Prominent Irish labor figure, Mother Jones, to receive a Chicago-area statue in her honor

Women have made massive strides in the labor movement, including Mary Harris, an Irish immigrant better known today as Mother Jones.

Rosemary Feurer, a professor at Northern Illinois University and Project Director at the Mother Jones Museum, joined AWF Union Podcast to tell stories about Mother Jones, the achievements she made and how she is being honored in modern times.

Who is Mother Jones?

Feurer said Mother Jones was a fierce fighter in the labor movement. She worked as an organizer who wanted to improve the lives of all working people, including Black Americans and fellow women.

Her methods were unconventional, encouraging women and children to join in on protests, strikes and other union activity. Feurer said Mother Jones was fierce in the face of authority, oftentimes willing to go to jail or be banished from entire cities.

How today’s students react to Mother Jones

Feurer said today’s students tend to be very curious of Mother Jones. Her students ask why they have not been previously taught about her in school, something she still wonders about.

Trying to figure out how to teach young people about her, Feurer said the best option will be to bring Mother Jones to the public.

Mother Jones statue

The Mother Jones Museum is working to secure funding to erect a statue of Mother Jones in the Chicago area. Feurer said the the museum committee has done, and is doing, their best to secure funding from labor unions, labor federations and the country of Ireland.


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