"One of the Most Important Women in the American Labor Movement" You Haven't Heard Of

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A Labor Day story about Regina V. Polk and her life as a Teamster

This book was written to allow Regina to continue to inspire people

Labor Day, when Americans honor the sacrifices and successes of the American worker. It is also a day to recognize this country's working heroes and labor pioneers. Many feel that among the pantheon of names in the history of the labor movement including Eugene Debs, John L. Lewis and Booker T. Washington should be added Regina V. Polk.

"If she were alive this Labor Day, there's no question she would be working to end the injustices that still exist in the workplace today," according to author Terry Spencer Hesser.

Regina Polk was a Teamster. One of the first women on the professional staff in the quintessentially male-dominated organization, she used pluck and determination to fight for the rights of the overworked and underpaid. Whether on the playground as a child or on the picket lines Regina never shrank from a fight for right. Ahead of her time, she took up the cause against sexual harassment in the workplace, job security and healthcare. She was a rising star in the labor movement until she was killed in a plane crash at the age of 33.

Hesser has now captured Regina's life story in her book, "I Am a Teamster: a short, fiery story of regina v. polk, her hats, her pets, sweet love, and the modern-day labor movement."

"This book was written to allow Regina to continue to inspire people," says Hesser, who once met Regina long before she knew she was to be the one to tell her story. "After speaking with so many who knew her, it was clear she made a lasting and profound impression on each person she met. This book is a tribute to her and her impact on the American labor movement."

The book is filled with stories about Polk's personal and professional life, from growing up as a headstrong girl who was able to "throw the ball farther than many of the boys" to becoming the persuading crusader for workers' rights as a business agent for Teamsters Local 743 in Chicago.

"Regina was only a Teamster for seven years but it amazed me how much she accomplished and how much groundwork she laid for the future," continues Hesser.

Finally recognized in a book, the story of Regina Polk can't help but inspire young women and young men by showing them anyone can make the world a better place for their having lived.

To receive a review copy or schedule an interview with author Terry Spencer Hesser, please contact Melissa Harman at (312) 422-1333.

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