September 6, 2023, 12:15 PM - 1:45 PM (US Central)
Stephanie Land, Author of New York Times bestseller and inspiration for Netflix's original hit series "MAID"
Stephanie Land’s bestselling debut memoir and the inspiration behind the Netflix original hit series "Maid" recounts her harrowing saga as a single mom navigating the poverty trap. Her unflinching testimony exposes the physical, economic, and social brutality that domestic workers face, all while radiating a parent’s hope and dedication.
At age 28, Land’s dream of attending college and becoming a writer is deferred when she and her seven month-old have to move into a homeless shelter, fleeing a violent home and lacking any form of reliable safety net. She begins the bureaucratic nightmare of applying for food stamps and subsidized housing and starts cleaning houses for $9/hour.
Mired in patronizing government processes and paltry wages, she illustrates the trauma of grasping for stability from a rigged system, and demonstrates how hard work doesn’t always pay off. In a constant state of scarcity, a single unexpected cost–as simple as a car repair–jeopardizes Land’s carefully calculated budget and shows the impossible slipperiness of escaping poverty.
Land’s memoir offers a unique and essential perspective from the frontlines of struggle, but the deeply personal, intimate details of her story paint a larger picture. The physical pain of her own poverty–like the mold in her apartment, and the “constant burn” and “shooting pain” from cleaning houses–clarifies systemic class inequalities, dispelling the myth that poor people are responsible for their own predicament and just need to try harder.
Instead, she reveals the real culprits of her situation: domestic violence, untenable minimum wages, high housing costs, and government assistance programs that fail the people they ostensibly serve.
Land’s story serves as the inspiration for Netflix’s Golden Globe and Emmy Award-nominated original series Maid. The show is one of Netflix’s most watched series ever with over 469 million hours viewed that have reached over 67 million households in its first month. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the call volume in the month following the show’s premier was higher than any other month in its 25-year history.
Join us for Stephanie Land's keynote as she discusses how having a home you can afford is the start for breaking barriers.