THEME

Informed Communities

BRAND NEW: Check out our NEW talks about Immigration in Wisconsin!


  • A catalog of all ShopTalk presenters listed in ABC order is here.

There’s more to the past, present, and future of work than the day’s news headlines. ShopTalk’s historians and experienced professionals bring their insight to discussion of the ‘new’ economy, healthy workplaces, the labor movement, and more.


Abraham Lincoln made his entire political career by outlining what free labor meant and how it might be expanded. Today, the term is a bit confusing. However, any Wisconsin worker who earns...


Becoming a Citizen

presented by Laurie S. Z. Greenberg

People who are born in the U.S. are automatically granted citizenship. A naturalized citizen is a person who was born in another country but has lawfully become a citizen of the United States under the U.S. Constitution and laws. What are the rights and privileges that come with citizenship? Do naturalized citizens enjoy all of them? And what are the responsibilities?...


Motherhood is a role involving sacrifice, strategic thinking, and high ideals about the mother-child relationship and women’s responsibilities in those relationships. Throughout this country’s history, mothers have been at the center...


Emerging Refugee Crisis: How Will Wisconsinites Respond?

presented by Khalil “Haji” Dokhanchi

The number of people fleeing poverty, conflict, and persecution around the world is creating an unprecedented number of global migrants and refugees. In the United States, and here in Wisconsin, we are facing growing pressure to accommodate them. Many Americans are asking, “Why do they want to come here? Will our communities be harmed? Who will pay the price for integration and services?” Answers to these questions have legal, economic, political and ethical implications...


The new economy, often dubbed ‘The Sharing Economy,’ is based in part on a re-definition of work. In this new model, employers increasingly cut costs by classifying workers as contractors. Contractors...


Just three years after graduating with a degree in multimedia journalism, Alison Sherwood won a Pulitzer Prize for her part in a story for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Her videos and interactive...


Growing up, Gary Porter’s parents advised him to keep his options open. He attended college in Wisconsin without really thinking about what came next. The need to support his growing family forced...


From the hit CBS Sitcom How I Met Your Mother to the romantic comedy While We’re Young to widely popular Christmas movies that air on the Hallmark Channel every holiday season, being a childless woman who values work and career is a temporary state.


Human Trafficking in Wisconsin

presented by Rachel Monaco-Wilcox

Cases of human trafficking have been identified in all 72 counties in Wisconsin. Yet most people doubt this, thinking “that can’t be happening here!” If we are in a state of denial...


The work of firefighters and paramedics often involves witnessing and enduring human tragedy, as well as triumphing over challenges and calamity. Firefighters are part of a team that becomes like family, bonded...


Laura Ingalls Wilder is an American icon, known for her novels about her family’s experience as American pioneers in the 1870s. But does her Little House on the Prairie series have meaning for today’s immigrants and refugees to the Midwest?...


The fate of undocumented immigrant workers and Wisconsin's $43 billion dairy industry are closely intertwined. On Wisconsin dairy farms today immigrants make up a majority of the workforce. Many farmers say that deporting workers would harm the industry...


Did you ever wish that you spent less time at work? Want more time for family, fun, or sleep? What if you could work fewer hours and still earn the same amount...


Melting Pot or Pot Luck? Immigrants in the U.S.

presented by Laurie S. Z. Greenberg

For most of the 20th Century, the United States was described as a cultural melting pot. Immigrants were assumed to arrive, assimilate, and gradually melt into American society. Today we talk about immigrants, and immigration, in different terms. These terms acknowledge the ways in which immigrants engage in work life and the economy, as well as social and educational systems. This ‘integration’ changes both the immigrants themselves, as well as the community they find themselves in...


In 1969, statewide grape boycotts reduced grape consumption in Wisconsin by 41%. Migrant workers in Wisconsin were part of a nationwide movement to gain union recognition for migrant labor, as well as...


What does it take to put together a picture book? In some cases, it is an opportunity for creative collaboration that brings many talents together. Anne is an artist with training in...


