United Association for Labor Education - 2019 Conference

In partnership with the Labor School at Penn state

Conference Art

Philadelphia, PA
April 2-5,  2019

Download Conference brochure here: pdf UALE 2019 brochure (684 KB)

Call for Proposals Community Organization Grants* Research Grants
New Generation Award Conference Format Draft Agenda
Achievement Awards* Labor History Tour** Registration info
Accomodations ** Deadlines Downloads

* Note: The deadlines for submission awards nominations, and for community organization grants for South, Midwest and West, have been extended to February 25.
See below

** Information for Labor History Tour and Accomodations  updated February 18

Watch this page--more information will be posted as it becomes available

Call for Proposals

UALE seeks proposals from labor union, university, and community practitioners for conference sessions on our 2019 theme:


Our perilous and rapidly evolving contemporary period illustrates both the various challenges workers experience on the job and in society, and the resiliency and militancy with which workers have mobilized. Facing capital flight, contingent labor systems, automation, structural inequality and racism, and strident political opposition, workers have cultivated new movements and avenues for mobilizing to challenge—and often to emerge victorious against—these powerful forces. For example, movements and strikes in areas such as education, health care, telecommunications, hospitality, technology, fast-food, transportation, the growing fields of contingent employment, and the incarcerated in recent years have frequently crossed boundaries of race, gender, nationality, class, and other identities to grow bases of support and achieve important gains.

Please join us April 2-5, 2019, in Philadelphia for the United Association for Labor Education’s conference where labor and community educators, scholars and activists will share teaching innovations, analyses, applied research and experiences in the field. We aim to highlight and understand new approaches to labor organizing that respond to current challenges, as well as the role of labor education in building power. Finally we are interested in practices and ideas that support leadership development of young workers to expand and strengthen our movement.

To submit a proposal, please email it to Jason Kozlowski at . You will receive an email confirmation when your submission in received.

Although UALE membership is not required to submit a proposal, it is strongly encouraged.

Deadline for proposals :  January 11, 2019


Conference proposals will be selected based upon:

1)    Relevance of proposals to the conference theme;

2)    Having a balance of academic, union, and community presenters;

3)    Demographic inclusivity (race, gender, region, age, etc.);

4)    A balance between the number of proposals and the depth of presentations;

5)    Proposals that spark and hold people’s interest.


Proposal Requirements:

1)    Presentation Format (i.e., paper, panel, poster, roundtable, teaching demonstration)

2)    Presentation Title

3)    Individual or Panel Designation

4)    Contact Information for Each Presenter/Participant

  1. Name
  2. Organization/Affiliation
  3. Mailing address
  4. E-mail address
  5. Phone number

5)    Proposal describing topic, presenter expertise, and presentation form (300-500 words)

6)    Abstract or synopsis (100 words). This will be published in the conference program.

7)    Please indicate if you would like your proposal submitted to one or more of the Working Groups

Timely submissions are essential. Late proposals cannot be considered.

 back to top


Community Organization Grants

Update: Grants are still available for groups from the South, Midwest and West! Deadline for applications: Fewbruary 25th

Grants Available for Community Organizations: UALE offers a limited number of grants for community groups involved in labor education to attend the annual conference. Contact Susan Williams at , or by phone at 865-360-7042

Deadline for community grant applications: February 25, 2019.

Grant recipients are encouraged to submit proposals for a conference session.

For an application, see downloads at the bottom of this page or under Conference Quicklinks on right.


Research Grants

UALE is pleased to continue awarding grants to fund research related to workers, unions, and employment policy. Preference will be given to UALE members in determining award recipients. UALE has allocated up to $5,000 for this purpose. We will select a maximum of two award recipients. The total number of awards for 2019 will be determined by the UALE executive board.

Applications for the 2019 grants are due by January 11, 2019. The recipients will be announced by February 15, 2019. UALE requests that successful applicants present the results of their research at a UALE conference within a few years following receipt of a UALE research grant.

Grant recipients are also requested to acknowledge UALE in any product which the grant assists in bringing to fruition.

For an Grant application, see downloads at the bottom of this page.


New Generation Award

Submissions Are Requested!

By giving the New Generation Award at each annual conference, the UALE seeks to encourage emerging labor scholars, teachers, students, researchers, and multi-media producers. Labor Education and Labor Studies need a new cadre of 21st century innovators and leaders! This award is one way in which UALE seeks to support this development from within higher education, community-based organizations, and unions.

NOTE TO VETERAN LABOR EDUCATORS AND SCHOLARS: Please help us identify and encourage newer colleagues to make submissions for the NEW GENERATION AWARD. Actively reach out to anyone you think is a good candidate for this award including students, activists, interns, researchers and unionists. Authors do not have to be UALE members. Their work does not have to be created specifically for this competition.

Deadline: January 11, 2019

See flyer under downloads at the bottom of this page for information on eligibility, selection process, and how to apply.

back to top

Conference Format

The UALE Conference generally offers two types of sessions: plenary and concurrent.

