Los Trabajadores: The Workers

TUE, MAR 11, 2003 (37:02)

This public discussion, moderated by Joseph Tovares, of WGBH’s La Plaza and Giovanna Negretti, of Oste?, Massachusetts’ primary Latino political organization, wrestles with questions about immigrant workers in the US, after the screening of Los Trabajadores/The Workers. The new documentary film examines the misperceptions and contradictions inherent in America’s paradoxical history of both dependence upon, and abuse of, immigrant labor. According to a recent report from Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies, immigrant participation in the labor force was critical to our nation’s growth during the ‘90’s boom. And while some maintain that the American economy needs immigrants and is more dependent on their labor than ever before, skeptics continue to ask, “Do immigrants rob American workers of jobs?”

+ BIO: Joseph Tovares

Joseph Tovares is the Executive Producer of La Plaza, the Latino production unit at WGBH/Boston. Tovares has editorial supervision over all La Plaza productions local, national, specials and interactive including the nationally distributed series, Maria Hinojosa: One-On-One. Prior to his work at La Plaza, Tovares was the Series Editor at American Experience. Mr. Tovares is the producer of Zoot Suit Riots, a one-hour film for American Experience about Mexican American youth in 1942 Los Angeles who dared to challenged the unwritten social codes of wartime LA and paid a heavy price. Mr. Tovares is also the producer of Remember the Alamo, a film about the Mexican community in Texas in the years leading up to the battle of the Alamo and the war for Texas independence. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Tovares is a graduate of the School of Public Communication at Boston University and holds a master’s degree in Radio-Television-Film from the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin.

+ BIO: Giovanna Negretti

Giovanna Negretti is the founding Executive Director of Oeste? (Translation: Have You Heard?), the first and only statewide Latino political organization in Massachusetts. Oeste? is a membership organization with a mission to promote the principles and practice of democracy and to advance the political, social and economic standing of Latinos and Latinas in the state. Oeste? offers programs in leadership development, civic education, campaign training and advocacy. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Giovanna arrived to Massachusetts in 1992. She began her local political work serving as a legislative aide to State Senator Dianne Wilkerson and Senior Advisor to the Joint Committee on Insurance. Simultaneously, she served as President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights, an organization which advocates for civil rights of Puerto Ricans in the United States while promoting independence for Puerto Rico. On a national level, Giovanna is part of the Executive Committees of the National Boricua Human Rights Network, Boricua Initiative, Santiago’s List and the Fannie Lou Hamer Project. She has coordinated rallies and demonstrations in Washington DC, including March for Amnesty for the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners (1997); A Un Siglo de Invasion, Marcha Nuestra Nacion (1998); and the National Day of Solidarity With the People of Vieques (2000) and the March for Legalization of Immigrants (2002). Giovanna has also coordinated several humanitarian delegations to Central America and South America and the Caribbean. Giovanna was listed by Boston Magazine as one of 40 Bostonians to Watch (June 2002) and as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Boston (May 2003). She graduated from Emerson College with a BFA, magna cum laude, is a fellow of the National Hispana Leadership Institute and has a MPA with a concentration in Leadership from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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