"Labor Women" and Reflecting on API Women in Labor Today

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
12:30 - 2:00 pm
UCLA Public Affairs| Luskin Faculty Lounge 5391

Presented by: Renee Tajima-Pena, UCLA Asian American Studies

with Discussants: Maylei Blackwell, UCLA Chican/o Studies

                             Quynh Nguyen, Organizer and featured in the "Labor Women" film


About the Film:

Labor Women is a portrait of three immigrant daughters who are part of a new generation transforming the U.S. labor movement. Quynh Nguyen is a trilingual organizer mobilizing meatpackers in their demands for a union contract. Karla Zombro is a lead organizer for the Respect at LAX Living Wage campaign. Jun Chong represents the most marginalized of workers - welfare recipients who are being forced into workfare programs. Contrary to images of the Asian American "model minority," they are passionate advocates for social change and the labor movement as it is becoming in the 21st century.

About the Speakers:


Renee Tajima-Peña is an Academy Award nominated filmmaker whose documentaries on the Asian American and immigrant experience includes Who Killed Vincent Chin? (POV), My America...or Honk if You Love Buddha (PBS) and Calavera Highway (POV). She is currently in production on the documentary transmedia project No Más Bebés Por Vida (No More Babies For Life), co-produced by Virginia Espino. Tajima-Peña’s films have premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial. She is currently a professor of Asian American Studies at UCLA, where she is director of the Center for EthnoCommunications and holds an endowed chair in Japanese American studies.



Professor Maylei Blackwell is an interdisciplinary scholar activist, oral historian, and author of ¡Chicana Power! Contested Histories of Feminism in the Chicano Movement, published with University of Texas Press.


She is an Associate Professor in the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies and Women's Studies Departmentat UCLA, and affiliated faculty in the American Indian Studies and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies.


Her research has two distinct, but interrelated trajectories that broadly analyze how women's social movements in the U.S. and Mexico are shaped by questions of difference ­ factors such as race, indigeneity, class, sexuality or citizenship status ­ and how these differences impact the possibilities and challenges of transnational organizing. Through collaborative and community-based research, Professor Blackwell has excavated genealogies of women of color feminism in the U.S. and accompanied indigenous women organizers in Mexico as well as feminist movements and sexual rights activists throughout Latin American. Her most recent research with farm worker women and indigenous migrants seeks to better understand new forms of grassroots transnationalism.


Quynh Nguyen is a trilingual L.A. based organizer who moves easily between Vietnamese, Spanish and English as she mobilizes meatpackers in their demands for a union contract.  Nguyen, featured in Tajima-Peña's film, "Labor Women" shared her experiences with poverty and how she didn't mind being poor as much as she minded the insecurity, with layoffs and housing problems often erupting in her family.



This event is presented by the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) and cosponsored by UCLA Gender Studies and Asian American Studies