Memory Work Los Angeles is a growing collection of documents, images, interviews, and interpretive histories developed through a collaboration between the Los Angeles labor movement and UCLA faculty, staff, and students. Launched as the Justice for Janitors History Project digital collection, the effort evolved to include physical collections and oral histories highlighting the recent history of progressive unionism in southern California.

For more information, contact Toby Higbie, UCLA History Department, higbie [at] history [dot] ucla [dot] edu.

Through the UCLA Labor Studies program and the Department of History, Memory Work L.A. creates opportunities for UCLA undergraduate and graduate students to immerse themselves in the entire research cycle. Students collect and describe primary sources, aggregate reference materials, and author original research. In the process they understand what it means to be an engaged historian, social scientist, and memory worker.

Memory Work Community Partners


United Service Workers West

Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy

Los Angeles County Federation of Labor

Students read from files drawn from archival boxes
UCLA students examine documents and photographs from the records of UNITE HERE Local 11, the Justice for Janitors campaign, and the LA Alliance for a New Economy, winter 2019.