Don’t Mourn, Organize! Histories of Resistance, Resilience, and Possibility

Endorsed by the Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA)

Friday, April 3, 2020, 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Type: Roundtable Discussion

Tags: Education; Labor and Working-Class; Women's History


Take part in the Community Watch Event for this session on June 18 at 7 pm (ET) on and connect with the panelists and your peers live!
From Harper’s Ferry to Standing Rock, from the Wobblies to the Fight for 15, movements for change throughout U.S. history have pursued goals that seemed impossibly utopian to their contemporaries. On occasion, however, actions from below have transformed the inconceivable into the inevitable.

Our current historical moment features many overlapping crises with deep roots in our collective past and scarce hope to offer for our future. With this context in mind, this roundtable seeks to explore the unpredictable nature of history and the resilience of the human spirit, and, perhaps, offer some hope for future that we must build together.

Session Participants

Chair: Dawson Barrett, Del Mar College
Dawson Barrett is Assistant Professor of US history at Del Mar College in Texas. He is the author of Teenage Rebels: Successful High School Activists, from the Little Rock Nine to the Class of Tomorrow (Microcosm Publishing, 2015) and The Defiant: Protest Movements in Post-Liberal America (New York University Press, May 2018).

Panelist: Dana Frank, University of California, Santa Cruz
Dana Frank is Professor of History Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her books include The Long Honduran Night: Resistance, Terror, and the Aftermath of the Coup; Bananeras: Women Transforming the Banana Unions of Latin America; Buy American: The Untold Story of Economic Nationalism; Purachasing Power: Consumer Organizing, Gender, and the Labor Movement in Seattle, 1919-29 and, with Robin D.G. Kelly, Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls and the Fighting Spirit of Labor’s Labor Century.. Her writings on human rights and U.S. policy in post-coup Honduras have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, The Nation, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and many other publications, and she has been interviewed by the Washington Post, the New Yorker, New York Times, and regularly on Democracy Now! She has spent many years now doing advocacy work in Congress about US policy in Honduras.

Panelist: Jesse Hagopian, Rethinking Schools
Jesse Hagopian teaches Ethnic Studies at Seattle’s Garfield High School and is an editor for Rethinking Schools magazine. Jesse is the director of the Black Education Matters Student Activist Award and the co-editor of the new book, Teaching for Black Lives.

Panelist: Annelise Orleck, Dartmouth College
Annelise Orleck is Professor of History, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies and Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College. She is the author of five books and co-editor of two. All but one focus on organizing and activism. Among them are: Common Sense and A Little Fire; Women and Working-Class Politics in the United States (1995; Second Edition 2017); Storming Caesars Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty (2005); Rethinking American Women's Activism (2014); and most recently 'We Are All Fast Food Workers Now:' The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages (2018). Co-edited collections include The Politics of Motherhood: Activist Voices from Left to Right (1997); and The War on Poverty, 1964-1980: A New Grassroots History (2011).

Panelist: Paul Ortiz, University of Florida