The Irish American Heritage Museum hosts Making Change: Irish Immigrant Activism Series - Irish Women in American Labor on September 7 at 7:00 PM via Zoom.
Dr. Elizabeth Stack discusses the work of Mother Jones, Leonora Barry and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn in the inaugural lecture of this new series and exhibition. These three women were instrumental national leaders for labor rights for all Americans. Mother Jones, the “most dangerous woman in America,” marched with striking garment workers in Chicago, bottle washers in Milwaukee breweries, Pittsburgh steelworkers, El Paso streetcar operators, and Calumet copper miners. Leonora Barry was the first woman to hold a national position in the Knights of Labor. She investigated abuse by employers, advocated equal pay, and lobbied to abolish child labor. She played a key role in securing Pennsylvania's first Factory Inspection Act. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn worked for the Industrial Workers of the World since she was 16 years old. After WWI, she co-founded the American Civil Liberties Union, and campaigned for female suffrage and birth control. She was arrested under the Smith Act for her involvement with the Communist Party, becoming the first woman to head the party in 1961. This series has been funded in part by Humanities New York, with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities.