UALE Conference 2016

 2016 Conference art

 The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) invites labor educators, community organizers, organizers based in worker centers, and others committed to worker education to join together in Washington, D.C. for a conference that strives to address the complex challenges facing working people. UALE seeks proposals on how labor education can connect race, labor, and community to promote empowerment through education.

  • Wednesday, April 13 through Saturday, April 16
  • Kellog Conference Center Hotel, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC



UALE Annual Awards Conference Schedule Conference 2017 Conference Downloads


Papers and Presentations

Some papers and presntations from the 2016 UALE conference are available for download from the Papers and Presentations 2016 page. More may be uploaded over the next few weeks, so keep checking back.


Annual UALE Achievement Awards

The Executive Board of the UALE has established five awards for outstanding contributions and achievement in the field of labor education. 
The award categories are:

  1. Outstanding contribution to the field of Labor Education in 2015
  2. Best book published in 2014-2015 related to labor education
  3. Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contributions in the field.
  4. New Generation Award for the best first paper presentation (This award is for a student or labor educator who is presenting for the first time at a UALE conference and is new to labor education.)
  5. Best article in LSJ published in 2014-2015.

The winners of the 2016 awards are listed below. The New Generation Award was not given out this year.


Lynn Feekin

Lynn Feekin

Lynn Feekin was a full-time faculty member at the Labor Education and Research Center at the University of Oregon from 1994 until her retirement in April, 2105. There, she helped train a generation of union staff and leaders in Oregon. She worked with unions to prepare for collective bargaining and develop strategic plans, and she organized LERC’s Collective Bargaining Institute, an annual week-long training at the Menucha Retreat Center in Corbett. She also did research for Change to Win labor federation, Communications Workers of America, and the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers, and was part of a strategic planning effort with the 325,000-member California Teachers Association.

Feekin grew up in Iowa. Her father was a railroad worker and her mother worked for a department store. She was the first in her family to go to college, and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from University of Northern Iowa in 1972.

She became involved with organized labor when — as a worker at a factory making prefabricated houses for hogs — she helped a campaign to unionize with Machinists Local 1728. She then served on the union bargaining committee.

From 1976 to 1984, she worked at University of Iowa Labor Center as an instructor and later director. Then for 10 years, she taught labor studies at Indiana University. She also served as executive director at the Calumet Project for Industrial Jobs, a non-profit in East Chicago, Indiana, that was formed to contend with thousands of layoffs from factory and steel mill closures.

She moved to Eugene, Oregon, in 1993 to accept a temporary position at LERC, and was hired to a permanent position in 1994. There she also served as co-chair of the Eugene-Springfield chapter of Jobs with Justice, and was a member of the Eugene Mayor’s Sustainable Business Initiative Task Force in 2005 and 2006.



Kim Bobo

Kim Bobo was the founder and served as the director of Interfaith Workers Justice for 20 years. She just retired from this position in 2015. Kim has done extraordinary work to advance worker justice among faith based communities and has always embraced worker and popular education as a critical part of her work. Kim was author of Wage Theft in America and helped to popularize the term "Wage Theft." Her research and education has been critical in advancing economic justice and minimum wage campaigns across the country. Kim has worked for the Mid-West Academy and is co-author of Organizing for Social Change. In a year when the Fight for $15, minimum wage and wage theft campaigns have galvanized millions of people, Kim Bobo's lifelong work as a labor educator and organizer should be celebrated. Kim's work has been influential in advancing labor, community, and faith-based coalitions for economic justice throughout the U.S.


How to Jump-Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers
Published by Labor Notes, 2014
Authors: Alexandra Bradbury, Mark Brenner, Jenny Brown, Jane Slaughter, Samantha Winslow


A Novel Way to Represent and Reframe the Interests of Workers: The People's Budget Review in St. Petersburg, Florida,
LSJ: Vol. 40 #1
Bruce Nissen and Rick Smith


Background on UALE achievement awards

1. Outstanding Contribution to the field of Labor Education in 2015
This award recognizes an outstanding example of the connection between labor education and activism: a new curriculum, a documentary or social media project, a living history/labor theater initiative, an outstanding campaign on an issue, or an exemplary effort to use labor education to strengthen the labor movement.   The contribution can involve a formal institution of labor education—university, union, or community-based; it can represent an independent effort outside an institutional labor education program; it can be an ongoing program, multi-year effort, or one that has ended. Some aspect of the program must have occurred within the calendar year 2014.   An individual, group, program, or project can be nominated.

After the close of nominations, the UALE Board sends out a list of nominees and the membership determines the winner.

2. Best Published Book 2014-2015 related to Labor Education
This award is for a book that has been especially valuable in labor education.  It should be a book that represents responsible scholarship, new ideas, creative thinking, an intellectual contribution to the labor movement, the broader workers’ movement, labor economics or politics, culture, or any other topic related to work or labor.  It should be a book that can be or is used in an educational setting.  It may help if you think about the books you have read and used and appreciated as a labor educator in the past two years.

After the close of nominations, the UALE Board sends out a list of all nominated books, and the membership  determines the winner.

3. Lifetime Achievement Award
This award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of labor education over the course of his or her lifetime.

After the close of nominations, the UALE Executive Board determines the winner.

These two additional awards are determined by selected panels:

4. New Generation Award (best student paper presentation)
This award is given for the best paper presentation at the UALE conference by a new or aspiring student, labor educator or researcher.

