The exhibit I curated for the Harry Bridges Labor Center for Labor Studies and the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center partnership is titled Past Forward: Snapshots of Social Justice Labor Organizing and looks at ten moments throughout the history of labor organizing in the Pacific Northwest. Organized around four progressive issues, the exhibit covers a wide range of both organized labor and labor activists’ social justice victories. To gather the stories that are told in the exhibit, I explored collections suggested by Conor Casey, the Labor Archivist and Director of Labor Archives of Washington, UW Libraries Special Collections; spoke with other labor researchers at the UW; and read up on labor history in our area using resources such as the Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project. The exhibit drew heavily on the collections of the Labor Archives. There are so many interesting stories to be told, and I was very excited to be able to highlight one of the earliest multicultural coalitions which fought the anti-miscegenation laws introduced in our state in the 1930s as wells as to bring the exhibit all the way to this year by including the Seattle Womxn’s March in January. Researching, curating, and writing this exhibit has contributed to my education, and it has been truly inspiring to learn about and re-visit the struggles of labor activists around race, gender, wage, and international human rights here in our region.
– Post by Student Curator, Rachel Townsend
You can view the exhibit at the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center, located on the South Seattle College Georgetown campus (6737 Corson Ave. S, Building B, outside of Room 106).