Immigration/Globalization Minutes August 14, 2012

Conference Call 12 pm Central time

Judy Ancel chaired and Helen Moss did the minutes.

Present: Tess Ewing, Kent Wong, Susan Winning, Mary Bellman, Robin Clark-Bennett, Charlie Barrett, Paul Krissel, Manny Ness (Howard Kling and José Soler could not make the call).

I. Reports on existing projects

A. Scope of work of the committee

There was a discussion on the scope of working group activities. Last year the main project that we worked on was coordinating proposals and presenters for the conference. It was a terrific conference with great presenters from our working group, but we want to think about what is a realistic plan for the scope of work? Mostly the conference? More?

Susan mentioned putting curriculum on the website so that other labor educators can bring global issues into their work. Tess noted that there is material on our working group’s website, but we can add more. We wondered if there was a way to see if people were using any of the materials.   Charlie thought we should see if NDLON would be willing to share some of their materials for day laborers. Kent said that the national office of NDLON is located at the downtown center for UCLA, so we should be able to work with them on sharing curriculum. Judy thought it would be great to have them become part of UALE.

Kent suggested that the working group become part of the efforts to educate young workers and students about the Deferred Deportation. 1.4 million people will qualify, not just students, up to age 30. We want to make sure that the young workers and students understand what their rights are under the new rules. It is a great opportunity to reach out to young workers, and our group should take the lead in getting the information out to labor educators who can help in this effort. Paul mentioned that in Oregon Causa has already done a round of forums in different regions of Oregon with parents and students, which has been very well attended and has another round of clinics scheduled to help them with the paperwork. UCLA labor center is doing a big event on August 25 for the National Day of Action, and one is planned in Kansas City. Judy mentioned that there are bilingual radio ads available if you want to work with a local radio station to put the word out, she will send out the link. Kent will send the group links on resources for curriculum, information and materials. He is also asking folks to work with local Central Labor Councils and State feds to do resolutions supporting the efforts to get these students and workers work authorization. It is a great way for labor and immigrants to work together. He will send out a sample resolution.

Kent also reported on the UCLA Labor Center and National Labor College certificate program for Dream Act students, which will start up in January 2013. The program received a lot of good media coverage but also some hostile coverage. The program will be reaching out to faculty nationally seeking participation on a range of activities, for example, mentoring students, or teaching a class. The classes are on-line and are transferable to a 2-year or 4-year college or university.

B. 2013 UALE conference in Toronto

Submission date for proposals is Nov 15, based on the draft brochure. Judy will check in with D’Arcy Martin about the RFP. Several people noted that since the conference is in Canada it is a very exciting opportunity for new ideas and more diversity in participants. We want to make sure we know the format for submitting proposals and not just assume it will be the same. Mary noted that since it is in Canada, we should take advantage of this opportunity and not be overly attached to having the same number of proposals as last year.

We felt there was a need to have two people from this working group on the conference committee, to be the liaison between the two groups. Helen noted she had not been part of either group before, so did not feel comfortable as liaison this year, but wanted to be come up to speed for next year, and will try and make the next call. Judy will copy her, Tess Ewing and Susan Winning (because she is coordinating the Popular Ed group) on the correspondence to D’Arcy.

In the meantime the members of this working group should be thinking about the proposals that they want to make, and when we send out the minutes, we will let the working group know that we will be setting up a conference call in September to discuss proposals. Judy noted that it is a lot of work to sort through the working group proposals and the group decided there should be a separate committee to do this. We can solicit volunteers during the conference call.

C. Suggestions for committee looking for ways to fund non-traditional organizations.

There is a small committee working soliciting suggestions, headed by Guillermo Perez. Robin is also on the committee. Judy told Guillermo we would give him input from the committee by August 17.

After a discussion, we decided that the following ideas would be proposed:

1.Give each workgroup a budget for bringing presenters to the conference. Our group needs a larger budget since by definition we are dealing with organization that are abroad or have a smaller budget.

2.Encourage participation and waive registration fees for local non-traditional groups at conferences.

3.Have a policy of not just inviting someone for one workshop or panel, have them be integral to the conference (and/or coordinating with other organizations for events outside the conference), to make better use of the funds.

4.Have one funded plenary dedicated to Global/immigration issues at all conferences, for the near future.

5.Set up an ongoing outreach committee for non-traditional groups to become part of UALE on an ongoing basis, beyond just doing workshops at conference. (Question whether this was what Steve Schnaap doing already?)

Kent stated that for the conference in Toronto, the Canadian planning group would be doing this outreach to their brothers and sisters there, but that in 2014 the conference will be in LA and there will be lots of opportunities to do outreach. Manny had noted that some potential US presenters from non-traditional groups might have issues with crossing the border to participate.

D. Conference call with Cathy Feingold

Judy is setting up a conference call with Cathy Feingold from the International Affairs Department of the AFL-CIO, to discuss what they are doing, share what we are doing and look for possibilities for collaboration. We are trying to get a date in September. This will be a separate conference call from the Conference planning call, so we will have two working group calls in September.

II. Reports from group

Mary reported on her trip to Colombia with Witness for Peace. Colombian labor groups are experiencing extreme repression including murders, violence and jailing of leaders.   Ruth Needleman also participated in the trip. There is a hunger strike of fired General Motors workers happening currently, and our action could help resolve the situation, she will send information to the group on what we need to do to help. Mary wondered if the working group wanted to have a more formal process for putting together materials to share, she is unclear of the group’s role.

Judy reported that she took part in a delegation to Honduras, where the narco-traffic situation is leading to a rapid militarization of the country, and destabilization. Lots of unions in the country are involved in the resistance.

Respectfully submitted by Helen Moss 8/14/12