A selection committee appointed by the Board chooses the four best submissions. Those selected are scheduled together for a panel session at the conference, billed as the New Generation panel.  Participants’ conference fees and a hotel subsidy is provided.  The selection committee attends that session and chooses the winner of the award based on the quality of the submitted paper as well as the presentation of the ideas on the panel.
(Note: No New Generation Award was given out this year.)

5. Best article in Labor Studies Journal
The recipient of this award is determined by the LSJ editorial board. 

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C onference Schedule

This overview was updated as of April 12.  Details of concurrent sessions can be downloaded from bottom of page.

Conference App:

This year, we had a conference guidebook in the form of an app that can be used on Apple iphones, Androids, and computers. Download Guidebook:https://guidebook.com/g/DC2016/

Once you've downloaded the Guidebook app, search for UALE Conference - Washington DC 2016


Conference Overview

Tuesday, April 12  
4:00 – 7:00 PM

UALE Executive Board Meeting
Room 4

Wednesday, April 13  
7:30 AM Registration
Level 1
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

DC Labor History Walking Tour with Chris Garlock
(Shuttle or Taxi to meet at AFL-CIO Building 815 16th Street Northwest at 9am. Cost $10 per person benefits the Employment Justice Center.)

2:30 – 3:30 PM Regional Meetings (5 breakouts)

Canada – Room 2
Eastern – Room 4
Southern – Room 5
Midwestern – Room 6
Western – Executive Boardroom

4:00 PM

Conference Opening Session
Welcome by DC Labor Chorus

4:30 – 6:30 PM PLENARY: Young Worker Voices for Justice:
Linking Mass Deportations and Mass Incarceration
7:00 – 9:00 PM

Dinner at Busboys and Poets
with theatre performance
“Daughter of the Struggle” by Ayanna Gregory

A cultural experience brought to you by:

The Labor Heritage Foundation
DC Metro Coalition of Labor Union Women

5th & K (Shuttle or Taxi to 1025 5th St. NW)

Thursday, April 14  
7:30 AM Registration
Level 1
7:00 – 7:45 AM Breakfast
Atrium A
8:00 – 10:00 AM Concurrent Sessions
(Download pdf UALE Conference 2016 Concurrent Sessions final) (104 KB)
10:00 – 10:30 AM Break and Informal Networking
10:30 AM – 12:30 PM PLENARY: Labor Commission on Racial and Economic Justice:
Reflections and Forward
12:30 – 2:00 PM

Lunch (On your own)*

People of Color Caucus Luncheon (UALE-sponsored lunch)

LSJ Editorial Board Meeting
Executive Boardroom

CLC Working Group Meeting
Room 2

Immigration and Globalization Working Group Meeting
Room 5

* Director’s Meetings rescheduled to Friday breakfast

2:00 – 4:00 PM Concurrent Sessions
(Download UALE Conference 2016 Concurrent Sessions final)
4:00 – 4:30 PM Break and Informal Networking
4:30 – 6:30 PM Concurrent Sessions
(Download UALE Conference 2016 Concurrent Sessions final)
6:30 – 8:00 PM

Poster Session and Meet New Members Reception
(Light h'ordeuvres, selection of wine and beer)

Labor Hip-Hop Spoken Word by Head Roc
A cultural experience brought to you by UALE


8:00 PM Dinner (On your own)
8:00 – 9:30 PM

Popular Education Working Group Meeting
Room 6

Worker Writers Working Group Meeting
Room 2

Friday, April 15  
7:30 AM Registration
Level 1
7:00 – 7:45 AM Breakfast
8:00 – 10:00 AM Concurrent Sessions
(Download UALE Conference 2016 Concurrent Sessions final)
10:00 – 11:00 AM Break and Informal Networking
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Concurrent Sessions
(Download UALE Conference 2016 Concurrent Sessions final)
12:30 – 1:30 PM

Lunch (On your own)

Women’s Caucus Luncheon
Atrium and Terrace

1:30 – 4:00 PM DEMOCRACY SPRING Action
4:30 – 6:30 PM UALE Membership Meeting and Election
6:30 PM Dinner (On your own)
6:30 – 8:00 PM

K-14 Labor Education Working Group Meeting
Room 2

Online Education Working Group Meeting
Room 4

Saturday, April 16  
7:30 AM


7:30 – 8:30 AM Breakfast
8:30 – 10:30 AM Concurrent Sessions
(Download UALE Conference 2016 Concurrent Sessions final)
10:30 – 11:00 AM Break and Informal Networking
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Concurrent Sessions
(Download UALE Conference 2016 Concurrent Sessions final)
1:00 – 3:00 PM Awards Luncheon
3:00 – 5:00 PM Executive Board Meeting
Room 4


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Conference 2017

Rethink, Rebuild, Revitalize: Education, Labor, Community

This will be the theme of the 2017 UALE conference, to be held in Detroit, MI, April 5-8

Although next year's conference is still a year away, UALE has already open the application process for Research Grants and the Next Generation Awards for 2017. Please see the news article "Applications Open for 2017 Research Grants and New Generation Awards" on our home page for details about how to apply.

Details will be posted when available on the Conference 2017 web page.

Conference Downloads

  pdf UALE 2016 Program (4.85 MB)

  document UALE Conference 2016 Overview (Final) (26 KB)

  pdf UALE Conference 2016 Concurrent Sessions final (104 KB)

 2016 Conference Brochure

 2016 Call for Proposals

 2016 Nomination Form

 2016 Research Grants Announcement

 2016 Student Paper Prizes

 LSJ Call for Papers 2016

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