Apr 8, 2013
Do You Eat Ethically? Free Author Event: Behind the Kitchen Door with Saru Jayaraman Sponsored by ROC-United (Restaurant Opportunities Center United), Kansas City MO Public Library, Greater Kansas City Food, Health and Environmental Justice Coalition 6 pm Reception: 6:30 pm Talk Kansas City MO Public Library, Central Library 14 W 10th St, Kansas City, MO 64105 RSVP rsvp http://www.kclibrary.org/event/behind-kitchen-door Mark Bittman, NYTimes columnist, American food journalist and author (and featured keynote speaker for Kansas City's Cultivate Kansas City 2013 urban farm and garden tour) writes about Ms. Jayaraman: “Our food comes at great expense to the workers who provide it. ‘The biggest workforce in America can’t put food on the table except when they go to work,’ says Saru Jayaraman, Co- Founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. Many people in the nascent food movement and in the broader ‘foodie’ set know our farmers’ (and their kids’) names and what their animals eat. We practically worship chefs, and the damage done to land, air, and water by high-tech ag is—correctly—a constant concern. Yet though you can’t be a card-carrying foodie if you don’t know the provenance of your heirloom tomato, you apparently can be one if you don’t know how the members of your wait staff are treated.” Why should Black Americans care? Many of these restaurant workers are Black Americans and Back immigrants and Blac restaurant workers make even less thatn their white counterparts. Ms. Jayaraman and ROC-United are working to change all that by waging a campaign to increase the minimum wages for restaurant workers and include paid sick days and other benefits for them. bkd cover jpg cropped.jpg ROC-United invites you to a discussion with Saru Jayaraman, co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, about her new book Behind the Kitchen Door. How do restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America? And how do poor working conditions--discrimination, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens--affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables? In Behind the Kitchen Door, Saru Jayaraman sets out to answer these questions by following the lives of restaurant workers in nine major cities. Blending personal narrative and investigative journalism, Behind the Kitchen Door is a groundbreaking exploration of the political, economic, and moral implications of dining out. Jayaraman sets out a bold agenda to raise the living standards of the nation's second-largest private sector workforce--and ensure that dining out is a positive experience on both sides of the kitchen door. Check out Saru on CNN’s “Starting Point” with Soledad O’Brien discussing the issues in Behind The Kitchen Door here. Saru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United) and the Director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. After 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded ROC in New York, which has organized restaurant workers to win workplace justice campaigns, conduct research and policy work, partner with responsible restaurants, and launch cooperatively-owned restaurants. For more info, please contact Kansas City, MO Central Library Public Affairs Department at 816 741 3400. For more information about restaurant workers contact firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information about food, health and environmental justice contact Maria Whittaker at email@example.com or 913 945 1333. fssg.blogspot.com More Information Ms. Jayarman is on tour promoting her new book, Behind the Kitchen Door (see trailers and links to more information below, ) which details how abominably low wages and poor working conditions for restaurant workers affect the health of all of us. Restaurant workers nor only cannot afford to eat the food they serve but are more likely that all Americans to be hungry due to their low wages; the national legal minimum wage for restaurant workers is $2.19 an hour and many do not make tips. Ms. Jayaraman is known for her work pointing out that many restaurant workers cannot afford the food they serve and our hungry themselves. She also points out that due to the lack of sick leave, many are forced to work while they are ill causing them to be even more ill as well as spread illness to their coworkers restaurant patrons whose food they prepare and serve. Ms. Jayaraman also points out the racial inequities in the field, while most servers who work the front of the restaurant are white and those in the back and dishwashing are people of color and make a lot less. The minimum wage for restaurant works has been frozen since about 1996 at a little over $2.00 an hour. While some restaurant workers make tips, not all do. Ms. Jayaraman and ROC United are working to raise the minimum wage for restaurant workers to be on par with all workers. She argues that “foodies” need to be just as concerned about the treatment of the workers at their favorite organic, vegan, local restaurant as they are about the source of their food and whether the growing practices were sustainable. For a beautiful and brilliant video illustrating how the working conditions of restaurant workers affect all of us: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZEUwvIHdSs&feature=player_embedded#! For more information on Ms. Jayaraman, her book tour and ROC United:http://rocunited.org/lookbehindthekitchendoor/ For a beautiful interview of Ms. Jayaraman with Bill Moyers: http://billmoyers.com/segment/saru-jayaraman-on-justice-for-restaurant-workers/ For more information or to get involved in food, health and environmental justice work in KC or to get involved, contact Maria Whittaker at firstname.lastname@example.org,fsssg.blogpsot.com 913 945 1333.