Round Up: May 1st – May Day!

Happy May Day! Happy International Workers’ Day! Today’s round-up is inspired by this glorious day celebrating and advocating for labor rights as well as Israeli Memorial and Independence Days!

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen my over-browned attempt at a Bread and Roses chocolate babka. Bread and Roses is a famous labor rights anthem, particularly for women, stemming from strikes in clothing and textile factories. The song insists that  in addition to physical, material necessities, workers need respect, dignity, and things of beauty. Check out this podcast to learn more about women in the labor movement and socialism.

Restaurant workers are some of the least protected and worst treated in the developed world. Ethnic inequality is rife in restaurants and here in Oakland the Restaurant Opportunities Center of the Bay Area (ROC the Bay!) is working to remedy that. They provide classes, certification, and training to level the playing field for all food service workers. 

Workers don’t face the same issues across industries, but Tech Stands Up has suggestions for how the most privileged among us can advocate for improvements – lobbying tech employers to use unioned labor in their offices, janitorial staff, and cafeterias, donating to the #Generalstrike fund, etc.

I love podcasts because they help me learn while I commute! One of my absolute favorites is Stuff You Missed In History Class, and they have plenty of episodes about labor rights – everything from early female-led strikes, to Mexican-American labor and the Bracero Program, to the role of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in the Civil Rights movement.

More in history of labor, this time with some rioting thrown in – the Evil May Day riots of 1517 when Londoners rioted over foreigners stealing their jobs.

How can foodie culture help us build a better world and improve the lives of our neighbors? Check out 1951 Coffee, a café in Berkeley employing and training refugées from around the world.

 Last week I attended a dinner cooked by Uri Scheft of Breads Bakery and Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boite spices. I am so inspired by their approach to food!

Today was Israel’s Memorial Day for soldiers and victims of terrorism. It is a solemn, heart-wrenching day of collective and personal grief. I observed it in my own little way by setting an alarm for 11:00am so I could, in my own time zone, stand in silence like the rest of Israel does.

Tonight and tomorrow is one of the happiest days of the Israeli calendar – Israel Independence Day! Read this beautiful piece by Sarah Tuttle-Singer, it is so deep and lovely and true. Celebrate with a meal of falafel, shakshuka, injera, and rugelach – the best thing about Israel is that it is a delicious, melting pot!

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