Community Classes

Spring 2024 


Cost: $50 for union-sponsored participants; $25 for participants without union support; free to anyone who cannot afford to pay. Registration is required for these virtual classes (you can get there by clicking on the class title). Zoom links to the class will be emailed after registration. 


The Most Common Anti-Union Talking Points—And Why They’re Wrong

Date & Time: Tuesday, February 13, 3:00pm - 4:30pm CT

Facilitators: Sarah Lazare, editor of Workday Magazine and labor educator with the Labor Education Service, and Adam Johnson, media critic and co-host of the Citations Needed podcast.

“Unions used to be relevant, but now they’re obsolete.” “Unions make sense in other industries, but not mine.” “Unions are a third party, an outside force.” These tropes are pervasive in our media, communities, and workplaces, and they are commonly used to erode support for organized labor. However, they are easily debunked, and the process of critically deconstructing them can shed light onto why unions are so important. In this class, we will examine these anti-union talking points, look at how they play out in public discourse, and break down why they’re misguided.


Graphic Design & Canva for Labor Organizers

Date & Time: Wednesday, March 13, 11:00am-1:00pm CT

Facilitator: Isa Escalona

In this course we will learn the basic principles of graphic design using Canva. This will include how to use the software, best practices to make your designs accessible and engaging, hands-on practice, and how to apply these skills to your organizing work. This course is best for beginners. 



Labor Writing Workshop

Date & Time: Tuesday, March 26, 11:30am-1pm CT

Facilitator: Cassie Williams

Documenting the experiences of working people is why the labor movement has such a rich history. From farming to the packing house, working people have always explored the nuances of what work is and how it impacts how we live. This class will explore literature by and about working people. Attendees will have space to write about their own experiences and share their own work.



Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Date & Time: Tuesday, April 23, 12:00pm-1:30pm CT

Facilitator: Amy Livingston

This course provides an overview of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for union stewards, officers, staff, and rank-and-file workers. Participants will learn who qualifies for leave under FMLA; what counts as a qualifying leave; what are the rules for using leave; and how stewards and others can ensure that workers are able to utilize qualifying family and medical leaves from work.



Train The Trainer:  Earned Sick & Safe Time (ESST) and Pregnancy & Parenting Rights


Date & Time: Tuesday, May 14, 5:30pm-7pm CT

Facilitator: Debbie Prokopf, Minnesota Training Partnership

Training for Union Leaders
Minnesota’s new laws on Earned Sick & Safe Time (ESST) and Pregnancy & Parenting rights add important new protections for workers – even workers who already have good union contracts. Come and learn about these new laws so that you can help your members understand and enforce their rights.



History of the “Right to Work”

Date & Time: Wednesday, May 29, 10:00am-12:00pm CT

Facilitator: Amy Livingston

This class explores the history of the so-called “right to work,” a legal framework that erodes workers’ ability to build power through unionization. Participants will learn about the racist origins of “right to work” laws in the U.S. South; the “open shop” movement of the early 20th century; the conditions that gave rise to the Taft-Hartley Act; the expansion of “right to work” laws in the early 21st century; the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31; and how workers have organized and fought back against these legal obstacles along the way.