This March, April and May, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies is proud to participate in Labor Spring 2023, a nationwide series of teach-ins, events and actions. 

Over ten events, hosted on-line and in-person, are being organized or sponsored by the Harry Bridges Center. In line with the mission of Labor Spring, these events will lift up ongoing current campaigns; delve into pivotal historical moments for workers; highlight racial and gender equity in the worker justice movement; and examine the crucial importance of this moment in labor’s history.

Event details are below. This page will be updated as information becomes available. For additional information, visit the Harry Bridges Center Events Calendar

Questions?Contact the Harry bridges Center at  

Learn more about Labor Spring 2023, a project of the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. 

March 29, 2023 - May 19, 2023

Building a Movement Labor Art Exhibit

Viewable during all building hours.
Odegaard Library, University of Washington, Seattle.

This special one-time exhibit, created by Building a Movement (BAM) undergraduate interns at the Bridges Center for Labor Studies, uses mixed media art to showcase contemporary labor organizing efforts in Washington State. The exhibit expands the definition of labor organizing by bringing attention to community activism that has not often been considered part of the labor movement. The goal of this exhibit is to showcase the richness of labor organizing and encourage community members, and especially UW students, to explore their own relationship to labor and labor activism. 

Subjects include grocery workers activism; the working conditions of Amazon delivery workers; grassroots organizing at the Tacoma Northwest Detention Center; unionization efforts of Ostrom Mushroom Workers in Sunnyside, WA; BIPOC labor leaders in Washington State; living and working conditions of Academic Student Employees at the University of Washington; the history of community organizing in Chinatown/ID, Seattle; and interviews with labor organizers at SEIU Healthcare 1199NW.


Monday, April 3

Starbucks Campaign Planning Meeting Hosted by Workers United

Savery Hall, Room 131, University of Washington, Seattle.
Registration requested.

Workers United, the union supporting Starbucks workers, is building a campaign that will allow students, faculty, and staff at colleges across the country to take action on their campuses in solidarity with Starbucks Workers United.

Student groups (and individual students), union members, faculty, and community members are invited to attend the very first planning meeting for a campaign that will work in solidarity and struggle with other campaigns for justice on the UW campus.


Tuesday, April 11

Labor Studies Scholarship Information Session

Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center (ECC1), Chicano/Native Suite (Room 206-208), University of Washington, Seattle.

Are you an undergrad passionate about social justice? A graduate student writing a dissertation on a labor-related topic? A busy activist building a student group or union campaign?

You are in luck! Each year, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies awards over $50,000 in scholarships at the University of Washington. The Bridges Center is currently seeking scholarship applicants from all three UW campuses and from students at all stages of education and experience. At this Information Session, Bridges Center staff will answer any questions you have about our scholarships or the application process, discuss what may strengthen your application, and offer individualized assistance.

Please RSVP if you will be attending by emailing Food will be provided (Vietnamese sandwiches). When RSVPing, please indicate if you have any dietary restrictions/allergies.


Wednesday, April 12

Harry Bridges: Labor Radical, Labor Legend - Virtual Book Talk and Discussion

5:00pm-6:30pm (Pacific Time).
Streaming on-line via Zoom. Register for link.

The iconic leader of a small but powerful union, Harry Bridges was a highly controversial figure within the twentieth century labor movement. The result of more than 30 years of research, Robert Cherny’s new monumental biography of Bridges tells the life story of the person who built the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) into a labor powerhouse that now represents some 30,000 workers.

Join the University of Washington's Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies for an evening with author Robert Cherny, labor journalist E. Tammy Kim, and ILWU activist Zack Pattin, reflecting on Bridges's life and his legacy for the labor movement today.


Wednesday, April 19

Virtual Workshop: Using Public Records Requests and FOIA in Research

12:30pm-2:00pm (Pacific Time).
Streaming on-line via Zoom. Register for link.

The Harry Bridges Center will host a panel of researchers to discuss the role of public record requests and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in labor research and beyond. We will discuss Washington State's Public Record Act and the FOIA, specifically what these acts allow and how they support researchers and anyone interested in accessing materials that are within the purview of the acts. 

Our panel will include Joyce Sinakhone, a union researcher at SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, Phil Neff, a Research Coordinator at the University of Washington Center for Human Rights, and Trevor Griffey, a Labor Historian at UC Irvine, and the co-founder of the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project. In addition to receiving information, advice, and examples of public record requests, workshop participants will have a chance to receive support in submitting any public record request they are working on! 


Thursday, April 20

Symposium on Contracting Freedom and Latinx History

3:30pm-5:00pm reception, 5:00pm-6:00pm reception.
Petersen Room (4th Floor, Room 485), Allen Library, UW Seattle.

A special event marking the release of historian Maria Quintana's new book Contracting Freedom: Race, Empire, and U.S. Guestworker Programs (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022). The first relational study of the origins of twentieth-century U.S. guestworker programs from Mexico and the Caribbean, Quintana's book investigates these government-sponsored programs as the unexplored consequence of the history of enslaved labor, Japanese American incarceration, the New Deal, the long civil rights movement, and Caribbean decolonization.

Quintana will be joined by a panel of scholars reflecting on Contracting Freedom and the state of the field of Latinx History and its study at the University of Washington. Speakers will include: Maria Quintana, Assistant Professor of History, Sacramento State University (Ph.D., History, University of Washington, 2016); Michael Damien Aguirre, Assistant Professor of History, University of Nevada, Reno (Ph.D., History, University of Washington, 2019); Josué Estrada, Assistant Professor of History, Central Washington University (Ph.D., History, University of Washington, 2021); and Alina R. Méndez,  Assistant Professor of American Ethnic Studies, University of Washington.


Wednesday, April 26

Worker Memorial Day - Virtual Ceremony
Theme: “Worker Justice, Climate Justice,” with keynote speaker Shemona Moreno, 350 Seattle

Streaming on-line via Zoom. 
Register for link.

The University of Washington's annual Worker Memorial Day event is a special ceremony that raises awareness about how we can strengthen our commitment to make jobs safer and save lives in Washington State. This year’s theme is “Worker Justice, Climate Justice.” The keynote speaker will be Shemona Morena, Executive Director of 350 Seattle.


Monday, May 1

“Women and Equality:” An Evening with Ai-Jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Alliance

Kane Hall, Room 120.
Registration Required.

Ai-jen Poo is an award-winning organizer, author, and a leading voice in the women’s movement. She is the President of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Director of Caring Across Generations, Co-Founder of SuperMajority, Co-Host of Sunstorm podcast and a Trustee of the Ford Foundation. Ai-jen is a nationally recognized expert on elder and family care, the future of work, and what’s at stake for women of color. She is the author of the celebrated book, The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America. As a leading voice in the women’s movement, Ai-Jen Poo will talk about the status of today’s labor movement and its impact on women.


May 5-May 6, 2023

2023 Conference of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association
Theme: "“Labor Resurgence: Learning From the Recurring Conflict with Capital,” with keynote speaker Professor Moon-Ho Jung, Harry Bridges Endowed Chair in Labor Studies, University of Washington. 

Full schedule to be announced.
Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402.

The Pacific Northwest holds an annual conference in one of the three membership regions. At this main public event, historians, students, unionists and others come together to share information and exchange views on past events that shaped the labor movement in both the United States and Canada. A full program schedule is forthcoming.