Red Carpet Activism

Karlos Gauna Schmieder
Posted February 27th, 2012 by Karlos Gauna Schmieder
In CMJ Home
No Comments »

While the film industry celebrated itself last night with the usual red carpet awards show, another industry had a red carpet night of their own.

Domestic workers and their families and friends held Oscar viewing parties all over the country last night, as part of a campaign that used “The Help” to shed light on conditions for care workers and gain support for fair labor practices. [The picture above is from Southwest Workers Union's viewing party in San Antonio.]

While there has been criticism of the movie’s “Hollywood” portrayal of the South, many domestic workers themselves were happy to see their struggle depicted on the big screen.

“I love the movie because it shed a lot of light on the domestic work industry,” said one domestic worker to Entertainment Tonight.

“Social change happens through changed hearts and minds, changed behavior and changed policy,” said [Ai-Jen] Poo [Of the National Domestic Workers Alliance] to ColorLines.“All that is connected. Doing this work around the film allowed us to tap into the way in which pop culture has a broad impact on the imagination.”

CMJ’s Executive Director, Malkia Cyril, understands this well.

“Framing as a methodology isn’t just about language. The conservative right knows this. While progressives focus narrowly on narrative, the right frames in a multilevel, multidisciplinary way – through policy, media, organizing, funding, research and academia…,” Cyril recently posted on Facebook.

This is what one would call “connecting the dots.”

In Octavia Spencer’s Golden Globe acceptance speech for best supporting actor she said, “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance.”

No doubt, workers across the country celebrated her victory again last night.

Yet all the victories of this campaign haven’t been symbolic. The campaign has won real changes, like better wages, and vacation and sick days for domestic workers.

Join this winning campaign today, and click the like button above if you feel me.

Leave a Reply

*

Back to Blog
close

Video streaming by Ustream

#Oakland Voices: A Town Hall on Our Right to Communicate was a huge success! Want to watch the full event? We’ve got you covered.