The American Labor Studies Center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is promote the teaching and learning about the American labor movement and its history in the nation’s elementary and secondary schools. It includes such areas as the history, organization, activities, and issues affecting the labor movement and the political, economic, and cultural aspects of workers and their unions. It is governed by a board of directors and funded by private contributions.
The goal of the ALSC is not to indoctrinate or proselytize but provide students with an opportunity to explore the many facets of an important part of our nation’s history and contemporary life. Teachers are encouraged to use a variety of research and inquiry approaches as they select their pedagogical strategies. A wide variety of resources are available on the ALSC website (www.labor-studies.org). They include curriculum materials for teachers of virtually every subject and grade level including historical events, music, art, literature, biographies, and contemporary issues, among others.
The ALSC sponsors workshops, courses, conferences, and other events to acquaint teachers with the curriculum and related materials to teach about labor.
The ALSC owns and is restoring the Kate Mullany House at 350 Eighth Street in Troy, New York. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1998 by the Secretary of the Interior. It was dedicated by the First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton on July 15, 1998. The home was designated a National Historic Site by an act of Congress in 2004. Of the 91 National Historic Sites, it is the only one to combine a focus on labor, women’s and immigrant history. It is located at 350 Eighth Street in Troy, New York.
Kate Mullany, a young Irish immigrant, and daughter of a widowed mother became the leader of the first all-female union in the nation and the first woman to hold office in a national union. At the age of 24, Mullany organized 200 women and became the president of the Troy Collar Laundry Workers Union. In February 1864, the collar workers went on a successful strike demanding a 25 percent increase in wages and safer working conditions. In 1868, she became assistant secretary of the National Labor Union under William Sylvis.
To learn more, visit the website at www.katemullanynhs.org.