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Center for Labor Research and Education


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Ethnic Studies 197: Field studies in labor and community organizing

Ethnic Studies 197: Field studies in labor and community organizing

Fall 2017 Class for UC Berkeley Students

Course description:
Find out how you can learn about real campaigns and efforts advocating for low-income and working-class families here in the Bay Area. Learning organizing skills alongside community and union members is a great way to explore how your passion for social and economic justice can be become a life-long career. If you want to get more involved with your community and learn organizing skills, this course is for you!

This course will include:

  • Engaged and guided reflection
  • Skills trainings
  • Career information
  • Readings and discussions to enrich an ongoing internship

Past site visits included:
Bay Area Black Worker Center
East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy
UNITE HERE Local 2850
SEIU Local 1021
UAW Local 2865

Classes will be held bi-weekly on Monday from 3–6 PM at the Labor Center, 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA.

Optional 2-3 credits based on hours in the field with bi-weekly seminars.

Students who are interested should contact with their name, major, year, and 1-2 sentences on why they’re interested in the course.

This is an American Cultures Engaged Scholarship (ACES) Course.

What students have said about the program:
“This course gave me a deeper understanding of how unions and worker centers operate as a social safety net for Black workers. The position of Black people in the labor force has always been extremely vulnerable, and this course helped me understand what is truly at stake if you’re not informed and organized for your rights.”

“I saw that the power of a union is not only in gaining rights for workers, but also in giving workers the tools and confidence to fight for themselves.”

“I came into this experience hoping to learn how labor unions fit into successful social movements, as well as how to be an effective organizer. I wouldn’t have been able to meet either of these objectives without the combination of our seminars and my field studies.”