The Iowa Global Health Network, an International Programs affinity group, presents a Prairie Lights Reading by Saket Soni, author of The Great Escape.
Saket Soni is a staunch advocate for vulnerable working populations who find themselves in some of the most dangerous and poorly paid work environments. Soni is the co-founder and executive director of Resilience Force, a national nonprofit that advocates for the rising, and often migrant, workforce that rebuilds communities after climate disasters.
Soni is the national voice of the workforce we all depend upon that prepares for and rebuilds after climate disaster. He has worked on the climate change front for over 15 years, and he has testified in Congress on issues of immigration and labor rights. He works on behalf of the most vulnerable workers, most notably after Hurricane Katrina, where he organized and won policy victories for both U.S.-born and immigrant workers engaged in the reconstruction of New Orleans.
Soni led the effort to win precedent-setting National Labor Relations Board decisions protecting migrant whistle-blowers on the front lines of the hospitality and seafood industries from retaliatory firings and blacklisting. In New Orleans, he also crafted campaigns to win pathways into the publicly funded construction industry for African American workers.
Soni’s work has also focused on combating human trafficking, the subject of The Great Escape, which resulted in a federal court awarding over $14 million in damages to migrant resilience workers rebuilding the Gulf Coast.
Soni’s work has been featured in many periodicals, including the New Yorker, the New York Times, and Time Magazine. His recent book readings include at the Aspen Institute, and in interviews with Democracy Now, the Laura Flanders Show, and Fresh Air on WBUR.
This visit is hosted by the Iowa Global Health Network with support from UI International Programs, in collaboration with the UI Center for Human Rights and the UI Labor Center.