GARMENT CENTER CLOSE-UP: In honor of Women’s History Month, the New York Historical Society will host a symposium on March 6 in its Upper West Side location to explore the garment industry’s historical impact on women.
“Sweat Equity: Women in the Garment Industry” will feature two keynote addresses, courtesy of Columbia University’s Alice Kessler-Harris and union leader Julie Kushner. Kessler-Harris, a professor of American history in the school’s Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality, will offer the introductory remarks and Kushner, director of the United Auto Workers Region 9A, will speak about the ongoing fight for fair labor laws.
Yeohlee Teng and Nanette Lepore will speak with moderator JoAnne Olian about “Preservation and Renewal in New York’s Garment District.” Other sessions will include Mary Anne Trasciatti, chairwoman of Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, discussing the historic 1911 fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory that killed 145 workers.
More forward-thinking will be Parsons’ Timo Rissanen’s presentation “The Future of Fashion: From Consumption to Sustainability.” The Tenement Museum’s Annie Polland will lead the discussion “A Century of Change: The Immigrant Workforce over Time” with Fordham University’s Daniel Soyer, Baruch College, CUNY’s Hector Cordero Guzmán and Hunter College, CUNY’s Margaret Chin.
Established in memory of Jean Dubinsky Appleton, veteran labor organizer David Dubinsky’s daughter who died last year, the conference will be open to the public at no charge.