Cal Humanities

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

In Recognition of Labor Day, A Look at Some of Our California Labor Projects

The first Monday of every September is known as Labor Day, a day dedicated to honoring the social and economic achievements of American workers. It’s a national tribute to the contributions that workers have made to our nation.

Over its 40 year history, California Humanities has helped to raise greater public awareness and appreciation of the important role labor and the labor movement have played in California — both past and present. We invite you to spend a few minutes over the Labor Day long weekend to join us in taking a take a look at some of the many wonderful  projects we’ve supported that shine a spotlight on the struggles and accomplishments of California’s working people:

Los Callejones: Garment Worker Stories from Los Angeles
This audio documentary aims to bring visibility to the hidden history of Los Angeles’ Garment District and the people, mostly immigrants, that labor there. Most of America’s garment production takes place in Los Angeles, and most of that is in workshops and factories in the alleys of the Garment District, more commonly known in Latino communities as Los Callejones. You can listen to the documentary featuring the voices and stories of Los Angeles’ garment workers produced by Stephanie Ritoper and Saba Waheed of the UCLA Labor Center, HERE.

The Delano Manongs: The Forgotten Heroes of the UFW
This project documents a small group of Filipino farm labor leaders in Delano California who instigated the great Delano grape strike in 1965 and helped create the United Farm Workers Union. The grape strike catapulted César Chávez into the national spotlight, but the Filipino leaders received little recognition for their efforts. Using animation, archival footage, and interviews with key leaders, participants and historians, the film tells the gripping story of this forgotten chapter of our labor history. Producer Marissa Aroy, a second-generation Filipino American who grew up in the Delano area, narrates. For more information, click HERE.

Captain Josh and the Drill Team
This delightful short video documentary by labor researcher and advocate Ian Ruskin tells the story of a group of San Francisco longshore workers who have found a unique way to celebrate working class pride through performances at parades and events.Watch a clip HERE.

Hammering it Out: Women in the Construction Zone
Women who work in traditionally male-dominated industries have faced extra obstacles in the struggle to achieve workplace equality. This documentary by Vivian Price spotlights the experience of a courageous group of women, mostly of color, who sought entrance into the building trade through participation in the Century Freeway Women’s Employment Project in Los Angeles in the 1990s. For more information, click HERE.

Golden Lands, Working Hands
This 10- part documentary video offers students, union members and the general public a comprehensive introduction to and overview of California’s labor history.For more information, click HERE.


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