Profiles of Strength and Dignity - exhibit and community event
The Comunicando Poder y Esperanza project partners held a celebratory event in San Francisco on November 30th. This event represents the culmination of the three-year effort to improve working conditions for domestic workers and change the perception of domestic work from undervalued women’s work to a respected component of the economy.
With over seventy people in attendance, including domestic workers and their families, allies, employers, and funders, the event centered on the exhibit Profiles of Strength and Dignity which showcases the extraordinary women of La Colectiva. In striking photographs and moving narratives, the exhibit offers a glimpse into these women's important work—as wives, as mothers, as housecleaners, and as activists fighting for rights and representation.
Those who attended the event viewed the photographs, read the individual stories that ten domestic workers developed and viewed a video that captures the essence of the stories as a whole. The women featured in the stories and video were particularly moved and proud to see themselves so beautifully represented in this exhibit. Some brought their families and employers.
One of the women featured in the stories joined La Colectiva as a result of the social marketing campaign launched in 2009. She has only been in the U.S. nine months and has already become a spokesperson for this campaign. She invited one of her employers to attend the event and this employer, who was accompanied by her husband and their two children, was impressed to learn about the leadership that the woman who cleans her house has taken in La Colectiva’s advocacy efforts.
The group in attendance also heard several of the domestic workers who have participated as leaders in the New Routes project describe their experiences and the impact the project has had on their lives personally and as part of La Colectiva.The stories and exhibit highlight La Colectiva’s current effort to enact a California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, which would level the playing field for domestic workers by providing the same basic protections that most other workers are entitled to. Those who attended the event learned about the Bill of Rights and signed post cards being sent to legislators in support of this bill.
The exhibit, which features photographs and video by Alison Yin, will be shown at other San Francisco locations and is also viewable on the web at http://lacolectivasf.org/gallery/ The exhibit was covered in the In These Times Working blog, http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/6716/la_colectiva/.
Topics: Social marketing
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