Vol. 1, No. 10
November 2014
Young Activist Series:
Lorraine Zapata, Part II

In the second half of our interview, Zapata speaks about what she believes are important issues in labor today.


Zapata says, "You know, the labor movement has been in a decline, I think because bosses and corporations and media and whatnot have done a very good job of misinforming people, and so I think one of the biggest fights that we have in the labor movement is that we need to always be ready to kind of get out there and counter that."


When asked about the root of people's misinformation, she continues, "I say that from my own personal experience. I never knew what a union was growing up. You're not taught that in school. You're not taught that you have rights as a worker, as a person. You're not taught those things. If anything, you're deliberately to just kind of fall in line and do what the bosses say. You're taught that, you're given this ideology that making money is the most important thing. That's because we live in a capitalist society, but when I say people are misinformed I mean it goes beyond being misinformed. They're deliberately being indoctrinated, I think, the time that we are young. Whether we turn on a TV, pick up a newspaper, go out and read a billboard, or you're sitting in a classroom, nine times out of ten you're being given a message I think that is skewed. You're being kind of brainwashed, in a sense. It's like you can just get out there and give your labor to these corporations and these companies, and you're taught to do that without complaining about having any kind of idea that you have any kind of right to stand up for yourself."


In regard to other prominent issues, Zapata says, "I think we should be fighting definitely for permanent jobs, I think we should be fighting for respect, and health and safety, and I think we should be fighting for people to make enough money to live off of, because at the end of the day, it's working people who built this country. It's working people who keep this society running, and it's working people, people in the service sector, people in blue collar jobs, it's those people who keep all of us moving. It's those people that do the work that actually help us evolve as a society. It's not the bosses that sit behind their computers. So I think we need to fight for every issue, but definitely anything that has to do with improving people's lives should always come first."


Last, she emphasizes the importance of history in labor today. "I think it's important for us as younger workers and people that are entering the workforce to really educate themselves about this history of the labor movement, about where things that were fought for, where it came from, the eight-hour day, the 40-hour workweek. All these things had to be fought for by people, and we can lose them if we don't keep fighting for them."


The Latest News on WWHP's Child Care Project

As we reported in the October newsletter, WWHP's Child Care Project is now working in partnership with Lookingglass Theatre's Civic Practice Lab (CPL). The partnership arose from a meeting WWHP attended with Michael Rohd, Assistant Professor at Northwestern University's School of Communication and artist-in-residence leading CPL, and Lizzie Perkins, Director of Education and Community Programs of Lookingglass Theatre. They agreed that WWHP would supply stories about child care which a Lookingglass artist would use as sources to write a theatrical piece or pieces.


CPL has appointed Tracy Walsh, one of Lookingglass' artists, to be the creative director from Lookingglass to work with us. The initial 

presentation of a theatrical work of will be performed by the Lookingglass Youth Ensemble this spring at the Lookingglass Studio, and at other venues next fall based on a plan we develop together in terms of audiences and contexts where WWHP would be best served.


For our part, WWHP is currently videotaping interviews with individual teachers, child care home providers, and program directors of child care agencies. Our interview questions are informed by what we learned from the focus group we held in May 2014. When we finish this aspect of our work, we will turn to interviewing parents of young children, again beginning with a focus group. In addition, we are reaching out to other community organizations to identify groups and organizations that we can approach as an audience.

Looking Back:  
Spoken Art 2014

Last month, WWHP held its third annual fundraiser, Spoken Art. For three hours, the venue at SEIU Healthcare Illinois-Indiana was full of woman artists, speakers, musicians, WWHP board members, and guests.  


After enjoying food and refreshments, guests listened to talks by Hedy Ratner, Mac-Z Zurawski, Sharon Norwood, and Melissa Josephs; folk musician Kristin Lems and WWHP board members Ken and Joan Morris performed; and a whole host of vendors sold art, knitwear, and even massages, performed by massage therapist Renee Ryan.



The check-in desk awaits guests at the start of Spoken Art 2014.



Guests enjoy salad, pizza, and falafel in the kitchen of SEIU Healthcare Illinois-Indiana.



Speakers (from left to right) Hedy Ratner, Mac-Z Zurawski, Sharon Norwood, and Melissa Josephs



Folksinger Kristin Lems



Guests purchase woman-made art from vendors.




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