UALE 2021 Conference

University of Illinois at Chicago, May 24 - 27, 2021




  Call for Proposals LSJ Special Edition  


The United Association for Labor Education (UALE), a community of  educators dedicated to promoting education as an essential tool to worker training, leadership development, and equity in the workplace, welcomes your proposals for our 2021 conference at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Our conference will overlap with the Labor and Working Class History Association (LAWCHA) conference, May 26-28, 2021, allowing for shared programming and dialogue. LACHWA is an organization of scholars, teachers, students, labor educators, and activists.

This year’s theme is “Reimagining Worker Education to Transform the World.” The conference planning committee is seeking proposals that will explore the many challenges workers are facing in the midst of massive economic inequality, a global health pandemic, attacks on worker rights and labor organizations and increasing violence against people of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ folks. Is another world possible? How can labor education help to realize another world? How has the COVID pandemic exposed the unequal distribution of services, resources, and income? What does “essential” mean and how does society value work and workers? How do race, class, gender, and sexuality impact public health needs such as mask wearing, social distancing, and workplace changes? What actions must we take as labor educators to change the balance of power in the workplace and society?  How do we teach and what do we teach?

We encourage panels and workshops that go beyond the borders of the United States either entirely or comparatively. We welcome proposals that include:

  • traditional paper panel (3 people);
  • curriculum demonstrations/teaching techniques workshop;
  • roundtable discussion (5-6 people);
  • performance art;
  • film showing; &

All sessions/roundtables MUST designate a chair/commentator or moderator separate from the panelists. While we will consider individual paper submissions, we STRONGLY encourage you to organize a full panel. To assist in finding additional panelists, we recommend submitting a query to the UALE listserv ().

Instructions for submissions will be available soon and will be posted on the listserv, website (www.uale.org), and monthly e-newsletter.

Submissions will be accepted between August 30 until October 15, 2020. We plan to announce acceptance of submissions in December 2020. If you have any questions, please email



"More Expendable than 'Essential': Black Workers' Rights and Racial Class Struggles Under the COVID Crisis" 

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Labor Studies Journal  In Conjunction with the 2021 United Association for Labor Education Annual Conference

It is often said, when the United States catches a cold, Black people get double pneumonia.  As COVID-19 devastates populations across the world, the historically rooted, social disparities impacting African American workers have been exacerbated.  Black workers disproportionally, and often involuntarily, represent a significant portion of frontline laborers. Although Black workers comprise 11.9 percent of the U.S. population, or one in nine workers overall, they represent one in six workers classified as “essential.”   Black workers are disproportionally represented in service industries especially as retail, janitorial, and food service workers, postal service employees, one-fifth of childcare and social service workers, and a third of all bus drivers.  Black workers also constitute a disproportionate number of construction workers, home health aides and gig economy service workers. 

We are inviting submissions for a special edition on workers’ rights and racial class struggles during the COVID crisis for Labor Studies Journal.  This call for papers seeks research that speaks to the political, economic, social, and cultural implications of African American labor history in understanding the social and labor crises during the COVID pandemic.  Case studies from a local, national, and/or global comparative standpoint, are highly encouraged.  We encourage submissions from the perspectives of multiple disciplines, including but not limited to, labor studies, history, sociology, gender studies, political science, economics, labor, and law. 

Interested authors should submit a paper proposal abstract to Special Editor Dr. Augustus Wood at  https://forms.gle/XkRhMQf1YBaeLvfk6.  Proposals should be submitted no later than FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20. Any questions about submissions should be directed to .  If invited to present, full papers for the Labor Studies Journal Special Edition Issue should be sent to by May 1, 2021. 

Abstracts will be reviewed by the editor and those selected will be notified by the editor.  

Acceptance of proposals is conditional upon authors presenting their papers at the UALE Conference in April 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.  Only papers accepted for presentation at the 2021 UALE Conference will be eligible to be submitted to a peer reviewed process for possible publication in a special conference issue of the Labor Studies Journal.


Download full Call for Papers here:

Call for Papers LSJ