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  • Ethan Miller 5:21 pm on April 30, 2011 Permalink  

    Finding My Own Replacement 

    I have officially finished my internship at Fenton communications … kind of. I am helping to find my replacement to work more promoting Alta Gracia, sending internship announcements out on every email list I can think of and sending it to departments at various schools. Hopefully people are interested so that they can continue the work I started!

    I won’t be fully stopping my work though. There is a fair trade fair on May 14th at Busboy’s and Poets that I will be at to represent Alta Gracia, and I have told my boss that if she ever feels overwhelmed with work and needs something to get done that she can call me. After all, there can never be too many people working for the cause.

    I loved my internship. Not only was I able to make a difference by supporting the amazing Alta Gracia brand of Union-Made, living wage apparel, but I was able to learn valuable skills working with media, practice my Spanish and work in a friendly office environment!

  • Ethan Miller 3:48 am on April 26, 2011 Permalink  

    A Rainy Day on the Job 

    Friday, I wet to the University of Maryland, College Park, to table for Alta Gracia at an Earth Day fair. The weather was fine for the first hour and a half, and I had some great conversations with students at UMD. But, after that it started raining, and it did not give up.

    Despite the rain and the cold, it was great to have a break from the normal office routine and get out there promoting Alta Gracia. Even though the semester is officially over and I am not obligated to continue interning, I will continue my work over the next few weeks, although not the three times a week I normally work.

    • miranda78 7:12 pm on April 29, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That’s great your internship can offer you a change of pace sometimes.

  • Ethan Miller 4:19 pm on April 21, 2011 Permalink  


    I wouldn’t say that I know Spanish. I took 4 years in middle and high school, but forgot a lot of it and I am now taking elementary 2 here at AU. However, again my internship surprises me at how many different things I can apply to it!

    The other day, my boss was away and did not have internet access, but we were helping to host a virtual worker tour at Fairfield University. Normally she calls the factory in the Dominican to make sure that all of the technical details are working before our events. However, because she could not access skype at the time we needed to set up, I called down to the factory and used my rudimentary Spanish skills to make sure that everything was ready to go for the event.

    I was so excited that I was able to actually use Spanish outside the classroom and especially that I was able to use it across national borders for my internship. I never thought I would be doing this when I started!

    • miranda78 1:24 pm on April 22, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That’s great your language skills really came in handy and you were able to step up to the challenge. I hope the end of your internship is good.

  • Ethan Miller 8:37 pm on April 4, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , press releases   

    Who Knew This Would Be Useful? 

    I intern at a communications/media+public relations firm. I am not a communications student in the least bit, nor am I too interested in the field. I intern here because they are working on a campaign in support of Alta Gracia union-made, living wage apparel. Labor Rights is my prime interest.

    So it makes sense when I was super surprised when I ended up using one of the skills I learned interning here in a recent organizing campaign at campus. I’m sure many people heard about the controversy surrounding the grant that the university refused to sign that would have gave the university $300,000 in federal funds for sexual assault educational programs and resources for victims of sexual violence. As soon as I heard about this, I immediately plugged into the committee that was planning the student response to the University’s reactions and put some of my organizing experience to use.

    (More …)

  • Ethan Miller 8:41 pm on March 28, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , triangle shirtwaist,   

    The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and Alta Gracia 

    Last Friday was the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire. The fire was one of the turning points in the history of labor rights in America. I am sure that many of you learned about the fire in your US history classes in high school. During the afternoon on March 25th, 1911, a fire started in a scrap bin on the 8th floor of the Asch building in New York’s Greenwich Village. Soon, the fire spread to other floors, and the building was ablaze. Workers tried to escape the fire by the traditional routes, but many of the doors to the stairwells and elevators were locked by the factory management. (More …)

  • Ethan Miller 7:45 pm on March 14, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    Spring Break means no work, Right? 

    This last week was spring break. At last, a week of home-cooked meals, my old bed and access to a car. You would think that I wouldn’t have any work to do for my internship then, right?

    Well, the beautiful thing about my internship is that I can do my work from anywhere. Two weeks ago, when my supervisor was away at a conference, I worked from my dorm room, saving time (and money!) on my commute and getting the same quality of work done. However, that meant that while at home over break, I was also able to do some work. Granted, I did not work the 15 hours I normally work in a week, but I still did some work, namely making some emails and putting together a pre-recorded interview with Alta Gracia workers for students in California.

    I actually have no hard feelings about this however. I know that the work that I am doing is making a real difference in the lives of the workers at Alta Gracia and honestly, I would probably be doing this kind of work even if I was not getting credit for it. Call me a sucker for worker’s rights, but I enjoy doing this kind of stuff.

  • Ethan Miller 6:11 am on March 1, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , newspaper stories, videos,   

    Work Work Work 

    So this last week was crunch week at Alta Gracia. Most college bookstores place their orders for the fall semester around this time in the spring. Last week we had many many events around the country and that meant a lot of outreach and press work for me!

    Here is a sample of some of the articles I helped get published:
    Boise State University

    Additionally, there were several big events this past weekend that I needed to put in a lot of work around. There was a conference of bookstore managers and we are really pushing Alta Gracia hard to them because in a lot of cases they have the power to make the decision to support or not support Alta Gracia and living wage, union-neutral working conditions. For this conference (and for a few other events including a big sustainable products fair at UC-Berkeley), I put together a video of two workers from the Alta Gracia factory speaking about their experiences. You can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlMpCdNjV3Y

    And as a bonus for me, since I’ve put in all this extra work during times that I do not normally work, I got to take the day off today and work on my photography critique.

    • miranda78 2:56 pm on March 2, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It looks likes all of your hard work at Alta Garcia is really making a difference! Great job.

  • Ethan Miller 8:11 pm on February 15, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , press work, tedious   


    Here is a bit of wisdom if you ever want to get into organizing, especially internet-based campus organizing: Don’t be afraid of boredom.

    Like I’ve said before, a lot of what I do for my internship is cold outreach to student groups and professors at colleges and universities across the country. I have emailed over 300 professors at more than 10 different campuses across the country. That is a lot of emails. Compiling that many email addresses takes a lot of time – and a lot of patience.

    (More …)

    • miranda78 4:47 pm on February 25, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It is good you have a list of things to do that you can keep referring back to. I agree, doing the same task can get tedious, so it is nice to have a change of pace at times.

  • Ethan Miller 4:13 am on February 7, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , ,   

    Worker Tours 

    This past weekend, I attended this year’s United Students Against Sweatshops National Conference. Two workers from the Alta Gracia factory were also in attendance at the conference. Being able to hear the stories of their struggles directly from them was inspiring and makes me realize how much of a difference my work is really making in the lives of the workers at Alta Gracia.

    (More …)

    • miranda78 9:57 pm on February 9, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It is great that you are able to bring the work at your internship to the AU community. Educating people can always be a powerful and important way to increase awareness.

  • Ethan Miller 5:00 pm on January 28, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    A Little Information About Alta Gracia 

    Since junior year of high school, I have been very involved in the national student organization United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), working on their high school program for two years. In the last few years, we won two huge victories against apparel giants Nike and Russel Athletic (owned by Fruit of the Loom). Then, last year, the largest supplier of collegiate apparel, Knight Apparel, opened a factory in Villa Alta Gracia in the Dominican Republic that is meant to be a model factory in the global apparel industry. (More …)

    • miranda78 4:05 pm on February 2, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I am also interested in labor issues, particularly child labor, so I can’t wait to hear more about your work at Alta Gracia.

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