Forum 1: Experience

The first meeting of the forum will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Downtown Pittsburgh, April 24-25, 2019. Further details and information to register will be posted here. Group rates have been secured at the DoubleTree for $129/night and 14% combined state/local taxes (as of January 2019, taxes may change).

Goals for the forum:

  1. To provide a space for workers to share their experiences and thoughts.
  2. To better understand each other’s experiences and build solidarity.
  3. To identify commonly-shared negative experiences and reflect on which structures/systems perpetuate them.
  4. To identify structures which promoted wholeness or minimize harm.
  5. To reflect on how we may use what we’ve learned to create structural change.

Keynoter: Laura Y. Liu is Associate Professor of Global Studies & Geography at The New School. Her research focuses on community organizing, labor, migration, urban development, and design. As part of the collaborative Multiple Mobilities Research Cluster, she has researched the US-Mexico border and other border spaces, and has collectively written a photo essay on border images in Anthropology Now (2017). She has written against the novelty of precarity in Women’s Studies Quarterly (2017). With the poet Jennifer Firestone, Liu co-produced the art book LITtle by LITtle (2014). She has written on the connection between geography and industry in the art exhibit Anne Wilson: Wind/Rewind/Weave (2011); the influence of digital technologies on urban space in Situated Technologies Pamphlet 7: From Mobile Playgrounds to Sweatshop City (2010, with Trebor Scholz); and the impact of September 11 on Chinatown (Indefensible Space, 2007, Ed. Michael Sorkin). Her other articles have appeared in Urban Geography; Gender, Place, and Culture; and Social and Cultural Geography. Her ongoing project, Sweatshop City, looks at the continuing relevance of the sweatshop in New York City and other post-Fordist, globalized contexts. A second project examines the shipbreaking industry (the breaking down of massive merchant and military ships) and the role of seaports as land-water interfaces that are heavily militarized.


Time Session Location
8:00 am Registration and breakfast Foyer
9:00 am Welcome Mon Ballroom
9:30 General Activity Mon Ballroom
10:30 am Break Foyer
11:00 am Survey Results Mon Ballroom
11:30 am Lightning Talks Mon Ballroom
12:30 pm Lunch Foyer
1:30 pm Keynote: Laura Liu Mon Ballroom
2:30 pm Breakout: Discuss survey findings, stories, & experiences Mon Ballroom
3:30 pm Break Foyer
3:50 pm Breakout: In what ways has today’s sharing reflected successes and failures in your own environment? Mon Ballroom
4:45 pm Reflections Mon Ballroom
5:30 pm Dinner Allegheny/Ohio
Time Session Location
8:00 am Breakfast Foyer
9:00 am Recap and agenda Mon Ballroom
9:15 am Self-generating breakouts Mon Ballroom
10:30 am Break Foyer
10:50 am Breakout: What aspects/impacts of experience can be concretized in best practices/grant guidelines? Mon Ballroom
11:30 am Closing reflections: Open forum Mon Ballroom
12:30 pm Lunch Foyer