On Friday, July 26th, The Center teamed up with The United Mine Workers Association (UMWA) to hold a community discussion and showing of the Michael Moore film “Capitalism: A Love Story.” Just like last month, our timing worked out, this movie showing was held while labor activists across the nation were fighting for a sustainable living wage.
To kick things off, we featured local labor activists and officials on the subject of labor in a discussion panel and community forum. Dr. Jim Dougherty, a member of the Sociology faculty at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was the moderator of the night’s discussion. The three experts who sat on the stage shared their vast knowledge about labor and economic issues. The first panelist, Ron Baker, is a local member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Our discussion’s second panelist, Ron Airhart, represented our partner UMWA at the forum. Finally, Dr. Brandon Vick, the third panelist, is a new member of the Indiana and IUP community as a brand new faculty member at IUP’s Economics Department.
“We’re talking about ‘the “C” word’ today. You see, while other departments at IUP call it the ‘free market’, we at the Sociology Department aren’t afraid to call it capitalism,” Dougherty joked as he started off the panel. Even though each panelist came from their own background and experiences, all three panelists agreed that we need to support labor unions in order to give Indiana County workers a fair chance.
The film explored the state of the American economy and how major corporations and banks have made it this way. Michael Moore exposed these issues in his usual style that features storytelling, humor, and the personal experiences of those affected by the issue addressed in the movie.
Last week’s event was the last film in the 2013 Film Series. Here at The Center, we thank everyone who has attended and supported this series—without you, it couldn’t have happened! We plan to hold a meeting in November where we can hear what our members want from us as an organization, but we don’t listen to feedback from just them. Is there anything that you think we can improve on or add for next year’s film series and for our events in general? Feel free to let us know right here in the comments, on our Facebook page, on our Twitter feed, or at our email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article written by Melissa King, edited by Gerald Smith and Colleen Donovan