights and Disability

9:00am-5:00pm. William H. Gates Hall, Room 138, UW Seattle. Registration required.

Join the University of Washington School of Law for a day of discussions about national and international disability legislation and implementation. Topics focus on the use of human rights conventions to advocate for persons with disabilities, with an emphasis on women, children and youth. Speakers include national and international scholars, policy makers, practitioners and activists.

Paul Steven Miller (1961- 2010) was the Henry M. Jackson Professor of Law at UW School of Law, a Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a special assistant to President Obama. He was a leader in the disability rights movement and an expert on anti-discrimination law.

Registration information, including a working agenda can be found here.

Co-sponsored by Disability Studies, Center on Human Development & Disability, Women & Sexuality Studies, Program on Values in Society, Gates Public Service Law Program, Bioethics & Humanities Department, Law, Society & Justice, Center for Global Studies, Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, Henry M. Jackson Foundation and Disability Rights Washington.


Thursday, January 30

1st Annual University of Washington Labor Studies Social

4:00pm-6:00pm. UW HUB, Room 340, UW Seattle. RSVP requested.

Join the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies for our first annual meet-and-greet dedicated to networking faculty and students at the University of Washington.

  • Meet other faculty and students interested in Labor Studies from departments across campus
  • Learn more about scholarships and research grants opportunities
  • Learn about internship opportunities with local labor organizations
  • Meet Seattle area labor leaders
  • Enjoy drinks and refreshments!

Founded in 1992, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies supports research, teaching and community outreach at the University of Washington in order to promote the study of labor in all of its facets - locally, nationally, and worldwide.

RSVPs are not required, but are requested. To RSVP, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.


Saturday, February 8

Film: American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

Seattle Asian American Film Festival

5:30pm-7:00pm. Ark Lodges Cinemas, 4816 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118. $11 regular/$8 students.

The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies is proud to be a community co-presenter of American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs as part of the 2014 Seattle Asian American Film Festival.

The film is a documentary about Detroit philosopher/activist Grace Lee Boggs, 98, whose life and work has encompassed the major U.S. social movements of the past century: radical labor, civil rights, Black Power, feminism, Asian American, environmental justice, and beyond. More than just a biography, the film will explore how this daughter of Chinese immigrants born in 1915 could evolve both as a revolutionary philosopher and a movement activist during a century rife with social and political upheaval.

For tickets or more information, visit the film's page on the 2014 Seattle Asian American Film Festival website.


Friday, February 14

Dual Book Release: In the Interests of Others and What Unions No Longer Do

4:00pm-6:00pm. Smith Hall, Room 102, UW Seattle. Free.

Join the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies in marking the publication of two new books by University of Washington professors exploring the state of organized labor in the United States and beyond.

Drawing on the history of the waterfront unions in the United States and Australia, John Ahlquist and Margaret Levi's new book In the Interest of Others: Organizations and Social Activism (Princeton University Press, 2013) develops a new theory of organizational leadership and governance to explain why some organizations expand their scope of action in ways that do not benefit their members directly.

Jake Rosenfeld's What Unions No Longer Do (Harvard University Press, 2014) examines the consequences of the sharp decline of organized labor in the United States in past decades. Unions, Rosenfeld concludes, are no longer instrumental in combating inequality in our economy and our politics, and the result is a sharp decline in the prospects of American workers and their families.

John S. Ahlquist is the Trice Family Faculty Scholar and associate professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Margaret Levi is director for the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and formerly, the Jere L. Bacharach Professor of International Studies at the University of Washington and Foundational Chair in Politics at the University of Sydney's United States Studies Centre. Jake Rosenfeld is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington.

For more information, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.


Monday, February 17

Book Release: Jake Rosenfeld, What Unions No Longer Do

7:00pm-8:30pm. University Bookstore, 4326 University Way, N.E., Seattle, Washington 98105. Free.

Jake Rosenfeld's What Unions No Longer Do (Harvard University Press, 2014) examines the consequences of the sharp decline of organized labor in the United States in past decades. Unions, Rosenfeld concludes, are no longer instrumental in combating inequality in our economy and our politics, and the result is a sharp decline in the prospects of American workers and their families.

Jake Rosenfeld is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington, co-director of the Scholars Strategy Network Northwest (SSN-NW), and a faculty affiliate of the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology (CSDE), the West Coast Poverty Center (WCPC) and the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University in 2007. His research and teaching focuses on the political and economic determinants of inequality in the advanced democracies.

For more information, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.


Tuesday, February 25

Book Talk: Robert Self, All in the Family: The Cultural Politics of American Liberalism in Crisis

4:00pm-6:00pm. Smith Hall, Room 102, UW Seattle. Free.

Award-winning historian Robert Self's recent book All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy since the 1960s (Hill & Wang, 2012) is an exploration of how the sexual revolution, feminism(s), gay and lesbian liberation, and the new Right transformed American politics between 1964 and 2004.

Self treats the interaction and collision of these forces as an expansive process that included the multiple gender disruptions of the period: from the Vietnam War's problematic male soldier to the politics of abortion, welfare, black power, and gay liberation.

In between the Civil Rights Act (1964), Watts rioting (1965), and the Moynihan Report (1965) and the Bush-era insurgencies of the 2000s, Self traces the search for new male and female political subjectivities and the contests over manhood, feminism(s), and gay rights that remade liberalism in the intervening decades.

Robert O. Self is a professor of history at Brown University. His first book, American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland, won numerous awards, including the James A. Rawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island. He earned his PhD in History from the University of Washington in 1998.

For more information, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.


Monday, March 3

Book Release: Angela Day, Red Light to Starboard: Recalling the Exxon Valdez Disaster

7:00pm-8:30pm. University Bookstore, 4326 University Way, N.E., Seattle, Washington 98105. Free.

