Clara Lemlich Awards

Every year Labor Arts and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Committee host an event a wonderful event, honoring lifetime women activists.
Women who keep fighting. The award is named for Clara Lemlich, a young Ukranian Jew who was a leader of the Uprising of 20,000, the massive strike of shirtwaist workers in New York’s garment industry in 1909. Clara’s daughter and grandson come to the party, and so do many others. It’s tonight at the Museum of the City of New York at 6:30.

We look for hope
though we sometimes forget
what hope looks like
and every year
at the Clara Lemlich awards
every year when we honor
women who continue
to fight for what
it is they want to change
women who won’t
give up who call us
at ll o’clock on Sunday night
even though they’re
97 and should probably
be in bed women who want
to leave this earth
knowing they did all they could
and I mean all they could

Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.

1 Comment

  1. Clara Lemlich sounds like a genuine heroine. My personal connection to the Triangle Fire is the fact that my grandfather, Joseph Schenker, worked at the Triangle Factory after coming to New York from the Ukraine. However, when the tragic fire took place he was already working at a textile factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where he eventually married the boss’s daughter, my grandmother.

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