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Susquehanna Celebrates Working Women

Published on January 31, 2014

Bread&RosesThe Susquehanna University Women’s Studies Program will host a celebration of working women, titled “Bread and Roses,” at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17 in Isaacs Auditorium of Seibert Hall. The event will include a brief presentation about the 1912 “Bread and Roses” textile strike in Lawrence, Mass., and a talk by Associate Professor of History Edward Slavishak. Attendees will receive roses and refreshments, including bread.

The Lawrence textile strike was a landmark event in American labor history. It derived its name because some of the women on the picket line carried signs reading, “We want bread and roses, too,” symbolizing their fight for subsistence and dignity. The strike erupted after mill owners slashed pay rates in response to a state law reducing the work week for women and children from 56 to 54 hours. More than 20,000 workers from various ethnic backgrounds picketed on the streets of Lawrence—often under threat of violence— for nine weeks during a bitterly cold winter before the factory owners accepted defeat and settled with them.

The Women’s Studies Program offers a minor in women’s studies and directs Susquehanna’s Women’s Resource Center. Alumni of the program have pursued graduate degrees in women’s studies and staff local domestic violence centers. Women’s studies faculty members come from a variety of disciplines and stress the importance of interdisciplinary education. The program helps students discover and explore the diverse realities of women’s lives, while also striving to understand the impact of cultural attitudes and social structures on the experiences of both women and men.

“Bread and Roses” is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Karol K. Weaver, associate professor of history and director of women’s studies, at weaverk@susqu.edu or call 570-372-4193.

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