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“THE GREAT ESCAPE: A True Story of Forced Labor and Immigrant Dreams in America” tells the story of one of the largest human trafficking schemes in modern American history and how the traffickers were finally held to account. Saket Soni was the co-founder of The New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice in the post-Katrina years. Today he’s the founder and director of Resilience Force, a project that comes directly out of his experience working with the men in this book. The U.S. is experiencing a labor shortage, and climate catastrophe will increase the need for disaster recovery workers. How can we build the resilient workforce we need, with the rights and equity workers deserve? Join Laura and Saket for this urgent conversation on the future of labor.

“The workers in this book, though I didn’t know it at the time, were the first of a growing workforce that I call the resilience workforce. Workers who rebuild after hurricanes, floods, fires, and other disasters. As climate change has proceeded . . . this workforce has grown and it’s still largely immigrant, largely undocumented and very vulnerable.”

“What we are really trying to do at Resilience Force is build this million-strong, massive, skilled workforce. We need to rebuild American cities, but also build a new social fabric in America.”


  • Saket Soni: Author, THE GREAT ESCAPE: A True Story of Forced Labor and Immigrant Dreams in America; Founder & Director, Resilience Force

Portions of this interview are featured in our episode Saket Soni: How Trafficked Workers Pulled Off “The Great Escape”.

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