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Center for Labor Research and Education


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Lead Organizer Training

Lead Organizer Training

May 17–19, 2016

The coming years will present exciting challenges for labor and community groups. Unions and community-based organizations will need skilled staff in order to tackle the mounting needs placed before them and their constituents.

The UC Berkeley Labor Center’s Lead Organizer Training will feature these topics:

  • Staff/Leadership Development
  • Wellness/Healthy Lifestyle Exercises
  • Training/Teaching/Learning Skills
  • Strategic Campaign Planning
  • Community-Labor Coalition Building
  • Lead Organizing Techniques/Tools

This workshop is offered to individuals in union and community-based organizations who hold lead organizing positions within their organizations, or will be assigned the task in the near future. Groups entering contract bargaining, conducting campaigns, or undertaking issue-oriented activities during 2016 should consider sending their lead organizers to this training.

“The California Lead Organizer Institute is a well-rounded training for all lead organizers. I was leading campaigns when I participated and it helped me focus on self-care and team building. There is no better primer for union and non-profit staff leading campaigns. The best part is learning with like-minded folks from across the entire labor movement and community groups too! We continue to support each other from the 2011 course!”

– Amy Hines
Higher Education Director, UPTE-CWA Local 9119

“SEIU Local 521 has sent new internal lead organizers for the past several years to this training. Staff that have attended have found it helpful in their day-to-day work. What is unique about the UCB Labor Center’s lead training is the focus on strategic thinking in regards to campaign work and also the development of rank and file leaders in the organizing model of mobilizing and activating their fellow union members into action”

-Luisa Blue
Chief Executive Officer, SEIU Local 521

“Through this training, my confidence as a lead and a supervisor grew. I gained skills about providing the right kind of support for each situation and about integrating leadership development into the day to day campaign work.”

-Kate O’Hara
Executive Director of East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE)

The three-day training will be facilitated by UC Berkeley Adjunct Labor Specialist Maria L. Abadesco. It will also feature Lamoin Werlein Jaén, Director of Leadership Development Programs at the UC Berkeley Labor Center, and Brooke Anderson, Staff Collective Member of Movement Generation.


Tuesday–Thursday, May 17–19, 2016


IRLE Building
2521 Channing Way
Berkeley, CA


Unions: $400
Community Organizations: $275

Cost includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, and printed and online materials.
Registrations that are cancelled after Friday, May 13, 2016, will be charged 10% of tuition.

» Apply Now!

About the Facilitators

Maria L. Abadesco

Maria has been with the UC Berkeley Labor Center since 2006. Maria began her career as a union organizer for the ILWU Local 142—Big Island Hawaii. Since that time she has worked for several SEIU Northern California locals and the San Mateo and North Bay Central Labor Councils. She also served as lead organizer for several nurse-related campaigns in Northern California and for a health care drive in Los Angeles. Maria co-facilitated the Labor Center’s California Lead Organizer Institute in conjunction with the Center for Third World Organizing for three years. She is looking forward to the 2016 Lead Organizing Training, noting that “labor unions need to better coordinate their efforts with our community allies… Workers are the Community!”

Lamoin Werlein Jaén

Lamoin joined the Labor Center in 2016 as a Senior Labor Educator and Director of Leadership Development Programs. He most recently was the Lead Representative for IFPTE Local 21 in San Jose, CA, and was President of the San Mateo Labor Council from 2013 to 2016. Prior to this he worked for 18 years at UNITE HERE Local 2 in San Francisco, serving as the elected Vice-President from 2000 to 2006 and elected Secretary Treasurer from 2006 to 2012. In addition, he was a faculty member and taught at City College of San Francisco in the Labor and Community Studies Department from 2000 to 2013. Lamoin came to the United States in 1981 from the Republic of Panamá and to Madison, WI, before moving to California in 1995. He has a BA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s Degree from San Francisco State University.

Brooke Anderson

Brooke started organizing through the environmental justice movement, fighting medical waste incinerators in her hometown in IL when she was just 17 years old. She led anti-war and anti-racist organizing campaigns as a student activist, and soon after joined the labor movement as an organizer for graduate employees at UIUC. She spent several years grassroots organizing for health care access, and then spent a decade in the labor movement both as a staff organizer and an elected leader of her local. She most recently served 7 years at the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE) in Oakland. She now works with Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project, where she is helping build the power of workers to transform the U.S. labor movement into a powerful champion for climate justice.

For more information please contact:
Maria Abadesco, Adjunct Labor Specialist, 707-494-2461,

The 2016 Lead Organizer Training welcomes participation from people of all races, ethnicities, national origins, and gender identities.