Saturday, June 29
Opening Plenary Session
She waged an epic legal battle with Goodyear Tire & Rubber seeking equal pay and promotional opportunities. Then she had a law named after her.
In 2009 President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The new act states that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit no longer is based on the date the employer decided what to pay the employee, but rather it resets with each new paycheck affected by discrimination. Lilly Ledbetter has remained a tireless advocate for fair pay for women and is a featured speaker at colleges, universities, conferences as well as business, political and women's groups. She has made frequent appearances on the Rachel Maddow Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, CBS Morning Show, the Ed Shultz Show, and the Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert. Her life story, based on the book she co-wrote with Lanier Scott Isom, Grace and Grit: How I Won My Fight at Goodyear and Beyond, is currently being made into a movie. She is also a national champion in ballroom dancing and waltzed with President Obama at the Inaugural Ball.
Saturday, June 29
Luncheon Plenary Session
WARREN S. NISHIMOTO, PH.D.
It is a terrible thing for a people to lose their past and their voice. Professor Nishimoto has worked a lifetime recording and preserving the oral histories of working people from many different ethnic backgrounds—Native Hawaiians, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Koreans, and Okinawans.
Warren Nishimoto is director of the Center for Oral History, Social Science Research Institute, University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Since 1983, he has conducted and coordinated oral history projects documenting irreplaceable aspects of the social, cultural and political history of the Hawaiian Islands. Of particular interest are his oral histories that chronicle the impact on individual people of historical events—World War II, the 1946 tsunami and labor strife. Dr. Nishimoto was born and raised in Honolulu, on the island of O’ahu. He attended public primary and secondary schools before receiving a B.A. in American History from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He went on to earn an M.A. from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. He serves as a consultant to several community-based oral history projects and publishes books and article on oral history. His Center for Oral History has interviewed more than 850 men and women, creating an archive collection of more than 40,000 transcript pages.
Sunday, June 30
Closing Plenary Session
She worked side-by-side with César Chávez to organize the United Farm Workers (UFW) union and directed the UFW’s first National Boycott of California Table Grapes. She also became an activist in the women’s liberation movement, speaking out against gender discrimination.
Dolores Huerta was in born in Dawson, New Mexico, a small mining town. He father was a farm worker, miner and union activist. After her parents divorced, she moved with her mother to Stockton, California. Educated in public schools, she graduated from the University of Pacific’s Delta College and became a teacher. But Ms. Huerta couldn’t bear seeing her students come to school with empty stomachs and bare feet, so she began her lifelong journey of working to correct economic injustice. She and César Chávez worked together in the Community Service Organization before organizing the UFW. Her contact with feminist such as Gloria Steinem awakened the women’s rights organizer within Huerta. At 82, as President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she continues to work tirelessly advocating for the working poor.