Red Light to Starboard: Recalling the Exxon Valdez Disaster documents the Exxon Valdez disaster that stunned the world, recounts regional and national history, and explains how oil titans came to be entrusted with a spectacular, fragile ecosystem. It discusses the disaster’s environmental consequences as well as failed governmental and public policy decisions, and tracks changes that, through opportunities for citizen input and oversight, offer hope for the future.

Author Angela Day spent nearly a decade working evenings and summers around a full-time job and graduate school in order to complete her manuscript. She is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her dissertation, currently in progress, is When the Whistle Didn’t Blow. She lives in Snohomish, Washington with her husband, Bobby Day.

For more information, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.


Thursday, March 13

Book Release: Michael Honey, John L. Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union, and the African American Song Tradition

7:00pm-8:30pm. University Bookstore, 4326 University Way, N.E., Seattle, Washington 98105. Free.

Descended from African American slaves, Native Americans, and white slaveowners, John Handcox was born at one of the hardest times and places to be black in America. Over the first few decades of the twentieth century, he survived attempted lynchings, floods, droughts, and the ravages of the Great Depression to organize black and white farmers alike on behalf of the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union. He also became one of the most beloved folk singers of the prewar labor movement, composing songs such as "Roll the Union On" and "There Is Mean Things Happening in this Land" that bridged racial divides and kept the spirits of striking workers high. Though he withdrew from the public eye for nearly forty years, missing the "folk boom" of the 1960s, he resurfaced decades later - just in time to denounce the policies of the Reagan administration in song - and his work was embraced by new generations of labor activists and folk music devotees.

Michael Honey's fascinating and beautifully told history gives us John Handcox in his own words, recounting a journey that began in a sharecropper's shack in the Deep South and went on to shape the labor music tradition, all amid the tangled and troubled history of the United States in the twentieth century.

Michael Honey is the Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Endowed Professor of the Humanities at The University of Washington, USA, and was a 2011 Guggenheim fellow. He is author of numerous award-winning books on labor, race relations, and Southern history, including Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign (Norton, 2007). His interviews and writing regularly appear in national media such as The Atlantic, NPR/Fresh Air, The Nation, History News Network, ColorLines, and many other print and digital publications.

For more information, contact the Bridges Center at 206-543-7946, or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.


EVENTS OF INTEREST


Monday, January 20

MLK Jr. Unity Breakfast: Freedom to Learn: 60 Years after Brown v. Board of Education

8:00am-10:30am. William W. Philip Hall, UW Tacoma, 1918 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402.

The 8th Annual MLK Unity Breakfast will be held on January 20, 2014 to recognize and celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and his historic civic leadership that inspired a nation to strive for equality. This year marks the 60th Anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that declared "separate but equal" unconstitutional and began the integration of the public school system, forever changing the educational landscape in America. This gathering honors the message of Dr. King and the progress he continues to inspire.

To recognize this important event in the civil rights movement, the landmark Supreme Court decision that desegregated public education, the organizing committee has invited Cheryl Brown Henderson to give the keynote address at this year's MLK Unity Breakfast. Cheryl is one of the three daughters of the late Reverend Oliver L. Brown, who, along with 12 other parents led by the NAACP, filed a lawsuit against the local Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas, on behalf of their children in the historic case Brown vs. Board of Education. Upon appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the case became the lead among five other legal challenges. Oliver Brown died in 1961 before knowing the impact his case would have on the country. Cheryl has an extensive background in education, business and civic leadership. | Read more


Thursday, January 23

Talk: Labor's Existential Crisis: Bob Brock in Discussion

6:00pm-8:00pm. Eastern Cafe, UW Seattle.

It's a modern platitude that the labor movement is facing an existential crisis. Looking at the numbers, this narrative is hard to dispute. Last year only 11.3 percent of American wage earners belonged to a union, down nearly half a percent from the year before. The union density numbers are at a historic low and they’re not expected to rise anytime soon. Reeling from the concerted efforts to crush public sector unions in Wisconsin and Ohio, labor at least as conventionally imagined is certainly facing hard times.

But is labor’s crisis terminal? What lessons can be learned from the history of the labor movement? And what are new workers’ movements doing about it?

Bob Brock is an organizing coordinator for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He’s joining the Commoners’ Club and a panel of discussants to provide some historical context for labor’s present situation and to address the frontiers of new workers’ movements. Together we’ll examine how direct action networks, a momentous minimum-wage campaign, and re-imagined unions might respond to the present crisis of labor.


January 6, 2014



IN THIS ISSUE


Bridges Center Events

Events of Interest

Support the Bridges Center




LABOR RESEARCH

REPORT OF THE MONTH

WA StateLabor and Civil Rights Movements at the Crossroads: Martin Luther King, Black Workers, and the Memphis Sanitation Strike

Michael Honey, Working Papers Series

Mark the upcoming MLK, Jr. holiday by reading Honey's account of King's last campaign before his death, the Memphis Sanitation Strike.




ON-LINE RESOURCES

PROJECT OF THE MONTH

When Abortion was Illegal (and Deadly): Seattle's Maternal Death Toll

A recent Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History report by UW History Professor James Gregory looks at the harrowing experiences of women that led to abortion reform in Washington State in the 1970s.




LABOR ARCHIVES

COLLECTION OF THE MONTH

John Leonard Miller Papers, 1923-1986

On January 25, 1890, the United Mine Workers was founded. This collection includes two interviews with Miller, a future IWW member who left home at the age of 12 to work as a coal miner and joined the United Mine Workers as an organizer.




SUPPORT THE CENTER FOR LABOR STUDIES

Support the Bridges Center

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