Concurrent Sessions run for up to two hours, several of which take place during the same time slot. Sessions vary in structure to provide a rich and diverse conference experience for presenters and participants; they offer some combination of the formats listed below.

  • Panel Sessions include multiple presenters who share their work on a similar topic. Each panelist will have equal time to present his or her work, followed by Q&A and discussion. By offering presentations on different aspects of a single topic, panel sessions engender engaging discussion among presenters and the audience. Session chairs will be appointed in advance and will be responsible for planning with panelists prior to the session.
  • Paper Sessions can include research papers, case studies, or other kinds of reports related to labor education. These sessions offer presentations from authors who have written about a generally related topic. Each author will have equal time to present their work, after which the session chair will lead discussion.  Authors should submit an abstract for consideration; full-length manuscripts should be submitted prior to the conference. Session chairs will be appointed in advance and will be responsible for planning with authors prior to the session.
  • Roundtable Discussions provide an opportunity for participatory discussion of labor education issues or programs, research in progress, or other relevant topics in an informal setting around a table or in a circle of chairs. The convener poses a series of questions to participants and leads a conversation. Roundtable Discussions draw heavily on the experience of those in the room.
  • Teaching Demonstrations engage participants in an interactive manner that facilitates group participation in some form, and utilizes labor education techniques, particularly popular education. Activities are typically followed by discussion of the technique(s) demonstrated and the uses to which they might be put. Facilitators are encouraged to offer their design and materials to participants to adapt and use.
  • Poster Sessions provide an opportunity to present and discuss a single theme or relevant topic in an informal setting, somewhat like an exhibit hall or information fair. A good poster presents useful information with engaging graphics to stimulate discussion. Poster presenters should prepare a display using easily understood printed text and graphics on a board no larger than 30” x 40.” Presenters should prepare welcoming remarks for conference attendees and explain their posters. Attendees and presenters will then discuss the posters and the topics they address. It is helpful to provide handouts for participants with presenters’ contact information to facilitate future dialogue. In order to have a poster accepted for display at the conference, please submit a photograph of the poster with a brief accompanying explanation of its content and purpose.

Plenary Sessions are two hours long and designed to bring all conference attendees together around important areas of labor education. Plenary sessions are determined by UALE’s Executive Board, but UALE members are welcome to submit suggestions and volunteer to help develop plenary sessions.  

UALE encourages submissions that relate directly to the conference theme. However, we will accept submissions focused on other areas.  

Some sessions are organized by Working Groups around their specific areas of interest. Working Groups typically solicit group-member input to develop proposals, and new members are always welcome. Working Group information is available at www.uale.org, and current Working Groups include:

  • Central Labor Council (CLC)
  • Immigration/Globalization
  • K-14 Labor Education
  • On-Line Education
  • Popular Education
  • Worker Writers
  • Labor Film Documentarians
  • Young Workers

 back to top


Draft Agenda

Please note: This agenda is subject to change

Working Group meetings will be added soon.

Download this draft agenda in a printable format here or under "Conference Quicklinks" at top right of the page

Monday, April 1


 E-Board meeting in the late afternoon/evening


Tuesday, April 2



 Labor History Bus Tour (separate registration)
2:00 - 6:00pm         Registration Open
4:00 - 6:30  Opening Session and Plenary & Reception

 Group Dinner Outings
 [more information to come]


Wednesday, April 3

 7:00am-8:00am                        Breakfast Buffet
 8:00am-12:00pm                      Registration Open
 8:15am - 10:00am                    Concurrent Sessions
10:00am - 10:30am  Coffee Break/Networking
10:30am - 12:00pm  Keynote/Plenary
12:15pm - 1:30pm  Lunch (on your own)/
 Women's Caucus Lunch
1:45pm - 3:00 pm  Regional meetings [new meeting time]
3:00pm - 3:30pm  Coffee Break
 3:30pm - 5:00pm  Concurrent Sessions
 after 5:00pm  Dinner on your own
 TBA  Directors' Meeting
 7:00pm - 9:00pm  Cultural Event

Thursday, April 4

 7:00am-8:00am     Breakfast
 8:30am - 10:30am  Membership Meetint [new time and day]
 10:45am - 12:15pm  Concurrent Sessions
 12:15pm - 1:30pm  Lunch
 LSJ Editorial Board
 Workers of Color Lunch
 1:45pm - 3:15pm  Concurrent Sessions
 3:15pm - 3:45pm  Coffee Break/Networking
 3:45pm - 5:15pm  Concurrent Sessions or Plenary
 6:00pm  Awards Banquet and MLK Tribute [new time and day]

Friday, April 5

 7:00am-8:00am    Breakfast
 8:30am - 10:00am  Concurrent Sessions
 10:15am - 11:45am  Plenary/Wrap-up

 back to top

UALE Achievement Awards 2019

How often do we get the opportunity to share, appreciate, and recognize the inspiring and important work of our colleagues? Not often enough!
So, don’t miss your chance to send in a nomination or two for the awards that will be presented at the 2019 UALE Conference. 

Here’s what you need to know:

Nomination Information

Note: The deadline for submission awards nominations has been extended to February 25.

