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Lecture: “An Elegant Radical: The Border Journeys of Luisa Moreno”
April 21 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
About the presenter: An immigrant from Guatemala, Nave Visiting Scholar, Luisa Moreno, was one of the most prominent women labor leaders in the United States. From 1930 to 1947, she mobilized seamstresses in New York’s Spanish Harlem, cigar rollers in Florida, and cannery women in California. The first Latina to hold a national union office, she served as vice-president of the CIO cannery union (UCAPAWA). She was also the driving force behind the 1939 El Congreso del Pueblo de Habla Española (the Spanish-Speaking People’s Congress), the first national U.S. Latino civil rights conference. Her life was a series of intersecting journeys—intellectual, political, and physical —a leader who did the unthinkable—organize workers across gender, race, and background. Though finding her public voice as a bohemian Latin American feminist of the 1920s in Guatemala and in Mexico City, Moreno contributes to a national conversation about labor rights and social justice during the 1930s and 1940s. Relying on oral interviews with Moreno, her daughter, and many friends and associates as well as on Moreno’s own writings, Ruiz will also explore the politics of memory and biography given the bonds that developed between the historian, Moreno, and her daughter Mytyl.