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MayWorks launched by emerging leaders

MayWorks, a celebration of workers’ culture being organized this year by Washington’s labor movement, was kicked off at the 2nd Annual Emerging Leaders Conference hosted by Washington State Labor Education and Research Center (WSLERC) on April 13-14 at the South Seattle Community College.

It's finished! Come see the new Bread & Roses float yourself at the May Day March & Rally on Tuesday, May 1 at Seattle's Judkins Park.

About 50 conference attendees learned about the history of 1912 Bread & Roses strike in Lawrence, Mass., and how to use that history to tell the story about American workers’ experience over the past 100 years.  The conference included workshops on politics in 2012, immigrant rights, organizing and movements of today, and what’s happening in our economy.

Conference participants also created lots of props for the May Day march, including working on the massive Bread & Roses float, making creative picket signs and a gigantic banner declaring “Labor Rights = Derechos Humanos,” paper flower and “bread cards” to distribute on May Day, and developing and practicing chants.

“It was a high-energy, hands-on experience that helped emerging leaders learn how to use history to teach about worker’s rights, develop street actions, and understand some of the pressing issues facing working families today,” said WSLERC Director Sarah Laslett.

Join the emerging leaders on May Day to march with the Bread & Roses float! Meet at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1 at Judkins Park, 2150 S. Norman St.

Check out the complete calendar of May Works events between now and the Northwest Folklife Festival on Memorial Day weekend. There’s lots of great stuff happening!


At the 2011 Convention of the Washington State Labor Council, delegates voted to plan a celebration of workers’ culture during the month of May 2012 to be called “MayWorks,” a tradition long celebrated by the Canadian labor movement. The Bread and Roses Exhibition at the Northwest Folklife Festival is just one of many MayWorks events planned or the month.

Here are the other MayWorks events, including some that take place in April. (You can also download a PDF of the MayWorks poster that includes this same information.)

Images of Labor Exhibit – Wednesday, April 18 – Friday, May 18
Time: All Day
South Seattle Community College Library, West Seattle Campus

Meaningful Movies – “Locked Out” – Friday, April 27
Time: 7:00 PM
Keystone Church – 5019 Keystone Place, Wallingford, Seattle

May Day March and Rally – Tuesday, May 1
Time: 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Judkins Park, 2150 S Norman St. Premiering the ELC Bread & Roses Float

Charlie King and Karen Brandow Workshop – Wednesday, May 16
Time: Noon
Western WA University, Bellingham

Charlie King and Karen Brandow Concert – Wednesday, May 16
Time: 7:30 PM
Roeder Home, 2600 Sunset Drive, Bellingham

Charlie King and Karen Brandow & Rebel Voices in Concert – Thursday, May 17
Time: 7:15 PM
South Seattle Community College Olympic Hall Auditorium, West Seattle Campus
A Pre-Concert Wine Reception, hosted by the Washington State Labor Council, will be held at 6 PM

“A Loud Noise in a Quiet Place” Performance – Thursday, May 17 – Tuesday, May 22
Time: 8:00 PM
Triad Theater – 102 Yelm Avenue East, Yelm 98576
Call 360-446-2188 for reservations.

The 44th Annual Pacific NW Labor History Association Conference – May 18-19
Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma

— 1912 – Occupy Lawrence – The Great Textile Strike with Charlie King and Karen Brandow
Friday, May 18 at 7:30 PM

— The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti Workshop with Charlie King and Karen Brandow
Saturday, May 19 at 9:30 AM

— Songs for the 99% with Charlie King and Karen Brandow
Saturday, May 19 at 8:00 PM

Charlie King and Karen Brandow, Parody Song Writing Workshop – Sunday, May 20
Sponsored by the Seattle Labor Chorus and Washington State Labor Council
Time: 1:00 PM
Washington State Labor Council, 314 1st Ave. W., Seattle

at the Seattle Center

Bread & Roses Exhibition – May 25 – 28
Time: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM Friday – Sunday, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM Monday
Lopez Room

Oral Histories -Interviews with Seattle Center Workers – Saturday, May 26
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 PM
Narrative Stage at the SIFF Cinema

Labor Show – Saturday, May 26
Time: 7:00 – 10:00 PM
Bagley Wright Theatre
Chris Chandler; Nina Laboy; David Rovics; Seattle Labor Chorus; Solidarity Notes; Citizens Band

We Do the Work Film Festival – Sunday, May 27
Time: Noon
Narrative Stage at the SIFF Cinema
Awards announcements and screenings of the top three videos

Bread & Roses, Then and Now Workshop – Sunday, May 27
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 PM
Narrative Stage at the SIFF Cinema
Video about the original strike and discussion with representatives of contemporary labor struggles

Voices of Occupy Concert Hosted by David Rovics – Sunday, May 27
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Intiman Theatre Courtyard
Al Bradbury; Danny Kelly; Kaeley Pruitt-Hamm; Desert Rat; Nina Laboy; Chris Chandler; Jim Page; Laura Love and excerpts from the U.W. Drama School’s “Harp Song for a Radical”

Bread & Roses Commemoration Concert: 100 Years of Justice and Dignity – Monday, May 28
Time: 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Center House Theatre
Rebel Voices; Jacque Larrainzar; ET and the Boy; Pat Wright; ELC Float and performance in Lobby

Bread, Roses, and Happiness Workshop with John de Graaf – Monday, May 28
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 PM
Narrative Stage at the SIFF Cinema

For more information about “The Bread and Roses Exhibition” or the other MayWorks events, call the Washington State Labor Council at 206-281-8901.

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