E-Alerts & Press Releases

UMBC students hold bake sale for PJC’s Workplace Justice Project

April 12, 2011:  It’s mid-morning, and John is hungry. He stops by a bake sale and asks for the price of a cookie. The woman at the table directs his attention to a sign indicating what he will be charged based on his gender and race. He’s just encountered the Pay Equity Day Bake Sale.

Organized by the Women Involved in Learning and Leadership (WILL) at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, the April 12 bake sale raised awareness about wage discrimination and funds for the Public Justice Center’s Workplace Justice Project. The group of feminist students provided a display and brochures describing the wage gap, the difference in pay between women and men of various races for equal work. To further illustrate the issue, people purchasing treats were asked to pay according to the privilege associated with their gender and race.

Bake sale organizer Caitlyn Leiter-Mason described the impact of the event, saying that many people “stopped to talk and think, look at our display board and brochure about pay equity issues. Some saw our chart and automatically exclaimed, in a joking manner, ‘Hey, that's racist!’ to which we said, ‘Yes, it is! Let’s talk about why.’ All in all, we raised a lot of money, but more importantly, we had a lot of great conversations.”

The money raised will support the PJC’s Workplace Justice Project, which works primarily with low-wage workers to enforce and expand their right to an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. “We decided to donate the proceeds to Workplace Justice Project because of the inherent connection between workers’ rights and women’s rights,” said Leiter-Mason. “Women make up a disproportionate number of low-wage workers and often face the discrimination not just based on sex but based on class and race. We wanted to donate our proceeds to an organization that was helping local women workers improve their status, and the Public Justice Center seemed like the perfect fit!”

Thank you to WILL for organizing the bake sale and to Lizzy Wunsch for sharing photos with us!

 



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