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Taking Time to Honor Our Collective Work

By Jora Trang, Managing Attorney

For many advocates, striving for a more just world is a lifelong endeavor. Their work is defined by passion, takes an immense amount of hands-on time, and is highly demanding of heart time, too. Advocates draw from that recipe within themselves that is one part visionary, one part dreamer, and equal parts innovator, inquisitor, and cultivator. 

In our field, advocates include young people educating each other about hazards and parents struggling to feed their families while confronting workplace abuses. They include attorneys helping workers exercise their rights, health practitioners caring for the injured, and unions pushing back against unscrupulous employers. They include researchers combing through data for solutions, academics documenting and inspiring change, and poets whose odes are a benediction to the struggle. 

Advocates are everywhere, but much of their work goes unnoticed because it happens behind-the-scenes — like construction bolts that fortify a house yet lie hidden behind drywall. It is because of their work that preventable tragedy is indeed prevented. 

Worksafe is proud to host an annual event that honors advocates in our field. We like to think of it as a demonstration of communal self-care. On June 1st, we're doing this with an event called Turning the Tide: Advancing Worker Health & Safety in California.

This year, we will again honor three Worker Health & Safety Heroes who have advanced the struggle for safe workplaces by contributing their time, energy, expertise, and spirit to the movement. Our 2018 Heroes are Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, Centro Legal de la Raza, and the workers and organizers of the Fair Future at Tesla campaign. 

In addition to recognizing our amazing honorees, I like to think that this event is also about taking time for self reflection, self care, and self honoring. We also come together to celebrate you and your amazing work — in whatever form that work takes. I hope you can join us on June 1st to honor our Worker Health & Safety Heroes and, in turn, honor yourself.