Re:Work is a women-led radio show and podcast that spotlights the voices of workers, immigrants, and people of color. Re:Work uses stories to build bridges between worlds and break down social issues in an understandable way. It is a project of the UCLA Labor Center.
Re:Work also trains community producers and students in multimedia story production. The project includes curriculum and educational tools that use stories to learn about work.
LET’S RETHINK WORK!
UCLA Labor Center
The UCLA Labor Center believes that a public university belongs to the people and should advance quality education and employment for all. Every day we bring together workers, students, faculty, and policymakers to address the most critical issues facing working people today. Our research, education, and policy work lifts industry standards, creates jobs that are good for communities, and strengthens immigrant rights, especially for students and youth. The UCLA Labor Center is housed in the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, a multidisciplinary research center dedicated to the study, teaching, and discussion of labor and employment issues at UCLA.
Black Workers, Women
We often refer to birth as miraculous, and it can also seem mysterious. Many times there is a veiling around birth and labor, and the …
Black Workers, Historical, Women
Despite a long tradition of midwifery in the Black community, which predates the founding of the United States, less than 2% of midwives today are …
Education, Immigrants, Low Wage Work
When we think about college, there’s a certain whimsical image, a time of self discovery and carefree fun before you step out into the “real” …
Criminal Justice, Education, Immigrants
We often see children as innocents who need love, support, and stability. But not all young people are nurtured this way. Too often youth from …
Criminal Justice, Immigrants
In today’s political climate, there’s a prominent narrative of “bad” immigrants who don’t deserve to be here. This isn’t new — it’s a part of …
Black Workers, Education, Women
What happens when you go to work and no one else in the room looks like you? Being the “only one” often means more scrutiny, …
Gig Economy, Low Wage Work, Women
Uber. Lyft. Their arrival has transformed daily life and raised important questions about job quality, employment law, and creating an economy that works for everybody. …
Earlier this year, over 30,000 public school teachers went on strike in Los Angeles, for the first time in nearly 30 years. Educators reminded us …
Immigrants, Low Wage Work
Trafficking. When you hear the word, many images come to mind. It may seem like something distant, hidden, and secretive — something that happens to …
Black Workers, Historical
This episode is a tribute to the life and legacy of Henry Walton — a lifelong union and community activist. Henry had a special relationship …
Historical, Immigrants, Low Wage Work, Women
Re:Work Radio is back with another episode on LA’s Garment District. This time we explore the Garment District’s rich history through three generations of strong …
Black Workers, Women
What makes someone get involved in their community? How do community members become engaged? Not just during election season, but everyday, how do communities come …
Immigrants, Low Wage Work
It’s one of the most dangerous jobs in America: taxi driving. In this special joint episode from ReWork and Making Contact, we’ll hear a radio …
Immigrants, Low Wage Work, Women
Who are the people who make the clothes we wear every day? Tune in to take a journey through “los callejones,” Los Angeles’s garment district. …
Most of the stuff we use, from our clothes to our iPhones, were at some point made in another country and shipped to our shores. …
Art & Music
What comes to your mind when you think of a musician? For many musicians, their work is no different from any other profession. They dedicate …
Low Wage Work
We live in a global market, and most of the clothing and electronics that we use are made halfway around the world. They’re transported across …
Who was your favorite teacher in high school? We all have that unforgettable teacher that sets us on our life’s trajectory. But most of the …
All of us are on this planet because we were born. Still, for most of us, giving birth is so mysterious. Many people don’t really …
Immigrants, Young Workers
A group of undocumented youth cross the border from the US into Mexico to cross back and turn themselves into border patrol. Why would you …
Everyday we pass by someone who’s homeless. We may be so used to seeing homelessness that it just becomes part of the normal city landscape. …
Low Wage Work
Sometimes work can take a toll on your creativity, your individuality, and what makes you human. So what is the cost of being efficient at …
Low Wage Work
For those of sitting in a restaurant eating, we may not be aware of what it takes to make our meal possible. What’s it really …
Black Workers, Immigrants, Women, Young Workers
What is the future of this country’s dream for black and brown communities? This week’s episode, Dream On, is a fascinating conversation between two fierce …
Immigrants, Low Wage Work
When you get into a taxi, you usually know where you are coming from, where you are going. But what about your taxi driver? This …
Immigration visas dictate where someone can work, how they can work, how long they can work. But what happens when you throw friendship into the …
Historical, Low Wage Work
Sometimes you have to become someone different to fit into a new job. Or, sometimes the job is exactly the right fit– but your being …
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Producer & Editor
Veena is the ReWork communications specialist at the UCLA Labor Center. Dedicated to storytelling for social change, she discovered her passion for communications while working at various nonprofits including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in California and Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM) in New York, where she focused on issues related to homelessness, immigration, policing, and youth. Veena earned her PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from UCLA in 2016. Her research focused on working class South Asian immigrants and their children, and examined how race, immigration, education, and surveillance shape one another in post-9/11 America. Veena is a filmmaker and 2012 Visual Communications Armed with a Camera Fellow; her films include advocacy and education films for community organizations as well as documentaries that have been showcased in film festivals, classrooms, and by the Smithsonian.
