Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Hispanic Heritage Month continues with film showing

“Made in L.A., Hecho en Los Angeles” is a story for anyone who buys clothes, as well as a story of the struggle for basic human rights.

The film will be shown in the Ferguson Center game room tonight at 7 p.m.

The Emmy-award-winning documentary and official selection of the Los Angeles Film Festival is being presented as part of the events of Hispanic Latino Heritage Month. It tells the story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles sweatshops during their three-year journey to win basic labor protections from clothing retailer Forever 21.

Maria Victoria Perez-Fisher, the peer education programs coordinator at the Women’s Resource Center, said she hopes the message resonates with UA students.

“I picked this film because people don’t think about where their merchandise comes from and the working conditions of the people who had to make it,” Perez-Fisher said. “It’s important for Americans to realize that they wouldn’t pick these jobs and that because only immigrants are willing to take them, they are being treated as sub-humans.”

All three of the film’s women come to Los Angeles from Central America in hopes of finding a better life, but are forced to work in terrible conditions and endure personal struggles.

One woman has been working in garment factories for 15 years since coming to the United States at 17; one had to leave her three children behind in order to find a job that would better support them; and one has been struggling against domestic abuse for 23 years since she left Mexico at 18.

These three women join forces with other immigrant workers at L.A.’s Garment Worker Center to stand up for their rights as humans in the workplace. Their protest becomes very public when they launch a lawsuit and boycott.

“The film really shows the terrible working conditions of these people who make our clothes,” Perez-Fisher said. “They are paid below minimum wage, sometimes locked inside the factories until they finish their work or forced to take it home and finish it, but without ever getting paid over-time.”

The Women’s Resource Center and Cultural Experiences of the Honors College Assembly are sponsoring the event. It is free and will have free food and beverages available after the movie.

The audience is also invited to stay and make bracelets to remind them to “buy smart” from companies that treat their employees with dignity and respect.

“This movie sounds like it could really open your eyes,” said Suzanne Schwee, a junior majoring in psychology. “I didn’t even know we had such terrible factories in the U.S., and it will definitely make me think about where I shop.”

“We just want students to be aware of the lives and struggles of workers and try to do research to know where their clothes come from,” Perez-Fisher said. “People will definitely relate because so many love to buy cheap clothes at places like Forever 21 but don’t think about what someone had to do to make them.”

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