Working women have a long history of fighting injustice on multiple fronts and leading social change. A century ago, women labor activists played vanguard roles in movements for child protection, social welfare, and women's rights in and beyond the workplace. The pattern continues today, as working women take up battles for a living wage, healthcare, immigrant rights, equal pay, racial justice, and workers’ right to organize—issues that grow sharper as the gap between the 1 percent and everyone else continues to expand.
Our conference in honor of Women’s History Month 2016 will analyze and celebrate this tradition and explore the following questions: How can working women’s movements fight off conservative assaults and who are the allies in that fight? What strategies have worked—or not worked—in the past, and what can we learn from them? Can examples set by rising movements among women, youth, LGBTQIA communities, and people of color re-invigorate the mainstream labor movement? How might the labor movement become a better vehicle for the larger movement for social justice, and what is women’s role in this rebirth?