Women's History Month Book Talk

Date: March 24th, 2024.

Women's History Month Book Talk
Sunday March 24, 2:30-4:00
A FREE event

"Connecting Compassion to Civic Conversation"
with Aimee Loiselle, PhD

Through breathing and mindfulness, Aimee will bring the group together to hear about her women's history book, "Beyond Norma Rae: How Puerto Rican and Southern White Women Fought for a Place in the American Working Class" (University of North Carolina Press, 2023)

We are proud to host a conversation with our student and friend Aimee Loiselle, who wrote this important book showcasing how gender, race, culture, film, and mythology have reconfigured and often undermined the history of the American working class and its labor activism.

Aimee starts with ideas about using compassion and mindfulness to study and talk about uncomfortable, challenging topics. Difficulties in our existence, like exploitation, often lead folks to try to avoid or gloss over them. The Buddha and Dalai Lama remind us that difficulties (dukkha) are part of life and history, and we can use practices to face them.

Aimee researched the long history of women working in the textile and apparel industry -- a major engine for US global growth in the 20th century. Low-income women used activism and popular culture to try to change their work conditions and public perception of their labor, yet only a white southern woman got mainstream media attention, which led to the movie Norma Rae, a blockbuster 1979 film featuring Sally Field in the title role. This fascinating book reveals how the film and the popular icon it created each worked to efface the labor history that formed the foundation of the film's story.

  • Walk ins are welcome. You don't have to read the book or prepare ahead of time.
  • If interested, preparatory reading: "Compassion and the Individual" by the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
  • To pre register, just for our planning, click here.
  • To find her book on Amazon, click here.