When: Tue., June 6, 7 p.m. 2017
“Don’t ever underestimate the impact you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.” This was former first lady Michelle Obama’s message to an audience in Soweto, South Africa, in 2011. Oakland, Calif., labor historian Peter Shapiro seems to be on the same page in his 2016 book Song of the Stubborn One Thousand: The Watsonville Canning Strike, 1985-87. In it, Shapiro describes how a group of women with almost no organizing experience won an 18-month strike against a major California frozen food company in the 1980s. The author covers the strike’s current-day implications, particularly for immigrants, women and labor unions, during a discussion in Calais.