[guest post by RFC Communications Director, Amber Black]
Some of the Rosenberg Fund for Children’s earliest grantees were children whose parents faced targeting because they were labor organizers. Twenty-five years on, we’re still helping kids whose parents have been fired, harassed, or otherwise attacked because they’re standing up for the rights and dignity of their fellow workers. From Our Walmart and the Fight for 15, to the battle to preserve unions in Wisconsin and elsewhere, and on many other fronts, people are involved in vital efforts on behalf of workers. And activists in those struggles – many of whom are parents and some of whom are youth themselves – are in the crosshairs.
In solidarity with those organizers and their children, the RFC is proud to join a wonderful cohort of other organizations in sponsoring the fourth annual Workers Unite! Film Festival happening in venues around New York City from May 7-May 27th. Dozens of WUFF 2015 films collectively highlight the struggles and successes of workers in their efforts to unite and organize for social justice. Screenings will take place at Cinema Village, Anthology Film Archives, the historic Lithographers Auditorium on University Place and several union venues around town.
Among the festival highlights are:
- Opening night, May 8th : Working Horses, about the battle over horse carriages in NYC; A Day's Work, a stunning indictment of the temp work industry - not to be missed; and The Hand That Feeds, which follows workers from Hot and Crusty Pizza shop as they seek to mobilize for better working conditions in an emotional organizing drive on Manhattan's East Side.
- May 9th: She's Beautiful When She's Angry, a look at the history of the Women's Liberation Movement, screening alongside Girls In The Band.
- Pride, a major motion picture based on actual events, that’s a lesson in labor history as well as a light hearted story about two very different groups – striking miners and gay rights’ activists in England in the 1980’s – learning to work together for a common goal: beating Margaret Thatcher!
- And of special significance to the RFC community, Remembering Salt. Screening on May 10, this short film tells the story of a small town in Canada that defied McCarthyism with a showing of the blacklisted 1954 movie Salt of the Earth, which was about a New Mexico miners’ strike involving union organizer Clinton Jencks (who played himself in the film). Clinton Jencks’ family has created a fund at the RFC named in his honor, which designates one RFC grant annually to assist children of workers who have been penalized, injured, fired, jailed or have died for their organizing efforts to build unions, improve working conditions and elevate living standards for all in the work force.
The Workers Unite! Film Festival takes place from May 7th to the 27th. Tickets are $7 per show, $12 for a full day of films, $22 for any two days, and $75 for all 20 days, with a student /senior discount for the full event pass, for $50. The Workers Unite Film Festival site has a full listing of show times and events, and you can follow the Festival on Facebook and Twitter, #WUFF2015.
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