KI Practitioner Fellow Dawn Carpenter has released a special More Than Money podcast episode on Labor Day. More Than Money discusses the values that drive how we engage work and wealth.
In this episode, listeners are introduced to Ted Chandler, Chief Operating Officer of the AFL-CIO’s Housing Investment Trust, who explains the transformative power of putting labor’s assets to work in more ways than one. You can listen to it here and now:
If you enjoyed the episode, the rest of More Than Money’s first season is available on iTunes – subscribe and listen now!
Georgetown’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor will identify, nurture, train and convene a new generation of diverse, female labor leaders in a collaborative effort with Rutgers University.
Funded by the Berger-Marks Foundation, the WILL (Women Innovating Labor Leadership) Empower project will involve both the Georgetown initiative and the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations.
“The Kalmanovitz Initiative is delighted to add this exciting new dimension to its work promoting a more just, sustainable and democratic economy,” says Joseph McCartin, the initiative’s director. “By mobilizing women of all backgrounds to steer a dynamic workers movement, WILL Empower deepens Georgetown’s commitment to advance justice and the common good.”
The project begins this month, with programming in place by the fall of 2017.
Training, Mentoring and More
Georgetown and Rutgers will recruit project practitioners who are in the early stages of their labor-related careers, as well as mid-career executives, to engage in multiple gatherings, trainings, mentoring structures and peer support initiatives.
Participants will be paired with experienced mentors and some will be placed as apprentices in labor unions and social and economic justice organizations.
An Innovative Women Fellowships component will allow select activists time and support to develop new ideas for advancing social and economic justice, including research and promotional support.
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler anticipates that Will Empower will become “an indispensable new resource to build women’s leadership for the entire labor movement.”
Women in the WILL Empower project also will benefit from the Future of Labor Interactive Project (FLIP), a multi-media, interactive platform that will offer potential female leaders a host of resources for deepening their fight for economic justice.
FLIP will feature public policy forums, research hubs, community-based projects, and new reports and data. With FLIP, women will stay at the center of their own stories about work, pay, workplace rights and our changing economy.
“Women are half the workforce and nearly half of all union members – they hold the power to trail blaze a stronger future for the labor movement,” says Shuler, who serves in the second-highest position at the federation of unions.
Led by Women, For Women
Lane Windham, a Fellow at the Kalmanovitz Initiative who holds a doctorate in U.S. history and spent nearly 20 years working in the union movement, will serve as project director for WILL Empower at Georgetown.
“Women’s activism and ideas are the hidden advantages for building a broad-based movement for social and economic justice,” says Windham, whose book about union organizing in the 1970s is due out on Labor Day. “WILL Empower will activate and nurture women’s organizational skills, and will be a launching pad for a new generation of female labor leaders.”
At Rutgers WILL Empower will be steered by Sheri Davis-Faulkner, who holds a doctorate in American studies and has experience advancing social justice in the arenas of labor, women’s rights, and the environment.
Davis-Faulkner will work in tandem with Marilyn Sneiderman, the director of Rutgers’ Center for Innovation in Worker Organization. Sneiderman brings with her three decades of experience in the union movement, including 10 years as director of the National AFL-CIO’s Department of Field Mobilization.
McCartin says the focus on building a pipeline of future female labor leaders comes at a time when the labor movement faces unprecedented economic and political challenges.
“Women will be key to the movement’s future because women hold many of the low-wage and contingent jobs that permeate today’s workplaces, and also have already been leading a new generation of workers’ organizations,” McCartin explains. “Analysts expect women to make up a majority of union membership by 2023.”
“It is essential to train and lift up a new generation of powerful and diverse women’s leadership who can chart a path forward for working people,” adds Linda Foley, president of the Berger–Marks Foundation.
The foundation was established in 1997 to honor the memory of Edna Berger, the first female lead organizer for The Newspaper Guild-CWA, and her husband, Tin Pan Alley songwriter GeraldMarks.
Marks, who bequested his fortune to set up the foundation, co-wrote the popular early 1930s song “All of Me.”
We are delighted to share with you that Lane Windham is joining the Kalmanovitz Initiative as a fellow. In her capacity as fellow, Lane will be helping the KI map out a program focusing on women and women’s issues in the workplace and the broader workers’ movement.
Lane is an experienced organizer, educator, historian and activist. She holds a doctoral degree in U.S. history and is completing a book about union organizing in the 1970s, “Knocking on Labor’s Door,” which is due out from UNC Press in 2017.
Lane spent nearly twenty years working in the union movement, including as media outreach director and specialist for the national AFL-CIO from 1998 to 2009. She organized unions among clothing and textile workers throughout the South in the 1990s.
Lane’s current research focuses on how working people can best build power within today’s shifting economy. She has published widely on issues of class, race, gender, economic justice and the future of work. Read some recent articles by Lane Windham here. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Labor and Working Class History Association (LAWCHA) and is on the conference planning committee of Labor and Research Action Network (LRAN).
We look forward to introducing Lane to the Georgetown community in the coming weeks.
On April 28-29, 2014, the Kalmanovitz Initiative convened a gathering of labor, civil rights, and community leaders to discuss and plan a new way forward in organizing Black workers and communities in the South. The conference drew over 50 invited participants from across the country.
Monday, April 28
Economic State of Black Workers Nationally and in the South
Dedrick Muhummad, Senior Director of Economic Programs, NAACP
The Science of Race and Organizing: A Practical View
Rachel Godsil, Professor of Law, Seton Hall University
Why Black Workers in the South Need A Union
A Conversation with Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
Introduction by Brooks Sunkett, Vice President, Communications Workers of America
Moral Monday and the Forward Together Movement: Opportunities for Labor
Reverend William Barber, President, North Carolina NAACP
Rosalyn Pelles, Interim Executive Director, North Carolina NAACP
MaryBe McMillan, Secretary-Treasurer, North Carolina AFL-CIO
Laurel Ashton, Field Secretary, North Carolina NAACP
Yara Allen, Field Secretary, North Carolina NAACP
Tuesday, April 29
Manufacturing Victory in the South: Civil Rights at Nissan and Organizing Transplants
Derrick Johnson, President, Mississippi NAACP
Richard Bensinger, Director of Transnational Organizing Campaigns, United Auto Workers
Challenges and Opportunities in the South
Dr. Dorian Warren, Professor of Political Science, Columbia University
Address by Tefere Gebre, Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO
Community and Labor Partnerships: Where Do We Go From Here?
Patrick O’Neill, Executive Vice President and Director of Organizing, United Food and Commercial Workers
Dr. Iva Carruthers, General Secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
Kenneth Riley, President, International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1422