Mark got an English degree, rather than a journalism degree, from the University of Toronto and entered journalism through a series of very small newspapers in the U.S. As Mark describes how he helped unravel the complex story of Nic Volker's DNA sequencing, he'll...


When Arnold Chevalier was growing up in Milwaukee, he never dreamed that he would start a small business back home on the Menominee Indian Reservation. But one day he got home late...


Serving Wisconsin's Aging Population

presented by Rachel Monaco-Wilcox

What do Elder Law attorneys do for clients? How is the job changing? Who are the people taking care of the elderly? What trends are affecting adult children caring for elderly parents...


If you’re working within a high burnout profession, you know it. You already know that many of your colleagues, or perhaps even you, will think about quitting… the job, the organization, or...


Universal public education in the US began in the 1800s. From that time on, teachers instructed their students in not only the three Rs but also conveyed—and sometimes challenged—dominant American...


Your own family tree is full of stories about work. They are unique stories that provide insight into your values, opportunities, and aspirations. They are also part of the history of this...


Many factors influence how we get to work. Some people work from home, while others spend hours getting from home to workplace. All of us have an opinion about that time...


There are some events that now define nineteenth and twentieth century labor history in both Wisconsin and in the US—the Eight-Hour Movement in the 1880s, the Kohler conflict that spanned...


Officer Corey Saffold is a law enforcement professional in Madison, and is known in the community for his volunteerism and his work with youth of all ages and demographic backgrounds. In addition...


What is the work of a mayor? The answer to this question has changed radically since Milwaukee’s founding more than 150 years ago. In this talk, Aims focuses on a pivotal moment...


The Story of Nic Volker and the Dawn of Genomic Medicine

presented by Mark Johnson & Kathleen Gallagher

When they received a tip that all of the genes of a desperately ill young boy had been sequenced by doctors at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, two reporters at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel began investigating the...


In the early 20th century, some architects designed not only homes for wealthy clients but also furniture, stained glass windows, and even china and silver service. Frank Lloyd Wright is perhaps most well-known...


This Is a Real Job: Insights Into Arts Work

presented by Danielle Dresden & Donna Peckett

Although it’s common to talk about a “work of art,” we seldom discuss the “work” of being an artist and making art. More than 43,000 Wisconsin residents are employed in arts-related...


Mexican immigrants and Mexican American migrants, like other 19th century European immigrants, settled in both rural and urban Wisconsin communities. Jesus Salas’s grandparents were sharecroppers in Texas. They lost their ties to...


Is work an art, a chore, or a joy? We speak about rewards of work beyond material gain, such as solidarity, expression, and fulfillment. Yet we also complain constantly about our jobs...


What is Healthy Work?

presented by Katherine Sanders

Have you ever had a job where you dreaded going in to the office? Have you had a job that you loved? Can you identify specifically what felt wrong, or right, and...


Women’s Work during Prohibition

presented by Alison Staudinger

Prohibition was a nationwide constitutional ban on the sale, production, importation, and transportation of alcoholic beverages, mandated under the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Some women were outspoken proponents of Prohibition...


What rights do you have as a worker? Do you really have a “right” to work? Do you have the right to a job? Can you be fired for organizing a union...


Workplace Equity for Mothers

presented by Jodi Vandenberg-Daves

Ideal workers, like ideal mothers, are expected to be very available and highly attentive. Modern pressures to show commitment though regular and sometimes non-stop availability put special pressure on those with...


More Themes

Women's Working Lives – Women face unique obstacles in their lives and careers. These ShopTalk presenters share personal perspectives and inspiring stories that will jumpstart conversations in your community about facing stereotypes, breaking molds and what work looks and feels like for women today.

Immigration in Wisconsin – Immigration to Wisconsin is not new. But the issues are complicated. Current concerns can make them hard to fully comprehend. This series of ShopTalk offers history, stories, and the law to help us think about immigration today.