Interview of Socorro Diaz
Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Associated with the California Domestic Worker’s Alliance and Grupo Almas, a women’s collective in Santa Rosa.
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness
- Social MovementsEnvironmental Illness
- Biographical Note:
- Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Associated with the California Domestic Worker’s Alliance and Grupo Almas, a women’s collective in Santa Rosa.
- Diaz, Socorro
- Persons Present:
- Diaz and Encinas
- Place Conducted:
- The interview was conducted using the Zoom video conferencing platform.
- Supporting Documents:
- Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library’s Center for Oral History Research.
- Interviewer Background and Preparation:
- This interview was conducted by Abraham Encinas, a graduate student researcher, for the Center for the Study of Women, and PhD student in English, UCLA. Abraham’s dissertation focuses on novels of dictatorship in 20th century Latinx and Asian American literature.
- Processing of Interview:
- The interviewer prepared for the interview by reading a pre-interview questionnaire completed by the narrator. The transcript is a copyedited transcription of the recording. It was first auto-transcribed by the speech transcription software Sonix, then reviewed by Spanish-speaking staff and students on the project in three phases of review. The interviewee did not review the transcript, and therefore some proper names remain unverified.
- 1 hr
- Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
- Series Statement:
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness is a collection of interviews with over seventy individuals living in the U.S. and Canada whose family history, occupation, art practice, or activism have brought them into direct contact with illness experience and disability related to chronic, low-dose exposure to toxicant chemicals. The procurement of this collection (from March 2019 through September 2020) was sponsored by the UCLA Center for the Study of Women under the directorship of Rachel C. Lee, with interviews conducted by six undergraduates, five graduate students, two career staff, and two faculty members at CSW.
Introduction to the call—Socorro Díaz’s background, her work as a member of ALMAS at the Graton Day Labor Center—born in Oaxaca, Mexico—one of fifteen siblings, experienced food scarcity—married when she was sixteen years old—she and her husband immigrated to the United States to find a better life for their children—worked in a restaurant and suffered from sexual abuse—also cleans houses, and now an independent cleaner—importance of sharing her difficult history with migrating to the States—kids are now in college—description of a typical day with all its challenges—defies gender norms to go to Sacramento to be an activist—not always valued at work and sometimes put into dangerous situations, for example, dealing with a very heavy vacuum—little help from employers during the pandemic—doctor diagnosed her with tendonitis because of repetitive movements—work-related falls/injuries—chemicals give her spots on her skin—doesn’t like strong pills because they make her nauseous—problems with her weight and health because of the lack of breaks to eat—learns a lot at the Labor Center and fights with ALMAS and the Coalition to pass laws that expand their rights—her daughter saw Díaz’s activist work in the newspaper and felt proud of her—currently works with SB 1257—conclusion