Co-Founder & Producer
Saba is the research director at the UCLA Labor Center and has a decade of experience conducting research in low wage sectors such as taxi, restaurant, nail salon, domestic work, etc. that have led to campaign and policy victories. Since 2009, she has co-produced, engineered and hosted the weekly radio show “Flip the Script” on KPFK. She strongly believes that research and media are powerful tools for community storytelling. For the past decade, she co-edited the national online magazine SAMAR. As a performer, she has worked with Teada Theater and East West Players and her writing has appeared in Hyphen Magazine. She received an MA in Anthropology from Columbia University.
Stefanie Ritoper was Re:Work’s co-founder, co-host, and editor. She has spent over 10 years supporting civic engagement through media in mission-driven organizations, including the UCLA Labor Center and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. Though she no longer works on Re:Work, she still actively produces audio stories as a freelancer and supports radio journalism as engagement producer at KPCC/LAist.
Pitch Your Story
We are always looking for compelling stories about workers, immigrants, and people of color. Pitch us your story by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that each show takes us at least 2 months to produce.
To pitch, follow this advice from the show This American Life:
“If you’re pitching a story you’re hoping to tell on the air yourself, let us know in a few paragraphs what happened. You don’t need to be formal about it, just tell the story the way you’d tell it to someone over drinks or coffee. If you have favorite moments in the story, let us know those. Tell us anything you think will help us understand what a great story it is. If the story happened to you and showed you something about the world you hadn’t realized before, or changed you (or the other people in the story) in some way, let us know that too.”
What is a story?
For this show, we are looking for stories that have the following ingredients:
– It is about work! Or we can connect it to work in some way.
– It is something that happens to a person (not a group of people), with audio from that person
– It is a series of events, with a beginning, middle, and and end.
– It has a “moment of truth”- a point of the story where the main character realizes something, has a reflection, or comes to a conclusion. This could also be called the “moral” of the story.
– There is something unexpected about the story. You should be able to fill in the blanks of this sentence: My story is about ____, but what is interesting about it is ____. The second blank should be surprising, out of the ordinary.
– It is accessible – this means no jargon!
Does my project/organization project have a story?
Yes! Just take a moment to ask:
– Who is the person we want to highlight? Is that person charismatic, funny, and/or reflective?
– Is there one specific moment/series of events that highlights what they are experiencing, or a moment where they we surprised?
Make Radio With Us
Contact us if you would like to apply to become a community producer or get involved with the Re:Work team.
Make Your Own Brand
If you want to make your own radio stories, here are a few resources to get started:
Radio Rookies is a New York Public Radio initiative that provides teenagers with the tools and training to create radio stories about themselves, their communities and their world. Check out this DIY Toolkit: How to Report Your Own Story.
Transom.org allows you to find essays by the most experienced people doing radio documentaries. Transom also has a Tools section that has reviews of cheap, good equipment you can use to make radio and guides on digital editing and mixing.
Our friend Will Coley of Aquifier Media also created a great intro training to radio Listen Up: Audio’s Role in Digital Storytelling.
And there are a ton of great resources to produce radio on This American Life’s Make Radio page.