CIWO News - April 2024

Announcement! CIWO Leadership Transition

Under the leadership of Marilyn Sneiderman, CIWO has convened leaders and organizations to reveal points of alignment, sites of struggle, and opportunities for innovation across the movement. After 10 years at CIWO and 40 years of groundbreaking leadership in the movement, Marilyn Sneiderman is passing the torch. We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Sheri Davis will become Executive Director at CIWO in July 2024. In her 7 years at CIWO, Sheri has built impactful programming that has touched an incredible network of particularly BIPOC women and nonbinary labor leaders across the country and world. As ED, Sheri is excited to continue to build and expand on this work. Marilyn is full of excitement and promise for CIWO’s future. CIWO is celebrating Marilyn’s incredible legacy and Sheri’s new leadership role! Click here to read the full leadership transition letter.

"Sheri's leadership is what’s needed for CIWO to achieve its vision of an aligned and strong movement that actualizes worker, racial, and gender justice. I couldn't be more excited!”

- Marilyn Sneiderman

"What Could We Win Together?"

Thousands Participated in Minnesota Week of Action

During the Week of Action, March 2-9, 2024, thousands of Minnesota workers from unions and community groups came together to fight for improved collective bargaining agreements and common good improvements in their communities. Marilyn Sneiderman spoke with In These Times about the powerful work happening in Minnesota: "By engaging deeply with members from different unions and community orgs, developing demands that resonate broadly with workers and the community at large, centering racial justice and immigrant rights, Minnesota demonstrates how Bargaining for Common Good Campaigns can build the power needed to rebuild the labor movement, empower communities and win transformational change.”

"Week of Action Recap" video copyright SEIU Local 26.

Our Workers Innovating New Strategies (WINS) Series highlights powerful innovative work that is happening in our movement. Webinars included conversations about Co-Directorship models at worker organizations, whole worker leadership development programming for Domestic Workers in Latin America & the Caribbean, the power of storytelling as an organizing strategy, leadership development programming centering visual metaphors for global labor leaders, and mobilizing & research that is happening at Amazon warehouses and fulfillment centers. Over 600 people registered for the WINS series to learn from these innovative movement leaders.

Thank you to our panelists for sharing your work, and to the TILDE language justice cooperative for providing Spanish English language interpretation for the majority of these webinars! Click here to watch our WINS events on Youtube!

CIWO’s [Build the Bench] recently held our 9th annual retreat, convening #2 leaders of organizations – sometimes called Managing Directors, Chiefs of Staff or Deputy Directors – with a focus on implementing the vision of their organizations through effective strategies and healthy structures. We compiled feedback from participants, facilitators, staff and our Advisory Committee into a summary for our broader CIWO community!

Check out the Build the Bench 9th Annual Retreat Digital Zine featuring senior staff from powerhouse social justice organizations from around the world through photos, videos and shared learnings. You can also click here to join the [Build the Bench] Listserv. You can expect monthly updates from CIWO with upcoming events, but this is another great space to ask questions, share resources and events with our broader Build the Bench Community of Practice.

CIWO Team Transitions

A message from Saumya, visiting Fulbright Scholar: Thank you to the incredible CIWO staff and Rutgers faculty who helped me design and carry out my research with women of color in retail, food service, and care & cleaning jobs in New Jersey. These are women in the most vulnerable circumstances with the fewest institutional safeguards – women of remarkable courage and wisdom. I believe the experiences shared by these women can contribute to the broader understanding of worker voice and make the literature more inclusive.

Congratulations to our colleague Ardra Manasi as she begins her new position as Senior Program Coordinator, Gender and Labor Justice at the International Labor Rights Forum. Ardra was the Global Program Manager at CIWO for the last year and was instrumental in the organization of a global strategy session held by CIWO and partners in Cape Town, South Africa, in concert with the 24th General Conference of International Federation of Workers’ Education Association (IFWEA) from December 6-8, 2023.

The Center for Innovation in Worker Organization (CIWO) shares our newsletter bimonthly.

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