Speakers &

May Day Labor Film Festival


In order of appearance

Almudena Carracedo trained in film production in Madrid and Paris and worked as a television director in Spain. She came to the U.S. as an international scholar to work on her doctoral dissertation on U.S./Mexico border documentaries at UCLA Film School. Her documentary on Tijuana as a border town, Welcome, A Docu-Journey of Impressions, received the Sterling Award for Best Short Documentary at Silverdocs Documentary Festival and screened in numerous national and international festivals. Five years in the making, Made in L.A. is her first feature documentary. Almudena is a recent fellow of NALIP’s Latino Producers Academy.

Anu Menon is the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) Policy Analyst for the Department on the Status of Women of the City and County of San Francisco.

Pat Bakalian is Executive Director for the Campaign for Gender Equality.

Alex Ivany began his film La Huelga: The Struggle of the UFW in 2008 as a sophomore at Santa Cruz High School and completed it one year later. As a student filmmaker who is particularly interested in documentaries, Alex chose to do a film on this subject because he believes that César Chávez was an extraordinary man who really lived to his full potential and has been a role model for young people. This premiere at Reel Work is Alex’s second film to be screened in a film festival; a previous film was screened at the Santa Cruz Film Festival in 2007.

Andrew Freund, Socialist filmmaker, is an Emmy-nominated videographer whose work has appeared on PBS and Chicago television stations. He worked camera on the upcoming documentary film, Immigrant Nation. Freund has produced several half-hour episodes for the non-profit, pro-union TV show Labor Beat, and serves as chairman of its board. He resides in Chicago and is an activist against war and domestic violence, and uses his video skills to campaign for workers’ rights. He is an IBEW steward. His new film, Workers’ Republic, documents the December 2008 factory occupation of Republic Windows and Doors by its laid-off employees.

Armando Robles is President of UE Local 1110. He worked at Republic for eight years, three months and 11 days. Armando was on the committee to organize UE at Republic, served as Chief Steward and on the negotiations committee. Armando was instrumental in negotiating the settlement with Bank of America and the foundation of the Window of Opportunity Fund. Armando was born in Tijuana and grew up in Jalisco, Mexico. He immigrated to the states in 1988 in search of a better life. Armando is married with five children from ages 7 to 22 and two grandkids.

Melvin “Ricky” Maclin is Vice-President of UE Local 1110. Ricky worked at Republic for seven years. He was on the committee to organize UE at Republic and has served both as a UE steward for three years and on the negotiations committee. He was instrumental in negotiating the settlement with Bank of America and the foundation of the Window of Opportunity Fund. Ricky is married, with 6 grown children and 16 grandchildren. Ricky is the grandson of a sharecropper from Tennessee.

Mark Meinster is an International Representative for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). Meinster coordinates UE’s organizing, collective bargaining and education work in Illinois and southern Wisconsin. He led UE’s successful efforts over the past seven years to organize thousands of immigrants working in Chicago’s manufacturing sector. Before joining UE in 1997, Meinster worked as a community organizer in Washington, DC.

Skip Spitzer has been a change-maker on a wide range of social and environmental issues for more than 25 years, working from the local to the global level. He has started co-ops, run electoral campaigns, founded a labor union, worked in war zones, coordinated international coalitions and helped negotiate global environmental treaty texts.
     Among other organizations, Spitzer has worked with Pesticide Action Network, the Women’s Campaign for Guatemala, the Ecological Farming Association, Long Island Eastern Farm Workers Association, Pastors for Peace Cuba program, the United Farm Workers, and the Resource Center for Nonviolence.
     For more than a decade Spitzer has been a social change skills trainer, focusing on organizational development, campaign development, facilitation, consensus process, grassroots organizing, using non-violent direct action and other topics. Earning an M.A. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, he has taught at California universities and community colleges. For many years Spitzer worked as a software engineer for computer industry leaders, designing and developing high-end, code-driven Web sites and other online systems for facilitating international collaboration.
     Long interested in how positive change happens, Spitzer believes that effective and inclusive collective action is an essential factor in building a new world.
     Spitzer will speak on the Seattle WTO Ministerial, what’s happened with the WTO since 1999, and the role of direct action in fighting for the environment and justice today.

Fred Hirsch, Vice President of Plumbers Local 393, has been an activist for social and economic justice all his life. His retirement from construction work merely allows him more time to focus on interests such as solidarity with labor activism in Central and South America, where he has visited frequently. He has led the call from within the ranks for the AFL-CIO to come clean on its secret history of collusion with the CIA in thwarting people’s movements abroad. Hirsch will lead a discussion on the role of organized labor at the WTO protests in Seattle, 1999.

Ross Newport is one of the early members of the workers collective that built Community Printers over the past 30 years into the largest printing business in Santa Cruz County. The shop is a leader in environmental printing practices and has stayed true to its original progressive ideals by donating printing to many non-profit community groups, including Reel Work.

Melissa Farley, Ph.D. has practiced as a clinical psychologist for 40 years. She brings that experience to her consultations with agencies, governments, and advocates for prostituted and trafficked women. She has articulated the harms of prostitution, pornography, and trafficking as an expert witness in forensic evaluations. She has been categorized as a legal expert on the effects of sexual violence against women and children, posttraumatic stress disorder, dissociation, prostitution and trafficking.
     Dr. Farley has spoken at and keynoted a number of conferences on the topic of prostitution and trafficking. In her work, she has consistently addressed the connections between prostitution, racism, poverty, and both domestic and international trafficking. She has a wide range of experience in teaching and consultation. Dr. Farley has provided consultation as an expert on the harm of prostitution to the Medical Examining Board of the State of California, in 2002. She has provided psychological evaluations of prostituted young women for Contra Costa County and for San Francisco County and has testified in the former which went to trial. She has conducted a forensic evaluation of a woman trafficked into the United States from Asia. Dr. Farley is an associate scholar with the Center for World Indigenous Studies, and has taught seminars on research for social activism at CWIS in Yelapa, Mexico.
Link to Prostitution Research and Education website.

