Skills to Win

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To rise to the immense challenges ahead, organizations must double down on fundamental organizing skills to build people power.

March 4 – April 22, 2021
Weekly on Thursdays
5:00pm-7:30pm

Program Cost: $1,500

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About this Workshop

2021 will be an incredibly challenging year for working families. With COVID-19 still impacting workers, particularly workers of color, the labor movement is more critical now than ever. Between the health crisis, looming austerity and budget cuts, massive unemployment, and the risk of eviction for millions of workers, the working class has an uphill battle. Unions and community organizations must work smarter and more strategically to organize against these threats.

Why does this training matter now?
To rise to the immense challenges ahead, organizations must double down on organizing to build worker power. The Skills to Win Workshop is an eight-week series aimed at developing fundamental organizing skills. It is intended for rank and file members and staff of unions, worker associations, worker centers, and community organizations that are embarking on, or in the midst of, organizing campaigns. Organizing workers, their families, and their entire communities, complemented by other components in a broad tactical repertoire, will be the focus over the eight weeks we spend together.

Learning Outcomes and Format 
Once a week for 2.5 hours on Zoom, Skills to Win will focus on how to build high participation organizations, including how to:

  • Identify organic leaders who can move your base
  • Have successful organizing conversations
  • Learn how to chart the workplace, neighborhood, or any other collective structure
  • Analyze and understand power dynamics to inform your strategy
  • Integrate issues in the workplace and the community to build more resilient working-class communities

Skills to Win is role play, exercise, and practice orientated. Each week will consist of an opening plenary with a variety of lectures, fishbowl discussions, and presentations from different labor and community organizers. Participants will have time in breakout groups with their organizations (and sometimes across organizations) to work together on exercises and on their specific campaigns. In addition, there will be practical homework in between sessions that advances existing or planned campaigns. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about strategies and tactics across sectors and types of organizations.

Organizing Your Team
Because organizing is a team endeavor, not a solo sport, we are requiring organizations to create a team of at least 20 people in order to register for this training. In addition, for every team of 20, organizations need to select at least one facilitator to lead exercises in their group. Organizations may send as many participants as they would like provided there is at least one facilitator in each group of 20. Facilitators will attend a four-hour training prior to the workshop to be trained on best practices for using Zoom, leading discussions, and facilitating the curriculum. Anyone is eligible to serve as a facilitator if they are committed and well organized, and have access to a pro-level Zoom account. Find out more about being a facilitator!

The workshop will be led by Jane McAlevey and Danielle Mahones of the Labor Center. It will be offered in English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Cantonese.

For more information, contact: Kirsten Bottles Willer, kwiller@berkeley.edu.

Facilitators

Jane McAlevey

Senior Policy Fellow

janemcalevey@berkeley.edu

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Danielle Mahones

Director, Leadership Development Program

danielle.mahones@berkeley.edu

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