The activists profiled in “Waging Change” connect the movement to raise the federal minimum wage for restaurant servers and bartenders — currently $2.31 an hour — to the #MeToo movement’s efforts to end sexual harassment. The film highlights the struggles faced by restaurant workers, 70% of whom are women. Through the personal stories of workers such as Nataki Rhodes of Chicago, Wardell Harvey of New Orleans and Andrea Velasquez of Detroit, we come to see and experience the everyday challenges these workers confront in trying to make ends meet, particularly in the 43 states that do not require restaurants to pay their workers minimum wage, and the important role consumers can play in changing the situation.

We’ll host a live Q&A about “Waging Change” at 1 p.m. Thu./Dec. 3. Participants will include director Abby Ginzberg; Angela Velasquez, who is featured in the film; and Nik R. Cole, head chef at The Kitchen by Cooking with Que. The conversation will be moderated by Detroit Free Press restaurant critic Mark Kurlyandchik.

The live event will be hosted on the Freep Film Festival Youtube channel and Detroit Free Press Facebook page. Access the conversation here.

After the conversation happens, it will be archived at the Freep Film Festival Youtube page and as a direct link with any purchase of a screening of the film. 


Year: 2019 
Run time: 1 hour, 1 minute 
Director: Abby Ginzberg 
Editors: Marta Wohl, Jim McSilver 
Cinematographers: Margaret Byrne; Vicente Franco; Michael Moser; Thomas Kaufman 
Producer: Abby Ginzberg 
Composers: Todd Boekelheide;  Marco d’Ambrosio