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These Shining Lives

Glowing hands shouldn’t be an occupational hazard, argue the women of These Shining Lives -- nor should radium poisoning. This play chronicles the true story of four women who sought well-paid work at the Radium Dial watch factory in the 1920s and 1930s and fought for justice when they discovered that their employer prioritized profits over their safety. In The Vex's production, Jessica Reynolds-Carrillo narrates the play as Catherine Donohue, who was the lead plaintiff in the employees' lawsuit against the factory. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court before Radium Dial was finally forced to pay damages. While monumental, the women's victory was pyrrhic, as Donohue and others eventually succumbed to radium poisoning. American workers today owe their legal protections to these women -- who became known as the "Radium Girls" -- and others like them who fought long, difficult battles to advance workers' rights.

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