From New York to California, from Italy to Bangladesh, people remember the 146 workers who died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Greenwich Village in 1911. Their deaths galvanized a movement for workers’ rights and workplace safety, which led to monumental changes that still affect our lives. Mary Anne Trasciatti, co-editor (with Edvige Giunta) of Talking to the Girls: Intimate and Political Essays on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, reflects on various ways the Triangle story continues to inspire activists, artists, writers, teachers, and scholars in the U.S. and internationally to stand together and fight for a better world.
“If there is injustice, someone can always stand up and speak up. If there is someone, then why not you?” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity, quoting her mother.
Mary Anne Trasciatti, Ph.D. is Professor of Rhetoric and Director of Labor Studies at Hofstra University, President of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, and co-editor (with Edvige Giunta) of Talking to the Girls: Intimate and Political Essays on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (New Village Press, 2022). For over a decade, she has been leading the project to build a permanent memorial to honor the 146 mostly Italian and Jewish immigrant women and girls who died in the 1911 Triangle fire. Scheduled for dedication in 2023, the Triangle Fire Memorial will be the first labor memorial and one of only a small number of memorials to women in New York City.
Sunday Platform is our most important and long-standing community event. These gatherings educate, stimulate personal growth, inspire reflection and action, and strengthen our community. Sunday meetings begin with music, followed by greetings and a talk given by a Society Leader, member, or guest. Platforms cover a variety of topics that reflect current events, pressing social issues, and Humanist philosophy. Each Sunday meeting is followed by a luncheon and social hour.