All nominations for the awards listed below must be sent to Emily E. LB. Twarog , UALE Secretary  with the subject line “NOMINATION” by February 25, 2019.

This year, we will present these awards during an evening awards banquet on Thursday, April 4, 2019 at the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District hotel.

I.   Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Labor Education

  • Open nominations from UALE members
  • Winner selected by general vote of the membership

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. It can involve a formal institution of labor education, either university-, union-, or community-based. Or, it can represent an independent effort outside an institutional labor education program. It can be an on-going program, or one that has ended.  Some aspect of the program must have occurred within the calendar year 2018. An individual, group, program, or a project can be nominated. If you nominate a project or program, you must provide the name of the person who should accept the award on the part of the project or program and his/her contact information.

To nominate an outstanding contribution for this award, send the following information:

  1. Name of Individual, Group, Program, or Project
  2. Contact Information
  3. Description - Describe in 150 words or less, why this program or project should receive this UALE achievement award

II.  Best Published Book 2018-2019

  • Open nominations from UALE members
  • Winner selected by general vote of the membership

This award is for a book published during the period 2018-2019 that has been especially valuable in labor education.  It should be a book that represents responsible scholarship, new ideas, creative thinking, and intellectual contribution to the labor movement, the broader workers’ movement, labor economics, 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. 

To nominate a book for this award, send the following information:

  1. Book Title, Publisher, and Date
  2. Book Author, Contact Information
  3. Description - Describe in 150 words or less why this book should receive this UALE achievement award


III. Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Open nominations from UALE members
  • Winner selected by vote of the UALE Executive Board

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. We are intentionally leaving the description open in order to encourage UALE members to think broadly of individuals who have contributed in different ways.

To nominate an individual for this award, send the following information:

  1. Name of Individual
  2. Contact Information
  3. Description - Describe in 150 words or less why this individual should receive this UALE achievement award.


UALE also will present two other awards at the conference:

The New Generation Award . The recipient of this award is chosen by a jury at  the Conference itself. See above for details.

The award for best article in Labor Studies Journal , chosen by the editors of Labor Studies Journal

 back to top

Labor History Tour

As usual, UALE will offer a Labor History Bus Tour of the city before the conference. It is scheduled for 12:30am - 3:00 pm on Tuesday, April 2. There will not be walking version this year.

Cost will be $25 per person in advance and $30 at the conference. Limited seating so first come, first served. (We don't have an actual limit yet, but will post soon.)

Register online with the link at the top right side of this page. (After April 1, register in person at the conference)

Please note: registration for the Labor Tour is separate from registration from the Conference this year.

Registration Information

How to register:

  • You can register online using the link at the top right side of this page (under "Conference Quicklinks")

Registration covers conference programming, a welcome reception, three breakfasts, and an awards banquet.

Online registration closes March 15, 2019. Thereafter, registration will be available at the conference.


(by February 28)

(after February 28)
Member 350 425
Non-member 450 525
Community Group Attendee  110 160
Low income, student
or unemployed
75 150
One-day attendance 175 225
Vendor table**
(Vendor must register as a conference participant for this rate.)
100 150

* Early registration offers the opportunity to renew your UALE membership at a discount

** In addition to registration, vendors and exhibitors must complete a supplemental Conference Vendor Registration Form and pay the per-table fee above. A Vendor Registration form will be available soon.

Financial assistance for Community-based organizations: UALE has established a grant to help one or more community-based organizations defray the costs of attending the conference. See "Grants Available for Community Organizations" above. 

back to top


Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District

Call 215-923-8660 to reserve your room, or reserve online using the Passkey Link for reservations: https://book.passkey.com/e/49579513

Reference: UALE 2019

Reservations deadline is 3/12/19

Rate is $139/night

 back to top


Please note the following deadlines:

JANUARY 11 Deadline for applications for research grants and new generation awards, and for submission of proposals

  • Papers and Workshop Proposals  Submit to 
  • UALE Research Grants – Submit to Greg DeFreitas at 
  • UALE New Generation Award – Submit to Greg DeFreitas at 

FEBRUARY 25: (Extended) Deadline for submitting nominations for awards

  • Submit: to Emily E. LB. Twarog , UALE Secretary 
    (See above for details.)

FEBRUARY 25th: (Extended) deadline for aplications for Community Organization grants

FEBRUARY 28: Deadline for Early Bird Registration and for discounted registration + membership option.

MARCH 12: Deadline for hotel reservations at UALE conference rate

MARCH 15: Deadline for online registration. Thereafter, registration will be at the conference.



Conference Downloads

Call for Proposals

Conference Brochure

Research Grant Application

New Generation Award flyer

document 2019 comm org grant application English (42 KB)

document 2019 comm org grant application Spanish (43 KB)


 back to top

Buy labor books from Union Communication Services and Save


UALE has an longstanding relationship with Union Communication Services. Their book catalogue includes over 100
titles, many of them hard to find. 

UALE members are entitled to a 10% discount on books purchased here. To get the discount, click here before visiting the UCS catalogue.