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Carceral Labour and Sweatshop Abolition Panel Discussion

September 17, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

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Friday September 17, 2021
7pm EST/ 6pm Central/ 4pm PST
Online on ZOOM

Please join us for a lively Zoom panel discussion, Carceral Labour and Sweatshop Abolition, with Hoda Katebi of Blue Tin Production, Marissa Nuncio of the Garment Worker Centre and Homework4Health, a garment worker from the Garment Workers Center (TBD), moderated by Minh-Ha T. Pham. They will discuss the concepts explored in Pham’s recent paper “A World Without Sweatshops: Abolition and Not Reform”. Pham explains “to bring forth a world without sweatshops, we have to accurately identify the sources of sweatshops… sweatshops aren’t the results of individual brands behaving badly but a broad configuration of state, capital, and cultural political interests that I classify as sweatshop or free market feminism. Without a serious critique of the sweatshop’s structural reality, any efforts to make fashion more ethical can only be what prison abolitionists call “reformist reforms.” Reformist reforms pursue gentler and more inclusive forms of labor and resource extraction rather than the abolition of this extractive industry altogether. The discussion concludes with examples of sweatshop abolition in practice: the garment worker collectives called Homework4Health (Los Angeles) and Blue Tin Production (Chicago).

A World Without Sweatshops: Abolition and Not Reform is available to read HERE*.

Pre-registration is required for this free online event. Please register HERE.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event

Accessibility: Live automatically generated captions will be used during the event. A video recording of the panel will be posted on our website with corrected captions after the event takes place.



Hoda Katebi is a Chicago-based Iranian-American writer, abolitionist organizer, and creative educator. Her political fashion work has been hailed from the BBC to the New York Times to the pages of VOGUE and featured and cited in books, journals, and museums around the world. Hoda is the host of #BecauseWeveRead, a radical digital book club and discussion series with 25+ chapters globally; founding member of Blue Tin Production, an apparel manufacturing workers co-operative run by working class women of color setting global standards in labor and sustainability; a national lead with Believers Bail Out, a bail fund using Zakat to bail Muslims from pretrial & immigration incarceration; and organizer with the No War Campaign. She is the author of the book Tehran Streetstyle (2016), contributor to the book I Refuse to Condemn: Resisting Racism in Times of National Security (Manchester Press 2020), and her writing has appeared in publications including Newsweek, Washington Post, and the Columbia Journalism Review.

Marissa Nuncio joined the Garment Worker Center (GWC) in February 2013. Marissa proudly identifies as a Chicana. he became aware of worker struggles growing up in Magnolia Park, the oldest Mexican community in Houston, TX, surrounded by the City’s port and oil refineries. As a young adult, she studied in Mexico three years after NAFTA was implemented and learned of its devastating impacts on workers and communities throughout North America. Her commitment to worker organizing was solidified there, and in 2001 she joined Sweatshop Watch, a co-founding organization of the GWC, where her role was to support the newly established Center and its first campaigns. Inspired by work at the intersection of law and organizing, Marissa went on to earn her Juris Doctorate at Loyola Law School. She has represented unions, car wash workers, day laborers, and farmworkers. She is proud to have returned to the GWC to help frame its strategic organizing direction with its members and amazing staff.

Minh-Ha T. Pham is an Associate Professor in the Graduate Program in Media Studies at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Her research examines fashion labor and power in the contexts of global and digital capitalism. Her writings on the subject appear in a wide range of scholarly and mainstream publications including The New Republic, The NationNew York TimesSocial TextAmerican QuarterlyJacobin, and The Atlantic. She is also the author of Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet: Race, Gender, and the Work of Personal Style Blogging (Duke University Press 2015) and Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Social Media’s Influence on Fashion, Ethics, and Property (Duke University Press 2022).Other book projects include a work of cultural criticism about garment sweatshop abolition and a memoir that draws on her experiences as a Vietnamese refugee in the US to tell a story about race, gender, and class formations of Asian brownnes

Garment Worker Center is a worker rights organization leading an anti-sweatshop movement to improve conditions for tens of thousands of Los Angeles garment workers. Through direct organizing, GWC develops leaders who demand enforcement of strong labor laws and accountability from factory owners, manufacturers, and fashion brands. We center immigrant workers, women of color, and their families who are impacted by exploitation in the fashion industry.


WAHC wishes to acknowledge the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Hamilton, the Province of Ontario, CUPE, the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario, and the Canada Council for the Arts for their support of our exhibitions and ancillary programs.

For more information, please contact Sonali Menezes, Programming and Exhibitions Specialist, at (905) 522-3003 ex. 29 or sonali@wahc-museum.ca.

*Pham, Minh-Ha, A World Without Sweatshops: Abolition Not Reform (June 4, 2021). Abolition Feminisms: Organizing, Survival, and Transformative Practice edited by Alisa Bierria, Jakeya Caruthers, and Brooke Lober (Haymarket Books), Forthcoming

Logos for Blue Tin Production and Garment Worker Center

51 Stuart Street, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8L 1B5       905.522.3003       Public Hours: Click here