Labor Studies Skills Courses 2023

Spring 2023

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.


Steward Training

Facilitator: Amy Livingston

Course Description:

This course is designed for new and experienced stewards and members who want to become a steward. Topics covered include a steward’s rights, roles, and responsibilities; how to conduct a grievance investigation; writing and presenting grievances; and day-to-day problem solving.


Art & Organizing

Facilitator: Cassie Williams

Course Description:

This course explores how art has been used in social movements to organize, its impact, and how to incorporate it into our organizing strategies.


The AFL-CIO and the Global Cold War

Facilitators: Jeff Schuhrke and Sarah Lazare

Course Description:

The U.S. labor movement is a vital force for justice, equality, and democracy. But its biggest federation, the AFL-CIO, has also worked its way into mainstream politics over time, and cozied up with the U.S. national security state. At many points in its history, the federation has been complicit in U.S. foreign policies that have undermined—and even crushed—progressive and left movements abroad, particularly during the Cold War (1945-1991). In this class, we'll examine this history, and look at how the AFL-CIO's actions contrast with those taken by some individual unions that tried to challenge U.S. foreign policy. The goal is to reckon honestly with the U.S. labor movement's past, so that we can build stronger ties of solidarity with the global oppressed.


Video Production for Organizers 


Tuesday May 2, 1-3:30pm
Facilitator: Isabela Escalona

Course Description:

Video is an important part of storytelling and sharing a narrative for labor and community organizing. Whether creating an ad, a campaign video, a TikTok, a fundraising pitch, promoting an event, or highlighting a member’s story, there are so many ways video can be used to share a campaign or movement’s story and vision for the future. In this session we will go over how to plan a video, how to produce a video with everyday equipment, how to capture a powerful interview and b-roll, how to edit, and ways to promote a video once it is produced. This class is ideal for beginners.


Labor Law for Organizers

Thursday, June 8, 5:30 - 8:30pm
Facilitator: Amy Livingston

Course Description:

This class will provide a broad overview of two key labor laws for labor organizers based in Minnesota: the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and Minnesota’s Public Employment Labor Relations Act (PELRA). We will also examine recent NLRB and Supreme Court decisions that impact the interpretation and implementation of labor law for U.S. workers and their unions.