Interview of Erika Rodriguez
Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Born in El Salvador, Rodriguez is a domestic worker and a member of the Women’s Collective in San Francisco.
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness
- Environmental IllnessSocial Movements
- Biographical Note:
- Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Born in El Salvador, Rodriguez is a domestic worker and a member of the Women’s Collective in San Francisco.
- Rodriguez, Erika
- Persons Present:
- Rodriguez 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.
- 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.
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Born in El Salvador—Lives near several bus stations, and affected by smell of gasoline—Currently lives in San Francisco and works in housekeeping—Joins Women’s Collective upon immigrating to the U.S., which helps her find employment while being aware of her rights regardless of immigration status—Wants to spread awareness about long term effects of chemicals present in products used in daily life—Tries to implement use of natural cleaning products at work—Physical effects of using cleaning products like Clorox—Refusal to work with employers who deny her request to use green products—Ways in which the Collective has been a great help for her and other immigrant women—Current work towards getting SB 1257 approved and attending events held in other states—Describes her role as a co-organizer for fundraising and California representative—Disproportionate effects of chemical sensitivity on women in housekeeping field—Societal changes needed in order to improve state of environmental illnesses.