An Evening with Stephanie Land, author of Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive
6:30 pm Wednesday, November 6
175 Knight Law Center, 1515 Agate St.
Part of the Margaret Hallock Program for Women’s Rights
Cosponsored by the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, UO Division of Equity and Inclusion, Center for the Study of Women in Society, Department of Sociology, and Labor Education and Research Center.
Stephanie Land’s bestselling debut memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive recounts her harrowing saga as a single mom navigating the poverty trap. Her unflinching and inspiring testimony exposes the physical, economic, and social brutality that domestic workers face, all while radiating a parent’s hope and resilience.
At age 28, Land’s dream of attending college and becoming a writer are deferred when a summer fling turns into an unplanned pregnancy. After facing domestic abuse, and lacking any form of reliable safety net, she checks into a homeless shelter with her 7-month-old daughter. She begins the bureaucratic nightmare of applying for food stamps and subsidized housing, and starts cleaning houses for $9/hour. Mired in patronizing government processes and paltry wages, Land illustrates the trauma of grasping for stability from a rigged system, and demonstrates how hard work doesn’t always pay off.
After years of barely scraping by, Land graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Montana in 2014, and started a career as a freelance writer. She writes about economic and social justice, domestic abuse, chronic illness, and motherhood, and has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Vox, Salon, and many other outlets. She’s worked with Barbara Ehrenreich at the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, and is a writing fellow at the Center for Community Change.