Carol Oppenheimer grew up in a socially conscious family and engaged in her first Labor action with Haitian apple pickers in Western Massachusetts while she attended Smith College. Oppenheimer was drawn to the community organizing of Saul Alinsky, the folk music of social justice concerns, and civil rights actions of the 1960s. After finishing law school, she started teaching as the first woman on the UT Austin Law faculty. Following her heart, Oppenheimer worked in social, labor, and environmental justice organizations and engaged in numerous endeavors for women’s rights and equity, law and social policy, and health and safety on the job. Working with her partner, Morty Simon, Carol championed safe and just legislation for New Mexico and US workers.
The Working People's History of New Mexico Project (WPHNM) is an oral labor history project created to gather the labor stories of working people in New Mexico. While part of the interviews focus on the specific jobs that the interviewees performed, the interviews also explore labor-management relations as well as union, workers council, and social activism participation. The interviews contain information about family and social relationships and offer themes of social and historical interest in New Mexico and the US.