The Common Threads Movement—Students Are Mobilizing Support on Their Campuses!


Guest Blog Post by Rachel Taber

Reconnecting with friends after summer  work or adventures. Buying textbooks and maybe opening them. Getting up before noon again. Fall is officially upon us and campus is a’buzzing. Alta Gracia spent the summer with all of the students and community supporters from around the country who visited our factory, reminding us that Alta Gracia is not a clothing company so much as a student and worker -led movement. Their incredible energy and enthusiasm has grown this collaboration in more ways than we could have dreamed of last Spring. Whether writing op-ed articles to spread the word in their hometown newspapers, helping workers set up Facebook accounts to stay in touch with students and visitors, supporting our marvelous interpreters in refining their student-friendly vocab, Skyping with the Alta Gracia union workers (see picture on the left), and baking the perfect flan with the families of Alta Gracia union leaders, our student supporters have been an invaluable asset to the cause.

We’re excited that more students from campuses around the country will be visiting us this month with the CIEE exchange program, and look forward to our friends from Creighton University’s Encuentro Dominicano joining us again. New York Labor and Religion Coalition? We miss you already! If you’re headed to the Dominican Republic, don’t be a stranger! Visit your compañeros on the other end of the supply chain. We’re less than an hour from the capital and eager to meet you.

In fact, our student support base has grown so much, that we are now building an entire campaign around it—Introducing The Common Threads Movement!  Students can now join this official movement and be part of the Alta Gracia team.  Our cross-country Common Threads network meets twice a week (virtually of course) with experts from the industry – workers from the factory, student leaders, researchers from the Workers’ Rights Consortium and more. We then learn how to educate and inspire our community about how to change the face of the garment industry. We offer limited funding, credit when applicable, a chance to get creative and learn from students nation-wide. This work is so fun, it makes school look bad.  It’s not too late to join! Interested? E-mail Rachel Taber at [email protected] for more information.

Those are just some of the highlights, but believe us, we’ve got all kinds of tricks up these union-made living-wage sleeves. Stay tuned for more about how you can get involved with our movement this Fall Season!


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