The UMass Unions Labor Chorus and the Building Bridges Public Art and Engagement Initiative are hosting a series of events called “Building Our Movements: The Power of Song.” This includes a course for campus workers along with three events during the month of October. All virtual events in the series are open to the campus community – no musical experience necessary – and are free with online registration.
The kick-off event is an evening with Elise Bryant, Director of the D.C. Labor Chorus and leader of what the Washington Post recently called “the musical arm of the resistance.” The UMass Unions United Labor Chorus has invited Elise to help launch the chorus; anyone interested in building solidarity with and through song should participate in this inspiring event. Again, no musical experience necessary. The Building Solidarity with Song workshop is followed by a Song Swap, led by Elise and with special guests and community members.
Our second event is a film screening of “Singing Our Way to Freedom” followed by a dialogue with film director Paul Espinosa. The film chronicles the life of Chicano civil rights activist and musician Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez. This is part of the Building Bridges worker rights as human rights project, in collaboration with the Labor Center.
The course for UMass workers, with the same name as the series, invites campus workers to examine the role and power of song, as it has been used in the movements for worker, civil and human rights. It meets five times on Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. starting on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
The series is a part of the ongoing Building Bridges Virtual Showcase, which highlights the creative talents of more than 60 staff with digital galleries and videos. All events are free with online registration.
Building Our Movements: The Power of Song is a collaboration among: Building Bridges; The UMass Unions United Labor Chorus; The Labor Center; The Partnership for Worker Education; and the Office of Equity and Inclusion. Co-sponsors include: Civic Engagement & Service-Learning; the Commonwealth Honors College; the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx Studies; the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Social Thought and Political Economy; the College of Humanities and Fine Arts; and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.