Sunday, November 30, 2014
Gratitude - Alison's third post
As is appropriate for the time of year, I want to focus this post on gratitude. First, I am grateful for my friends and family. On Thursday, after stuffing ourselves with pie and turkey, my friends and family sat around my living room talking. I tried to explain WomenNC, the purpose of my fellowship, my research and the importance of creating advocates out of students. I don’t think I adequately conveyed my passions, possibly because when I said “women in labor” people thought I meant women giving birth! We got a good laugh out of that, and I was thankful for this learning moment—I need to come up with a better way of describing the necessity of WomenNC and our research. Now, I could blame my bad explanation on my food-induced coma, but I definitely want those I love to understand why I care about WomenNC and our work.
Second, I am grateful for the amazing contacts with which WomenNC connects me. On November 18, my mentor Maureen, WomenNC’s founder Beth and I met with MaryBe McMillan, NC’s AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer. She is the only woman to have held elected office in the state’s AFL-CIO and has been in her position since 2005. McMillan actually became involved in the labor movement as a student at NC State, organizing on precisely my research topic: housekeeping workers. Thanks to her, I have more contacts now throughout North Carolina and the US. I am grateful for the opportunity to talk to various leaders fighting for the rights of working women and men and their generosity of time to help me engage in my research.