Reframe & Refresh: Examining Labor Movements, Then and Now

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Join us online this Wednesday, December 6 at 2:00pm ET for a conversation on “Examining Labor Movements, Then and Now” as part of our ongoing Reframe & Refresh series. We'll delve into the historical context for worker's rights, as seen in Haymarket, and gain a fresh perspective on modern day labor movements, as seen in When We Fight.

Hear from Yael Bridge, co-director of When We Fight, Adrian Prawica, director of Haymarket: The Bomb, The Anarchists, The Labor Struggle, and Dr. Kendrick B. Roberson, Lecturer at UCLA’s Institute for Research on Labor & Employment and Chair of the American Federation of Government Employees’s YOUNG Committee. The conversation will be moderated by Pam Sporn (With a Stroke of the Chaveta and Detroit 48202: Conversations Along a Postal Route).


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Yael Bridge is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. Her directorial feature debut, The Big Scary "S" Word premiered at Hot Docs 2020 and on Hulu in 2022. Previously, she produced Left On Purpose, winner of the Audience Award at DOC NYC as well as the Netflix Original film, Saving Capitalism, starring former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, which was nominated for an Emmy Award in Business and Economics. She served as Head of Production at Inequality Media, where her viral videos tackling complex political issues have gained over 500 million views. Yael was included in DocNYC’s 40 Under 40 list of 2021 and was a 2022 resident at the Jewish Film Institute. She is the Co-President of the Documentary Producers Alliance and proudly serves as chair of their Labor Committee. She holds an MFA in documentary film and video from Stanford University and an MA in media studies from the New School.

Adrian Prawica is an award-winning cinematographer, director, video producer, and editor. Based in Chicago, Adrian's work in advertising, long form documentary and motorsports has been seen on major television networks in the United States and abroad by millions of viewers. Most notably the 2018 WeatherTech Super Bowl Commercial, coverage of IMSA Sports Car Series, as well as multiple documentary films on PBS, and more. Adrian specializes in product advertising cinematography, and documentary work. He is a certified Phantom high-speed camera operator, as well as works with both Arri, and RED cameras.

Dr. Kendrick B. Roberson

As a community activist, Dr. Roberson currently holds two elected positions. In 2019, he was elected to be the chair of the city of Carson’s only rent control board, ensuring that residents are not treated unfairly. In 2020, he was elected to represent the over 100,000 federal employees across the nation who are under the age of 40, as the Chair of the American Federation of Employees’ (AFGE) National YOUNG Committee. In 2021, Dr. Roberson also became the Chair of the Los Angeles Black Labor Table. Finally, in 2021, he successfully spearheaded the campaign to create AFGE’s first Black constituency group in history, and now serves as the Co-chair of that national constituency group. Through his various positions and activism, Dr. Roberson is driven to eradicate workplace bullying, mistreatment, racism, sexism, and profiling. Dr. Roberson is also active in higher education. He is currently an assistant professor at Pepperdine University, where he teaches several political science courses centered around American Politics, as well as Race and Ethnic Politics. Further, he is also a visiting lecturer at UCLA, where he teaches Black Labor Activism. 2022.

Pam Sporn is a Bronx documentary filmmaker, educator, and activist who learned to make documentary films alongside her students at Satellite Academy High School in the late 1980s. She contributed substantially to the growth of the youth media movement at Educational Video Center, Bread & Roses Integrated Arts, and Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High. Making the Impossible Possible: The Story of Puerto Rican Studies in Brooklyn College is Pam's latest documentary, which she co-directed with Tami Gold. Her 2018 film Detroit 48202: Conversations Along a Postal Route was broadcast nationally on America ReFramed, PBS/World Channel's non-fiction showcase. Prior work includes the documentaries Cuban Roots/Bronx Stories, With a Stroke of the Chaveta, Remembering the Mamoncillo Tree, and Disobeying Orders: GI Resistance to the Vietnam War. Pam has received numerous grants and awards including: JustFilms/Ford Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Puffin Foundation, Latino Public Broadcasting, CUNY Caribbean Exchange. She is a 4 time winner of the Bronx Council on the Arts BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) Award. Pam holds an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College. She has taught in the Film/Media Departments of Hunter, Brooklyn, and Ramapo Colleges, and at College Unbound.


When We Fight

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In the second largest school district in the United States, 98% of teachers vote to authorize a strike. From strike vote to contract vote, When We Fight goes behind the picket lines, documenting how and why teachers strike. The film shadows L.A. teachers for five months as they organize and strike, providing a unique first-hand account of collective democracy and labor action, and shedding light on the nationwide teacher strike upswell. Watch as one of the largest educator strikes in modern U.S. history unfolds in real-time, highlighting the stories and leadership of some of the women who led it, from union leaders to classroom teachers.

Haymarket: The Bomb, The Anarchists, The Labor Struggle

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The Haymarket Tragedy (also known as the Haymarket Riot) where a bomb thrown into the ranks of Police was followed by an eruption of panic and violence resulting in a trial and execution of presumably innocent workers' rights activists, is examined in this feature documentary film. Expert historians and professors present the history of the bomb, the anarchist and socialist movements of the 19th century, and the labor struggle of working people fighting for a shorter work day during the industrial might of America's Gilded Age.

REFRAME AND REFRESH is a series for the education and filmmaking community to have refreshing conversations that reframe our perspectives.

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