2020 Women and Femmes Retreat logo

2020 Minnesota Union Women & Femmes Retreat POSTPONED

As of Monday, March 16, the University of Minnesota will be suspending travel for faculty and staff indefinitely due to concerns about the novel coronavirus. Moreover, the health and safety of our participants, presenters, staff, the other workers who support the Retreat, and our communities is extremely important to us. Unfortunately, this means we must postpone the 2020 Minnesota Union Women & Femmes Retreat. We believe that the Retreat will be rescheduled for spring 2021; we will be in touch again over the coming months with more information as it becomes available.



Too Woke to be Tired: Moving Forward with Radical Persistence

It’s never been easy for workers to exercise their rights, but these days we face particularly difficult challenges. Workplaces are being reshaped by technological and economic forces, unions are being attacked on many fronts and the strategies that worked in the past may not be as effective today.

More than ever, all workers must be involved in finding a way forward. That means building leadership among women, femmes and others who are under-represented. It means drawing from our experiences and identities to build power. The Union Women & Femmes Retreat provides the opportunity to analyze the challenges before us and build the confidence and skills to address them.

Register on-line here. Space is limited. Register by March 27, 2020

Photo of Ellie Krug

Keynote Speaker: Ellen (Ellie) Krug

Ellen (Ellie) Krug, when a civil trial attorney in Cedar Rapids with 100+ trials, transitioned from male to female in 2009 and later became one of the few attorneys nationally to try jury cases in separate genders. The author of Getting to Ellen: A Memoir about Love, Honesty and Gender Change (2013), Ellie has trained on diversity and inclusion to court systems, law firms, Fortune 100 corporations, and colleges/ universities. A hopeless idealist, Ellie has presented her inclusivity training, Gray Area Thinking®, across the country. In 2016, Advocate Magazine named Ellie one of “25 Legal Advocates Fighting for Trans Rights” and in 2019, OutFront Minnesota awarded Ellie its Legacy Award. She is also a monthly columnist for Lavender Magazine and a weekly radio host on AM950 radio. Her 9000-recipient monthly newsletter, The Ripple, can be found at www.elliekrug.com. Ellie presently lives in Minneapolis and is the founder and president of Human Inspiration Works, LLC (www.humaninspirationworks.com).


  • Gray Area Thinking

  • Climate and Labor

  • Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW

  • Organizing Amazon Workers

  • Being Assertive & Effective: Forget Robert’s Rules

  • Internal Organizing

  • Workers Center Movement

  • Organizing with an Equity Caucus Structure


10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Registration and Check-in

11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Opening Session & Lunch

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.

Plenary Session

2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Plenary Session

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.


7:00 – 8:30 p.m.



7:00 – 8:45 a.m.


9:00 – 10:15 a.m.

Plenary Session

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


12:00 – 1:15 p.m.


1:30 – 3:00 p.m.


3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Open Space Meetings

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.


7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Evening Program


7:00 – 8:45 a.m.


9:00 – 11:45 a.m.


12:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Celebration Lunch/Closing Session, Awarding of Certificates

2:30 p.m.

Depart for Home

Register today!

  1. Register online and pay the conference fee on the LES website.
  2. Rooms are booked separately through Ruttger’s. Once you complete the conference registration, you will be directed to Ruttger’s online reservation system. Ruttger’s offers a variety of room options, some with more amenities than others, so book early for the best selection. Meals are included with all rooms.

Space is limited. Register by March 27, 2020

Deadline to apply for scholarships: March 6 

Cancellation policy: 
Conference fees are nonrefundable. However, substitutions are welcome. Please notify the LES office as soon as possible.

For more information or assistance:
Call 612-624-5020 or e-mail les@umn.edu

  Single Room Double Room




Conference Fee



Total Cost



Free child care will be provided during the day, but participants must pay a room-and-board fee for children over 3. Sign up for child care when you register.

We will provide English, Spanish and Somali interpretation. Contact the LES office, 612- 624-5020, for registration materials in Spanish.

Facilities are accessible for people with disabilities. Ruttger’s is able to accommodate most dietary needs.

A limited number of scholarships will be awarded. Priority will be given to women and femmes from under-represented groups and who do not have funding available from their union or other organization. Application forms are available on the LES website or by contacting us. Deadline to apply is March 6.


2020 Labor Leadership Grant Form

2020 Retreat Scholarship Form

Photo of Adirondack chairs at Ruttgers Bay Lodge

Ruttger’s is located on Bay Lake, in the Brainerd Lakes area about 120 miles from the Twin Cities. It has hosted numerous union events, including four previous Union Women’s Retreats. You’ll enjoy a beautiful setting and delicious meals as part of the retreat package.