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Celebration of first female Cabinet member to screen Jan. 23

Frances Perkins, the pioneering New Deal-era U.S. labor secretary who joined the ILR School faculty in the 1950s, will be featured in a PBS film premiering at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 23 in 105 Ives Hall.

In 1957, at age 77, Frances Perkins joined the faculty of the ILR School, a position she held until her death on May 14, 1965.

“Summoned: Frances Perkins and the General Welfare” features compelling interviews with journalist David Brooks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, senator and presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell and others. 

The public is invited to join producer Mick Caouette of Minneapolis, Minnesota-based South Hill Films for the exclusive first screening and discussion. Admission to the event is free.

In the depths of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Perkins as secretary of labor. Against overwhelming odds, she became the driving force behind Social Security, the 40-hour work week, the eight‐hour workday, minimum wage and unemployment compensation.

Perkins served as secretary of labor from 1933-45, the longest anyone has served in that role, then was a teacher and lecturer at Cornell from 1957 until her death in 1965.

A preview of the film is available by clicking here.

– Julie Greco

Media Contact

Abby Butler