On Sunday, Rosie the Riveter Trust will celebrate ‘We Can Do It!’ spirit and park ranger Betty Reid Soskin’s 100th birthday

We-Can-Do-It-Black-Rosie-the-Riveter, On Sunday, Rosie the Riveter Trust will celebrate ‘We Can Do It!’ spirit and park ranger Betty Reid Soskin’s 100th birthday, Culture Currents Featured

Richmond, Calif. – Rosie the Riveter Trust is celebrating the history of the World War II home front at a Sept. 26 gala, Making History Together. The fundraiser will highlight programs supported by the trust in collaboration with Rosie the Riveter-WWII Home Front National Historical Park: Every Kid Outdoors, Rosie’s Service Corps and a documentary about the park’s Rosie Ambassadors, currently in production. 

“We have a gem of a national park located right here in Richmond, California, where visitors can come learn about the home front and hear stories told in first person. This includes women and men who worked in the Kaiser shipyards, as well as those who spent years in the internment camps during the war,” says Sarah Pritchard, executive director of Rosie the Riveter Trust. “The history of the home front and societal changes that transpired during World War II are important lessons to preserve and share.”

Rosie-the-Riveter, On Sunday, Rosie the Riveter Trust will celebrate ‘We Can Do It!’ spirit and park ranger Betty Reid Soskin’s 100th birthday, Culture Currents Featured
Although we at the Bay View are well aware of the wrong and incomplete history we’re taught in school, we were shocked to learn that most of the heroic “Rosie the Riveters” who built the ships and tanks that won World War II were Black!

The gala will also include a special tribute to Betty Reid Soskin, who turns 100 in September. Soskin helped establish the Rosie the Riveter-WWII Home Front National Historical Park, later joining the National Park Service and becoming the oldest ranger in the national park system at 85. 

Soskin’s programs at the park’s visitor center have captivated audiences since the center opened in May 2012. During her presentations, she shares her own experiences as a young woman of color during a time when segregation and discrimination were common, adding dimension to the stories of the home front too often left out of the history books. “What gets remembered is determined by who is in the room doing the remembering,” says Soskin in her 2019 film, “No Time to Waste.”

Rosie-Riveter-0821, On Sunday, Rosie the Riveter Trust will celebrate ‘We Can Do It!’ spirit and park ranger Betty Reid Soskin’s 100th birthday, Culture Currents Featured

The gala will be held at the historic Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South (next to the park’s visitor center on the Richmond waterfront). The Craneway, which boasts a fabulous view of San Francisco, is the former Ford Assembly Plant where some 49,000 tanks and jeeps were assembled during the home front era. 

While individual tickets to the in-person event sold out on Aug. 1, tickets to view the live-streamed event are still available. The event begins at 5:00 p.m., followed by a tribute to Betty Reid Soskin, highlights of the trust’s programs, a live auction, a Zoom afterparty and entertainment by Tia Carroll.

Betty-Reid-Soskin-in-front-of-mural-at-Rosie-the-Riveter-World-War-II-Home-Front-National-Historical-Park-in-Richmond-2016-by-Edward-Caldwell, On Sunday, Rosie the Riveter Trust will celebrate ‘We Can Do It!’ spirit and park ranger Betty Reid Soskin’s 100th birthday, Culture Currents Featured
Beloved for her historical knowledge and wisdom, Betty Reid Soskin stands proudly in front of the mural in the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond in 2016. – Photo: Edward Caldwell

Major event sponsors include the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Kaiser Permanente, The Marguerite Fund, Chevron Richmond Refinery, Accenture, Bank of Labor, California State Pipe Trades Council, Microsoft Corp., The Honorable Barry Goode, Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, IBEW Local 302, IBEW Local Union 595 and Marathon Petroleum. Event sponsorships are available beginning at $1,000.

Betty-Reid-Soskin-Winnie-Mandela-protest-capital-punishment-San-Quentin-2005, On Sunday, Rosie the Riveter Trust will celebrate ‘We Can Do It!’ spirit and park ranger Betty Reid Soskin’s 100th birthday, Culture Currents Featured
Quiet as it’s kept, Betty Reid Soskin has played a strong role in shaping Black history all her life. For instance, she took the Black sailors into her home who survived the huge explosion at Port Chicago and were charged with mutiny in a classic case of “blame the victim.” Here, she and Winnie Mandela of South Africa, surrounded by children, protest capital punishment at San Quentin in 2005.

Rosie the Riveter Trust is the official partner of the Rosie the Riveter-WWII Home Front National Historical Park, founded in 2000 in Richmond, California. The park chronicles the explosive growth of wartime industry, the innovations fostered by visionaries like Henry J. Kaiser, and the extraordinary history of people who were challenged as never before and came together to overcome wartime odds with the “We Can Do It!” spirit.

Jahahara-Betty-Reid-Soskin-celebrate-West-Contra-Costa-County-Unified-School-Districts-renaming-Spanish-missionary-Juan-Crespi-with-Betty-Reid-Soskin-Middle-School-0721-by-Jahahara-2-1400x931, On Sunday, Rosie the Riveter Trust will celebrate ‘We Can Do It!’ spirit and park ranger Betty Reid Soskin’s 100th birthday, Culture Currents Featured
In July, Bay View columnist Baba Jahahara celebrated with Betty Reid Soskin the renaming of a West Contra Costa school to Betty Reid Soskin Middle School. The school was originally named for Spanish missionary Juan Crespi

Event proceeds support expansion of educational programs for all ages and preservation of historical resources for the Bay Area and the nation. 

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the trust’s web site at www.rosietheriveter.org. For sponsorships, contact Executive Director Sarah Pritchard, at 510-507-2276, or by email at sarah@rosietheriveter.org.