Ann Simonton is a media activist and longtime anti-pornography educator.
Link to Media Watch webpage.

Aileen Vance is a member of American Federation of Musicians, Local 1000, and the Peoples Music Network. Once a full-time touring singer/songwriter, in recent years she has tried to practice the advice of Pete Seeger, who said, “Think globally. Sing locally!” In addition to performing, Aileen is now a full-time parent, a music teacher and a community chorus conductor. She especially enjoys her work with the Santa Cruz Peace Chorale, leading them in song on street corners and in concert halls, writing new songs and encouraging people to sing out for peace and justice wherever and whenever they can.

Tim McCormick, a native of New Jersey who was educated at UCSC, served in the US Navy as a Medical Corpsman including a year in Vietnam combat with the 12th Marine Corps Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. He later joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War and participated in several demonstrations including the occupation of the Statue of Liberty in 1971 with 14 other vets that drew international attention. He has been a member of several unions throughout his career including Retail Clerks, SEIU, and Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA). For the past 30 years he has organized health care workers, public employees, construction laborers, and hod carriers.

David Winters is a professional musician, officer in the American Federation of Musicians, Local 153, and long-time coordinator of the Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival. He has performed at Reel Work events since its inception.

Dawn Mikkelson, co-director of The Red Tail, is both an award-winning media producer and documentary filmmaker. Mikkelson has completed three award-winning feature documentaries including THIS obedience and Green Green Water. At the age of 25, Mikkelson formed her first company with a partner, and after five years, she branched off on her own to start Emergence Pictures, focusing exclusively on video and film. Emergence Pictures’ mission is to inform, educate, and inspire audiences by telling the stories of organizations, companies, and individuals that are changing our world. A former television news reporter at an ABC affiliate, Mikkelson graduated magna cum laude, Phi Kappa Phi, with departmental honors from the University of Minnesota in Political Science and Women’s Studies and a minor in Music.
Link to Emergence Pictures website.

Melissa Koch is an emerging filmmaker, The Red Tail being her first feature length documentary as co-director. Her father worked as a Northwest Airlines mechanic for 23 years, and Koch’s personal experience brings an intimate and dynamic perspective to the film. She is a multi-disciplinary artist/storyteller who has worked with narrative short and documentary video, photography, audio, sculpture, and bookmaking. Koch studied cultural theory, media arts, and social change at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and the University of Tasmania, Australia. She is an active organizer and has worked with community organizations for ten years, including the Youth Farm and Market Project, Minneapolis MN, Vanguard Youth Services, Portland, OR, Americorps Northwest Service Academy, Portland OR, and District 202, Minneapolis, MN, and currently serves as the Community Programs Director for In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre in Minneapolis.

Peter Weiss, “The Singing Scientist” www.SingingScientist.com.

Karen Kaplan, Reel Work volunteer.

Valerie Lasciak, Reel Work volunteer.

Ken Knobler, United Nations Association www.unasantacruz.org.

Batya Kagan, Your Backyard Bounty www.yourbackyardbounty.com.

Michael Levy, Transition SC www.TransitionSC.org.

Jay Cabrera, WCTC Green Copy Program hub.wc.tc.

Ray Newkirk and Bill Le Bon, The Green Station pacfuel.com/.

David Blume www.alcoholcanbeagas.com.

Barney Greer And The Dinosaurs: Barney Greer, Saxophone; Derek Mitchler, Drums; Tyden Binstead, String Bass www.jazzsantacruz.com.

Peter Beckmann, Think Local Santa Cruz www.thinklocalsantacruz.org.

Langdon Roberts, New Earth Exchange newearthexchange.com.

Liz Milazzo, Center For Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, UCSC Farm casfs.ucsc.edu.

Darryl Wong, Freewheelin’ Farm www.freewheelinfarm.com.

Jade Ajani, filmmaker of Growing Awareness.

Local artists displaying works at the Reel Work event at the Santa Cruz Live Oak Grange on May 2:
Ann Miya, Lucien Kubo, Bruce Telopa, Karen Kaplan, David Fleming, Mandy Spitzer, Eugenia Hepworth Petty, Adrienne Kozlowski, Morganne Shayne, Frances Travers, Jann McCord, Irina Parfenova, Peggy Marketello, Jeannie Collins, Colleen Sands, Karen Oakley, Tootie Hagen, Jarl Payne.

David Zlutnick, 2006 UC Santa Cruz graduate, has a strong record within independent media, working with numerous print collectives and producing multiple films. David is the founder of Upheaval Productions and a co-founder of The Friendly Fire Collective. As a student, Zlutnick worked with Media Insugente on several films that were screened at the same Reel Work UCSC venue at which his Dos America: The Reconstruction of New Orleans will play.

Alex Johnston is a graduate student in the Social Documentation program at UCSC. He recently competed short film about the Court of Mysteries located in Santa Cruz, and is at work on his masters thesis, a documentary about the “blue collar preservation” movement. Johnston’s Learning to Bend Steel will premiere at Reel Work.

David Winters is a professional musician, officer in the American Federation of Musicians, Local 153, and long-time coordinator of the Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival. He has performed at Reel Work events since its inception.


Page last updated 4/4/09

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