United Association for Labor Education - 2019 Conference

In partnership with the Labor School at Penn state

Conference Art

Philadelphia, PA
April 2-5,  2019

About the Conference Community Organization Grants Research Grants
New Generation Award Conference Format Draft Agenda
Achievement Awards Labor History Tour Registration info
Accomodations  Deadlines Downloads


Online Registration has been extended until 11:59pm EDT March 25. After that, you will still be able to reister in person at the conference.

To register for the Conference and/or for the Labor History Tour, see the links at the top right of this page.

About the Conference

The UALE conference feature presentations, workshops, posters and other activities from labor union, university, and community practitioners related to 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.


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Community Organization Grants

Update: Grants are still available for groups from the South, Midwest and West! Deadline for applications: February 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.

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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

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The up-to-date agenda, as of March 4, can be downloaded here or under "Conference Quicklinks" at top right of the page.

Working Group meetings will be added soon.


Monday, April 1

 3:00 - 7:00 pm

 UALE Executive Board meeting


Tuesday, April 2



 Labor History Bus Tour (separate registration)
 Meet in Foyer
2:00 - 6:00pm         Registration Open
4:00 - 6:00pm

 Opening Session and Plenar:
 The Philadelpgia Story: Fighting Back for Gender Equity, Fair Work Schedules, and Transit Justice (bilingual session, English/Spanish)(Sesión bilingüe, español/inglés)

6:30 - 7:30pm


6:30 - 7:30pm Poster Session Presentations (for details, download Conference Schedule here)
 7:00pm Working Group Meetings (TBA)

Wednesday, April 3

 7:00-8:00am                        Breakfast Buffet
 8:00am-12:00pm                      Registration Open
 8:15 - 9:45am                    Concurrent Sessions (for details, download Conference Schedule here)
9:45 - 10:20am  Coffee Break/Networking
10:30am - 12:00pm Regional Meetings (Note change in time)

Canada  Penn
 Midwest  Betsy Ross 2
 Northeast  FJH
 Southern  Sherman
 Western  Adams
12:15pm - 1:30pm

 Lunch (on your own)

 Women's Caucus Lunch

1:45pm - 3:15 pm  Plenary
"Democracy in Chains": Stories of the Federal Shutdown, featuring historian and author Nancy MacLean (bilingual session, English/Spanish)(Sesión bilingüe, español/inglés)
3:15 - 3:45pm  Coffee Break and Networking
 4:00 - 5:30pm Concurrent Sessions (for details, download Conference Schedule here)
 5:30 - 7:00pm  Dinner on your own
 5:30 - 7:00pm  Directors' Meeting
5:30 - 6:30pm Working Group Meetings (TBA)
 7:30 - 10:00pm

 Cultural Event
"We Were There" with Bev Grant and Your UALE Sisters
 Arch Street Meetinghouse - a National Historic Landmark
 320 Arch Street, next to the hotel

Program begins at 8:00pm sharp
Desserts and Drinks will be served


Thursday, April 4

 7:00-8:00am     Breakfast
 8:15 - 10:30am

 Membership Meeting [note new time and day]Notice: There will be a vote on pproposed changes to the UALE constitution and bylaws regarding annual or biennial meetings and regional events . Relevant documents can be downloaded here.

 10:45 - 12:15pm Concurrent Sessions (for details, download Conference Schedule here)
 12:15- 1:30pm

 Lunch on your own

 LSJ Editorial Board
Betsy Ross 2

 Workers of Color Lunch

 1:45pm - 3:15pm Concurrent Sessions (for details, download Conference Schedule here)
 3:15pm - 3:35pm

 Coffee Break/Networking

 3:45pm - 5:15pm Concurrent Sessions (for details, download Conference Schedule here)
 5:15 - 6:15pm Poster Session Presentations (for details, download Conference Schedule here)
 6:30 - 10:00pm
 Awards Banquet and Dance

Friday, April 5

 7:00-8:00am    Breakfast
 8:15 - 10:45am Concurrent Sessions (for details, download Conference Schedule here)
11:00am - 12:30pm  Plenary
"Nothing About Us Without Us": Immigrant Workers Stand Up to Donald Trump
(bilingual session, English/Spanish)(Sesión bilingüe, español/inglés)
1:00 - 2:00 pm UALE Executive Board meeting

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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

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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

Online conference registration has been extended until March 25, 2019. Thereafter, you will be able to register n person at the conference. Registration covers conference programming, a welcome reception, three breakfasts, and an awards banquet.

Registration for the Labor History Tour is separate, and is also available until March 25.

The links for Conference registration and for Labor Tour registration are at top right of page.

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

* 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. 

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Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District

Please call 267-765-3345 to reserve your room, or reserve online using the Passkey Link for reservations: https://book.passkey.com/e/49579513

The reference code is: United Association of Labor Education 2019

Reservations deadline is 3/12/19

Rate is $139/night

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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

  pdf 2019 UALE Conference Agenda (1.26 MB)

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)


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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.