Miriam Ching Yoon Louie papers
Scope and Contents
The papers include correspondence, organizing materials, conference materials, fliers, pamphlets, newsletters, and newspaper clippings. There is also Louie's course work as both student and instructor. Major topics include women and labor organizing, Asian American women's history, social justice activism, international women's rights, and issues surrounding race, class, immigration and poverty in the U.S. Especially impressive is the range of material related to grassroots Asian and Latina immigrant workers' organizations, from the 1970s through the early 2000s. Only the most recent accession is included in this finding aid inventory.
Dates of Materials
- Creation: 1970 - 2016
Language of Materials
English, Spanish, Korean
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.
Conditions Governing Use
To the extent that she owns copyright, Miriam Ching Louie has assigned the copyright in her works to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Miriam Ching Louie, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.
Biographical / Historical
Miriam Ching Yoon Louie was born Dec. 1,1950 in Vallejo, California, the daughter of first generation Korean and Chinese parents, Minnie Marguerite Yoon and Herbert Haw Ching. Louie graduated from high school with honors and went on to college at the University of California at Berkeley where she was quickly drawn into the radical political movements on campus where she met her future husband, Lanyuen Belvin Louie, one of the strike captains for the Third World Liberation Front strike of 1969-1970. Miriam Ching joined that strike as well and as a result lost her scholarships and left school. She would complete her B.A. in Ethnic Studies in 1990, but in the interim, "learned intensively off campus" (see biographical statement provided by Louie, attached).
For the next two decades, Miriam Louie put her affinity for organizing and her talents for writing to use on behalf of a number of radical causes, especially those aimed at empowering women of color. Involved with the Third World Women's Alliance, based in Berkeley, from its earliest days in the 1970s, Louie continued to work with its successor organization, the Alliance Against Women's Oppression, and when the AAWO dissolved, was one of the co-founders of the Women of Color Resource Center in 1990. She has served as the national campaign media coordinator for the Asian Immigrant Women Advocates and for Fuerza Unida, an organization formed in 1990 to advocate for the primarily Latina workforce at the Levi Strauss factory in San Antonio, Texas. More recently, she has (once again) been active in the anti-war movement since 2001.
Miriam Louie has also published widely, with articles appearing in The Nation, Ms. Magazine, and Amerasia Journal. She is the author of Sweatshop Warriors: Immigrant Women Workers Take on the Global Factory (2001); co-author of BRIDGE: A Popular Education for Immigrant and Refugee Community Organizers (2004), and Women's Education in the Global Economy (2000). Louie is also a published poet, her poetry appearing in XicKorea: Poems, Rants, Words Together (with Beth Ching and Arnoldo Garcia, 2002) and in a volume of her own, illustrated by her daughter Nguyen Louie, titled Ranting Tiger, Thundering Bunny (2012). Her 2016 novel, Not Contagious-Only Cancer, is also illustrated by her daughter. Miriam Ching Yoon Louie continues her activism in the Bay area and beyond.
11.917 linear feet (11 containers)
Labor organizer; Women's rights activist; Author; Activist; Poet. The papers include correspondence, organizing materials, conference materials, fliers, pamphlets, newsletters, and newspaper clippings. There is also Louie's course work as both student and instructor. Major topics include women and labor organizing, Asian American women's history, social justice activism, international women's rights, and issues surrounding race, class, immigration and poverty in the U.S. Especially impressive is the range of material related to grassroots Asian and Latina immigrant workers' organizations, from the 1970s through the early 2000s.
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the creation of and access to digital copies.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Miriam Louie in 2013. In 2016, she donated a copy of her first novel.
One folder of mailing lists was discarded in May 2023.
- Third World Women's Alliance (Organization)
- Committee for Solidarity with the Korean People (Organization)
- Asian Immigrant Women Advocates (Organization) (Organization)
- Fuerza Unida (Organization)
- Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates of Southern California (Organization)
- Chinese Staff & Workers'Association (Organization)
- Alliance Against the Oppression of Women (Organization)
- Burnham, Linda, 1948- (Person)
- Louie, Miriam Ching Yoon (1950 December 01) (Person)
- Women of Color Resource Center (Organization)
Genre / Form
- Annual reports
- Course materials
- Oral histories
- Organization files
- Sheet music
- photograph albums
- African American women -- Social conditions
- Asian American women
- Asian American women -- Social conditions
- Authors, American
- Chinese Americans -- Social conditions
- Classism -- United States
- Clothing workers -- Labor unions -- United States
- Educational assistance -- Developing countries
- Ethnicity -- United States
- Feminists -- United States
- Immigrants -- United States -- Social conditions
- Industrial relations -- United States
- International economic relations
- International labor activities
- Korean American women -- Social conditions
- Labor movement
- Labor movement
- Latina women
- Latina women -- Social conditions
- Migrant labor -- United States
- Pacific Islander American women -- Social conditions
- Poets, American
- Poor -- United States -- Political activity
- Poor women -- United States
- Poor women -- United States
- Sweatshops -- California -- Oakland
- Welfare rights movement
- Women -- East Asia
- Women -- Employment -- United States
- Women -- International cooperation
- Women -- Korea
- Women -- Latin America
- Women -- United States -- Economic conditions
- Women and development -- United States
- Women authors
- Women clothing workers -- United States
- Women in labor movement -- United States
- Women of color -- Employment
- Working class women -- United States
- Finding Aid to the Miriam Ching Yoon Louie papers
- Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
- Madison White
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2017-07-26T17:48:10-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
- 2019-01-02: updated to current descriptive standards
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063