This month, we changed things up a bit and took a field trip to Richmond to visit the Rosie the Riveter WWII National Park and museum. It was a privilege to engage in a private talk and tour with Betty Reid Soskin, civil rights heroine and, at 93, the country's oldest National Park Ranger. By the end of Betty's talk, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. We got to relive Betty's history as a woman of color growing up in the Jim Crow era, here in the Bay Area, and be reminded that even Berkeley was segregated until the 1960's. She told us that the WWII effort to build ships was the first real opportunity for her, as a young woman in the middle of the 20th century, to pursue something that wasn't agricultural or domestic work. "The Bay Area is the seat of social change," Betty told us. "In my years I've learned to speak my truth and expect to be challenged." She reminded us that social progress and democracy isn't guaranteed in our future - each generation must fight for it. Special thanks to Betty Reid Soskin for telling her story and to our friends at Framed Data for making this such a special and unforgettable event. See more pictures here on Facebook.

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About Betty Reid Soskin

Betty has been a shipyard worker, proprietor of a record store, housewife and mother of four, singer and composer of art songs, community activist and, for the past three years, a ranger at Rosie the Riveter National Historical Park in Richmond. At 93, she's the oldest active National Park Service ranger in the country and works at the park six hours a day, five days a week, doing community outreach and giving guided tours of the now dormant Kaiser Shipyards where she worked during World War II. Listen to her story on NPR.

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AuthorRosies Daughters