Date(s) - Wednesday, November 4th
7:00 pm CST - 8:00 pm CST
“My daughter learned to walk in a homeless shelter.” – Stephanie Land
Join us for a LOMED Book Club to discuss Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and A Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America. The book discussion will be facilitated by the Coalition for Jewish Learning’s Education Community Planner, Tzipi Altman-Shafer, and Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s Education Director, Ellie Gettinger.
While the gap between upper-middle-class Americans and the working poor widens, grueling low-wage domestic and service work–primarily done by women–fuels the economic success of the wealthy. Stephanie Land worked for years as a maid, pulling long hours while struggling as a single mom to keep a roof over her daughter’s head. In Maid, she reveals the dark truth of what it takes to survive and thrive in today’s inequitable society.
This program is free and open to the public. Registration is required to access the Zoom session. RSVP by emailing Tzipi Altman-Shafer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A LOMED (Learning Opportunity for Milwaukee Educators) program offered by the Coalition for Jewish Learning and in partnership with Jewish Museum Milwaukee and Women’s Philanthropy of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. In connection with Luba Lukova: Designing Justice, an exhibit on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, September 17 – January 31, 2020.
More about Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and A Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land
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Evicted meets Nickel and Dimed in Stephanie Land’s memoir about working as a maid, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America. Includes a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich.
At 28, Stephanie Land’s plans of breaking free from the roots of her hometown in the Pacific Northwest to chase her dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer, were cut short when a summer fling turned into an unexpected pregnancy. She turned to housekeeping to make ends meet, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and began to write relentlessly.
She wrote the true stories that weren’t being told: the stories of overworked and underpaid Americans. Of living on food stamps and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) coupons to eat. Of the government programs that provided her housing, but that doubled as halfway houses. The aloof government employees who called her lucky for receiving assistance while she didn’t feel lucky at all. She wrote to remember the fight, to eventually cut through the deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor.
Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it’s like to be in service to them. “I’d become a nameless ghost,” Stephanie writes about her relationship with her clients, many of whom do not know her from any other cleaner, but who she learns plenty about. As she begins to discover more about her clients’ lives-their sadness and love, too-she begins to find hope in her own path.
Her compassionate, unflinching writing as a journalist gives voice to the “servant” worker, and those pursuing the American Dream from below the poverty line. Maid is Stephanie’s story, but it’s not her alone. It is an inspiring testament to the strength, determination, and ultimate triumph of the human spirit.