Voice of Witness at the Howard Zinn Book Fair

Howard Zinn book fair 2019On December 8, 2019, the Howard Zinn Book Fair in San Francisco will feature speakers from two Voice of Witness books: Solito, Solita: Crossing Borders with Youth Refugees from Central America and Chasing the Harvest: Migrant Workers in California Agriculture

The Howard Zinn Book Fair is an annual celebration of people’s history – past, present and future. The event brings together authors, activists, zinesters, bloggers, publishers, and the public for a day of readings, panel discussions, and workshops exploring the value of dissident histories towards building a better future.

The theme of this year’s book fair is “Strike! Discovering Our Power.” The event organizers selected this theme to celebrate the ways in which everyday people discover their ability to work together. Inspired by the wave of strikes across the United States in the past year, the massive General Strikes in India, and the recent uprisings in Algeria and Sudan, they expanded the idea of the strike to include all of the ways people can take collective action to preserve their homes, protect life on earth, respect indigeneity, shut down the machinery that produces racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and inequality, and build movements that are strong enough to last.

Voice of Witness will host a table at the event from 10am – 6pm and will be represented at two panels:

  • Fighting for Justice in California’s Fields (10:30am-12:00pm):
    • César Chávez and the United Farm Workers’ grape and lettuce boycotts captured the imagination of the United States in the 1960s and 70s. Yet today, the stories of the more than 800,000 men, women, and children working in California’s fields—one third of the nation’s agricultural workforce—are rarely heard, despite the persistence of wage theft, dangerous working conditions, and uncertain futures. The stories of California agricultural workers speak of hardship, but also of bravery, solidarity, and creativity in making a life in California’s fields, and earning greater opportunity for future generations. In this session, hear from a California farmworker, Chasing the Harvest editor Gabriel Thompson, and Esmeralda Zendejas from California Rural Legal Assistance, about today’s fight for justice in California’s fields: earning minimum wage, fair overtime, rest and meal periods, and more.
  • Solito, Solita: Crossing Borders with Youth Refugees from Central America (2:15-3:45):
    • They are a mass migration of thousands, yet each one travels alone. Solito, Solita (“Alone, Alone“) is an urgent collection of oral histories that tells—in their own words—the story of young refugees fleeing countries in Central America and traveling for hundreds of miles to seek safety and protection in the United States. Join the editors and two narrators of Solito, Solita for a discussion of this powerful new book from Voice of Witness and Haymarket Books. Solito, Solita tells the stories of youth refugees fleeing their home countries and traveling for hundreds of miles seeking safety and protection in the United States. In an era of fear, xenophobia, and outright lies, these stories amplify the compelling voices of immigrant youth. What can they teach us about abuse and abandonment, bravery and resilience, hypocrisy and hope?

The 2019 Howard Zinn Book Fair is located at the City College of San Francisco and is open to the public.

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