Shifting power, building opportunities.
A Change in Name
In March 2023, we changed this program’s name from Rustle Lab to Sol Center for Liberated Work. As our work grew, Rustle Lab didn’t do enough to reflect our aspirations. In selecting the Sol Center name, we hoped to embed our aspirations for this work directly into the identity of the program itself. For us, Sol represented the energy of the sun to fuel new life and ecosystems. As a Spanish word, we felt it honored the immigrant and marginalized communities we hope to work alongside, as well as our California home. And it formed the root of other words that reflect the program’s priorities – solutions, solidarity, and solo workers.
Meanwhile, Liberated Work encapsulated our world-building ambitions. For us, liberated work was about self-determination by creating new systems that no longer equate “work” with “worth”; where the jobs we do to earn money do not dictate access to benefits, security, time to rest, or possibilities for the future. Liberated work is not just about how we pay our bills, but also the work we do to care for our families, participate in our communities, and freely express artistically and culturally.
When we rolled out the new name, however, we heard that it wasn’t landing in the ways we hoped. For some, Sol was too easily understood as Soul, and the deep cultural resonance that term holds for Black communities. In addition, Liberated Work was less understood as our stance on labor issues and, instead, perceived as borrowing too heavily from the language of Black Liberation movements. For others, the Spanish word Sol felt appropriating in the absence of LatinX leadership within our program.
As an arts and culture organization, we know that language and representation matter, so we have taken critical responses seriously. We are grateful for those who shared their honest reactions, all of which were shared and received as acts of solidarity and support. Hence, we are changing the program’s name and, in this process, being more deliberate and thoughtful about our intentions and how we show up.
We are in the process of landing on the new name (hopefully, third time’s the charm). If you would like to offer suggestions (we see you, creatives!), please take a look around our site, read what we’re up to, and email us ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org. No prizes awarded except the glow of knowing you are helping an endeavor that is meant to help you!
What kinds of fully expressive, productive, and joyful lives might we help liberate?
Imagine a world where everyone–regardless of job, identity, or ability–knows that their basic needs are protected.
Artists understand the power of imagination as a tool for social transformation. Culture shapes not just what is, but what might be–what problems we solve and how we solve them. But imagination does not belong to artists alone.
All workers deserve the opportunity to imagine and build a new world of work. What if by reimagining broadly, as creatives do, we started with the visions of the most unprotected gig workers and those historically deemed ‘undeserving’?
How might that choice pave a path to protections for all, and an end to the inequities that undermine our safety net today? What shifts in community power could we dare dream, demand, and fight to deliver? We hope you’ll join us on the journey to find out.
Imagining Social Protections for All
We partnered with the Urban Institute to convene worker advocates and movement leaders to reimagine new systems of protection for nontraditional and excluded workers, and were so inspired by what we heard.Learn More
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