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Meet Our Staff Series: Robert

Meet Our Staff!

Robert Christl, Worker Center Program Director

A bit about Robert...

I was born and raised in a small city called Huntsville in Alabama (you might know it—it’s famous for its work with NASA). As a kid, I gravitated toward history. Although I initially had an interest in ancient Spartan society, George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, with its descriptions of worker-controlled Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, ignited my imagination in high school and shaped my social consciousness. In my memory, I associate Homage with the outbreak of the Wisconsin Uprising and Occupy Wall Street, which I followed from the campus of the University of Alabama as a freshman and where I was studying modern European history. Years later, and still captivated by the efforts of Spanish workers and peasants to transform their society in 1936, I decided to come to UW-Madison in 2015 to write a dissertation on the Spanish Revolution.

I feel very fortunate to call Madison home. In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, I married my girlfriend, Giuli. The two of us live together with our cat, Billy (named after Big Bill Haywood). Without a hint of bias, I like to think that Giuli is one of the best nurse practitioners in Wisconsin. She goes above and beyond the call of duty for her patients, and she has become an integral part of the community as one of the few providers offering Spanish-language treatment in a rural area. She is my biggest inspiration. When she isn’t working at the clinic and I’m not organizing, we like to hike in southern Wisconsin, travel, go to live shows, and read aloud short stories together—we’re big fans of Mario Benedetti, Roberto Bolaño, and Horacio Quiroga.

I joined Worker Justice Wisconsin because I believe that a strong labor movement is essential to a just and democratic society. Having conducted research on Spanish labor and been an active member of the Teaching Assistants’ Association (AFT-W Local 3220) at UW-Madison, I know what a well organized, participatory workers’ movement can achieve. I am thrilled to be a part of this team dedicated to expanding the local labor movement, building working-class power, fighting for workers’ rights, and deepening our democracy. “An injury to one is an injury to all.”

Stay tuned to this series to learn more about our staff members!