EVENT The Women's Resource Luncheon to feature Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich — journalist, author and social critic — will speak at the 21st Annual Luncheon of The Women's Resource of Greater Houston on Wednesday, May 9 at 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton Post Oak, 2001 Post Oak Blvd.

At a lunch with the editor of Harper’s Magazine in 1988, someone asked how anyone actually lives “on the wages available to the unskilled”?  Barbara Ehrenreich responded, “Someone ought to do the old-fashioned kind of journalism-- you know, go out there and try it for themselves…” This statement altered the course of Ehrenreich's life.

She plunged into the nascent living wage movement, taking the cheapest lodging available and working as a waitress, maid, nursing-home aide and Wal-Mart salesperson. She soon discovered that these occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts and that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you plan to live indoors. Ehrenreich's experiences led to the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.

With more than two million copies in print, Nickel and Dimed changed the way America perceives its working poor by revealing low-wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety and surprising generosity — a land of Big Boxes, fast food and a thousand desperate strategies for survival. The big question 11 years later is, what has changed for those who make money but just not enough of it? Have things improved or worsened for those who do the hard work of cleaning hotels, stocking store shelves, washing dishes and caring for the very young and old?

At The Women's Resource luncheon, Ehrenreich will take the audience inside her Nickel and Dimed experience and share anecdotes and lessons learned from each of her powerful books. Her talk will be followed by an audience Q&A. 

The luncheon will also feature the two winners of the 2012 “Money Makes a Difference” Award. The recipients include a freshman from Westside High School and a transitional housing resident from Project Row Houses. They will each receive a $500 award and read their essays, which describe how the personal finance classes taught by The Women's Resource changed their lives.

Founded in 1990, The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston provides free financial education and research so that women and girls have the knowledge they need to make sound financial decisions and improve their lives. The organization accomplishes this mission by recruiting volunteer instructors to teach personal finance classes in 45 zip codes, providing leadership and life skills education to at-risk middle and high school girls through Project LEAD, and sponsoring research on issues critical to women, girls and families. To date, more than 24,000 Houstonians have completed classes.  

For more information, please visit www.thewomensresource.org.

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