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The Point: International Women’s Day


Greetings, Colleagues:

Today is March 8th, “International Women’s Day,” a celebration with roots in the labor movement and socialist organizing early in the 20th century, as this good summary explains and this  timeline elaborates upon. 

Let me get out of the way then and feature some women’s voices and women-centered events:

This is a bit last minute, but right here at UMass Boston, the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy is co-sponsor of the Boston-area IWD celebration this morning.  See here for information about registering for an event that features Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley and Katherine Clark and other area leaders.  And make sure to check out the CWPPP website for an impressive schedule of upcoming events.

And speaking of Congresswoman Pressley, it might be worth a minute of your time to read up on the intersectional implications of her proposed Federal Job Guarantee legislation.  Here is the text of the bill which, among many other goals, would help closed racialized and gendered pay gaps. This proposed legislation is supported by numerous labor leaders, including Sara Nelson, inspiring president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA; you can follow Nelson’s informative and powerful twitter feed @FlyingWithSara.

If you want to learn even more about women in the labor movement a good place to start is the Coalition of Labor Union Women: as their mission statement puts it, CLUW’s goal is to organize all union women “in a strong organization to determine and seek remedies to our common problems and concerns and to develop action programs within the framework of the labor movement.”  Particularly crucial to CLUW is to “organize the unorganized; to promote affirmative action, social and economic justice in the workplace; and to increase the participation of women in the political and legislative processes.” You might also want to have a look at the work being done by WILL Empower (Women Innovating Labor Leadership) whose main objective is to “identify, nurture, train, and convene a new generation of labor leaders.”  Among other important initiatives WILL Empower has a paid apprenticeship program that you might want to let students know about.

Finally, it is always a good day to read about "The Union Advantage for Women" and about United Farm Workers’ leader Dolores Huerta and to listen to the uplifting update of Woody Guthrie’s “Union Maid” made by the New Harmony Sisterhood Band in 1977.

This is your feminist union: please tell us at how you think we can achieve the goals of intersectional gender equity in the work that we do.


Jeffrey Melnick

American Studies Department

Communications Director, Faculty Staff Union Executive Committee

For information on the FSU, links to our contract and bargaining updates, and a calendar of events, see the FSU webpage