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Ladies, Ladders, and Lenses at Edison Career and Technology High School

(April 30, 2024) Edison Career and Technology High School hosted its first-ever Ladies, Ladders, and Lenses event on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, to celebrate the contributions of African American female workers during World War II.

Students in the school’s Construction, Architecture, and Design Pathway joined six masons to create a mosaic mural.  Supported by UNICON of Rochester and the Bricklayers Union of Rochester, students created “The Black Rosies.” 

“The girls chose Rosie the Riveter and especially the Black Rosies because they did not gain the recognition that some of their white counterparts did,” said Dan Collins, Machine Shop teacher and Worked-Based Learning Coordinator at Edison.  “These young ladies are following in the footsteps of Rosie the Riveter and working with female masons from the Bricklayers Union to hear their story and gain insight into becoming a mason.  The construction industry is hurting for people, and these young ladies are the future.”

“I feel honored, and it is a great experience,” said Azariah Williams, an 11th-grade student in the construction pathway.  “I am lucky to have been chosen to be a part of this project, and I cannot wait to come back to see it in ten years.”

Students involved in this project’s “lenses” portion are from the school’s Digital Media Arts and Communications Pathway.  They have been working with the producer/director of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Sports Network and gaining real-world experience by filming this event while learning from professionals in the field.  The RIT Sports Network includes multiple programs and events and employs over 70 RIT students and professional staff. 

This is the first year of a ten-year collaboration with UNICON and the Bricklayers Union.  Each year, students will create a new mosaic dedicated to a famous, influential, and important woman, which will be hung in the school’s Women’s Memorial Hall.