Sunday, November 16, 2014

Alison blog 2

This week, I felt fully immersed in and energized for my WomenNC experience. First, on Sunday the tea and speech by Katie Starr served as a great introduction to the WomenNC community and life beyond the fellowship. Katie’s call to “carry this experience with us,” and her example of global leadership as a Peace Corp Volunteer highlighted, for me, the pivotal role this fellowship has in all fellows’ lives.

Throughout the week my mentor Maureen and I corresponded about different possible resources for my research in women and labor—many groups have worked to further women’s labor rights in North Carolina and the US for decades. Hopefully I will get to talk with or learn about a wide range of them!

Yesterday, I met with a previous UNC Student Action with Workers leader. Our wide-ranging discussion covered how to build worker power in the most anti-union state in the country and how students can contribute to this. Learning about the on-campus struggles of interactions with management, organizing across racial and linguistic lines and logistical challenges demonstrated how labor issues affect all aspects of women’s lives. I think women’s human rights are uniquely qualified to address women and labor because human rights can address all of these aspects—from health to discrimination to socio-economic conditions.

This conversation encouraged me to dive into my research and the opportunity for expert feedback helped me narrow my topic. Now, I think I will focus my research on UNC housekeeping and female hospitality workers nationwide and globally.

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