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Swarthmore Living Wage and Democracy Campaign records

Identifier: SFHL-RG6-P006

Scope and Contents

Kae Kalwaic, a staff member in the Education Department at Swarthmore from 1993-2017, was a participant in the Swarthmore Living Wage & Democracy Campaign efforts. She assiduously documented the progress of the campaign on her website ( and in nine 3-inch scrapbooks which she donated to the College Archives in 2017.

These scrapbooks include SLW&DC reports, correspondence between SLW&DC and the administration, publications, flyers, and other records of SLW&DC records. The bulk of the collection dates from the 2000-2004 period of the major campaign, but there are also materials about labor history at Swarthmore before the campaign began, and updates on labor-related issues after the main campaign ended.


  • Creation: 1970 - 2016


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for researcher use.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Curator. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Biographical / Historical

When the Swarthmore Living Wage and Democracy Campaign (SLW&DC) formed in 2000, the minimum wage at the College was $6.66/hour. The group consisted primarily of students, with participation of staff and faculty. After years of research studies, negotiations, and rallies, the Board of Managers passed a proposal in 2004 that addressed some of SLW&DC’s concerns and increased the minimum wage to $10.38 tied to inflation. Other components of SLW&DC’s proposal, including a call for a childcare benefit, were not met at that time.

See also

  1. Aronoff, Kate. "Swarthmore students and staff campaign for a living wage, 2000-2004." Entry in Global Nonviolent Action Database. 29 October 2011.
  2. Kalwaic, Kae. "Swarthmore Living Wage and Democracy Campaign." Blog.


1.67 linear ft. (4 document boxes)

Language of Materials



The Swarthmore Living Wage and Democracy Campaign (SLW&DC), composed primarily of students with participation of staff and faculty, lobbiyed for a comprehensive living wage on campus and for greater transparency in the College's decision-making. SLW&DC formed in 2000 wound down in 2004 after the Board of Managers passed a proposal that met most of their demands. This collection was assembled by Kae Kalwaic, a staff member in the Education Department at Swarthmore from 1993-2017, who was active in SLW&DC.


The collection was preserved in the order Kae Kalwaic established, which is roughly chronological.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Kae Kalwaic, 2017.

Processing Information

The collection was removed from binders and rehoused in archival folders and boxes, but the original order and section/folder titles as established by Kae Kalwaic were preserved.

Hazlett Henderson and Celia Caust-Ellenbogen
2017 September
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

500 College Avenue
Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA