I'm giving away three copies of Fannie Never Flinched in celebration of Women's History Month.
And that's not all! Find out all about the prizes and how to enter here...
If Fannie Sellins were alive today, where do you think you'd find her? My guess is she'd be working along side Ai-Jen Poo.
Four years ago, Newsweek named Ai-Jen to it's 150 Fearless Women list. TIME called her one of 100 Most Influential People in the World.
What does she do? Something many people said couldn't be done. In 2000, she started organizing domestic workers, mostly women, who work in homes carrying for the young and the elderly, cooking and cleaning.
Ai-Jen brought together workers spread out over many private homes, co-founding
Domestic Workers United in New York City.
Her work led to the New York State Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, passed in 2010, it guaranteed domestic workers lawful rights to vacation and overtime pay.
Under Ai-Jen's leadership the union grew into the National Domestic Workers Alliance and expanded operations across the country.
Like Fannie Sellins, Ai-Jen is motivated by compassion...
"I often compare great campaigns to great love affairs because they’re an incredible container for transformation."
But Ai-Jen is no push-over. "...when we’re trying to transform a fundamentally unequal society...there’s a level of discomfort and conflict that has to happen in order for us to achieve a more loving fate.” She says domestic workers are up for the fight.
Marking #DayWithoutAWoman, International Women's Day, March 8, thousands of domestic workers from across the nation skipped work, dressed in red and rallied in the streets.
Skipping a day of work means a huge hit to the household budget of low wage workers, and they risk being fired, but domestic workers in America have a history of taking risks like this, Ai-jen Poo wrote for CNN.com.
In 1881, black washerwomen went on strike in Atlanta and nearly shut down the entire city. Despite losing wages, being arrested and fined for “disorderly conduct” the women stayed off the job for weeks. Standing their ground they won better pay, more autonomy in their work and inspired other low wage workers to strike.
Ai-Jen says many immigrant members of the Domestic Workers Alliance have already risked their lives fleeing poverty, violence and war to bring their children to the U.S., and in the current political climate, simply walking their children to school or going to the grocery store they risk getting caught and deported.
Ai-Jen's suggests. "Let's keep asking the question: 'How can I be more courageous in what I commit to, to match what's at stake?'"
"How can I be more courageous
Fannie Sellins were alive today, she'd be asking us to consider the same challenge. Fannie would be right at home with Ai-Jen Poo and the women and men of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
I'm fascinated to discover little-known stories from history. Stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
I also post here about my books and feature other authors and their books on compelling and important historical topics.
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