Labor Rights

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Collection

Melissa Gilbert

After a highly successful decade as the lead on Little House on the Prairie, Melissa Gilbert defied the odds for child actors by becoming a Hollywood power-broker as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001–2005.

Ruth Ben Israel

A renowned expert in Israeli labor law, Ruth Ben Israel drafted the legislation for Israel’s minimum wage and equal opportunity laws.

Rose Finkelstein

A lifelong labor activist, Rose Finkelstein organized pay raises and better hours for women workers throughout New England.

Angelica Balabanoff

Rebelling against her privileged upbringing, Angelica Balabanoff embraced socialism and rose to become one of the most celebrated activists and politicians of her day.

Anna Strunsky Walling

When told she was too young to be a socialist, Anna Strunsky Walling claimed that she’d been born with her passion for socialism as much as she’d been born with her talent for writing.

Toni Sender

Toni Sender’s wide-ranging quest to save the world led her from the union hall to the German Parliament (as a socialist) and finally to the UN.

“The Factory Girl’s Danger” published in The Outlook

April 15, 1911

“No, we've got to keep on working, no matter what the danger.  It's work or starve.  That's all there is to it."

Stosh Cotler

An unconventional CEO with tattoos, a black belt, and a reputation as a radical social activist, Stosh Cotler has mobilized Jewish Americans to fight for immigration reform, racial equality, and workers’ rights.

Rosika Schwimmer

Rosika Schwimmer’s uncompromising vision of women’s equality and world peace helped advance the women’s movement but caused a backlash that cost Schwimmer everything.

Dorothy Schiff

Dorothy Schiff led many lives, from debutante to social reformer, but she is best remembered as the publisher of the New York Post, the first woman to run a New York newspaper.

Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush

Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush followed in the footsteps of her famous father, Louis Brandeis, by becoming a leader in labor legislation and helping lay the groundwork for the New Deal.

Miriam Raskin

A Labor Bund activist who joined the Russian Revolution, Miriam Raskin went on to write stories of ordinary people challenged by extraordinary circumstances.

Death of social activist Sophie Gerson

March 20, 2006
Sophie Gerson was a legendary figure in the history of textile union organizing in the South.

Hortense Powdermaker

Anthropologist Hortense Powdermaker used her experiences of anti-Semitism and “passing” to offer new insights into how societies manage tensions between insiders and outsiders.

Rose Pesotta

An icon of the labor movement, anarchist Rose Pesotta was hailed for her ability to mobilize workers across gender and ethnic lines.

Maud Nathan

After her daughter’s death, Maud Nathan battled grief by throwing herself into social justice work, transforming herself from a simple society wife to influential social reformer.

Leslie Feinberg, 1949 - 2014

And in the reflection of the glass, finally, literally and metaphorically, I could see myself, and Leslie, at once. I think I started to understand what I could be in that moment, that I belonged to a proud tradition of Butch women. That there was a place for me in this world. That I could grow up. For the first time, I understood that I was looking at who and what I would become as an adult. It was breathtaking.

Vladka Meed

Freedom fighter Vladka Meed smuggled dynamite into the Warsaw Ghetto to aid the Jewish uprising and helped children escape by hiding them in Christian homes.
Labor Demonstration, 1915

Dorothy Jacobs Bellanca: The People's Voice

Ilana Goldberg

Dorothy Jacobs Bellanca was not a women’s rights activist. She was a people’s rights activist.

She understood the problems of the working class—people of all genders, ages, and backgroundsand sought to improve conditions for workers.

It just so happened that along the way, she became a leader in a way that was unprecedented for women of her era.

Theresa Serber Malkiel

Theresa Serber Malkiel fought for workers’ rights, becoming the first female factory worker to rise to leadership in the Socialist Party.

Nora Levin

While her books sparked controversy among historians, Nora Levin helped shape popular understanding of modern Jewish history.

Sonya Levien

Sonya Levien was one of the most prolific screenwriters of her day, crafting over seventy films ranging from the 1939 version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame to the screen adaptations of Oklahoma! and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

Josephine Lazarus

After the death of her famous sister Emma, Josephine Lazarus emerged as a writer and activist in her own right.

Lucy Fox Robins Lang

Though her work was largely uncredited and behind the scenes, Lucy Fox Robins Lang contributed greatly to both the labor movement and the anarchist movement as aide and confidante to major figures like Emma Goldman and Samuel Gompers.

Anna Moscowitz Kross

Anna Moscowitz Kross helped reform the New York prison system by curbing abuses and offering felons chances to train in new skills.
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