Union Leadership Institute 2021

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This year's Union Leadership Institute has ended, but we preserve the information about classes offered below. Miss out on something you wanted to attend? Contact your staff representative!
Sharing Your Story
Tuesday, July 27 at 12pm
Our stories are essential to our movement. Whether we are sharing a past victory to a coworker during an organizing conversation or talking to community members about our current struggles, effective storytelling is an invaluable tool for organizers. Join expert partners and experienced staff to learn the value of storytelling in our movements, the fundamentals of communicating our stories, and the practical applications of storytelling.
Community Engagement
Tuesday, August 3 at 5pm
Tired of your union being painted as "self-serving"? Get active in the community! The best way to dispel union stereotypes is to be public about the good work that we are doing and involve the community in our efforts. This session will focus on pracitcal ways we can serve our communities how utilizing resources like FirstBook and the AFT Health Department can strengthen your local union.
Union Leadership
Wednesday, August 4 at 5pm
This workshop is especially for new local leaders, though anyone interested in the topics is welcome. We'll review an array of resources available to leaders from both AFT-W and AFT, and discuss the basics of forming a strong leadership team and program for your local. The goal is to create a new cohort of leaders who can support each other to succeed throughout the coming year!
Convention Orientation
Thursday, August 5 at 6pm
The 87th AFT-Wisconsin Convention will be held virtually from October 19-23. Convention is an opportunity to reflect on our work, debate the work ahead, and to elect officers to represent you at the state federation. Orientation will map out how a virtual convention will work from amendments and resolutions to registration and virtual participation. 
Promoting Diversity in Our Profession - Featuring AFT Secretary-Treasurer Fedrick Ingram
Monday, August 9 at 5pm
Unions can help play a role in increasing the diversity in their professions. Featuring a discussion with AFT Secretary-Treasurer Fedrick Ingram, this session will help members learn more around what is and isn't working, and identify best practices to put to use at their own worksites and communities.
Federal Funding and Your Worksite
Tuesday, August 10 at 5pm
This workshop will give members a better understanding of federal and state legislation, what's happened recently and what is currently happening with important legislation, and most importantly -- the impact on your worksite and community, and how you and your union can take action around how new funding is spent locally.
Wednesday, August 11 at 5pm
Communications are a vital part of any union's organizing program. In this workshop you'll learn about the best practices for membership emails; the applications available to AFT locals for mass email and web sites; and the basics of both a "print" and social media program.
Providing Welcoming Schools and Communities for All Students
Monday, August 16 at 5pm
AFT-W members will leave this session with an increased understanding of best practices for affirming LGBTQ+ youth and a framework for creating welcoming schools and classroom environments. Special attention will be paid to practices and efforts that support the safety and inclusion of trans and nonbinary students. Session participants will explore opportunities to “bring it back” and build support among colleagues -- both AFT-W affiliated and not. This session will use real-life scenarios to plan for and get ahead of potential pushback, meeting people where they are at, and inspiring others to stand in solidarity with students and peers who seek to be inclusive in their practices.
Racial Justice in the Classroom
Thursday, August 19 at 4pm
The teaching of truth is under attack by a reactionary and racist Republican Party. Across the country, school districts are threatened with a loss of funding and teachers are threatened with disciplinary action should they teach the truth of racism and inequality in the United States. This silencing of teaching harms us all.  If we are to achieve a more just society, then our voices must be heard. This session will encourage you, first, to understand the language of equity and anti-racism and, second, to act together with members of your community, worksites, and unions to create the changes needed for a better society.
Student Loan Debt Clinic
Monday, August 23 at 5pm
This session may be especially valuable for new members and those early in their careers -- but all are welcome! As a union, we are fighting to make college affordable and student debt manageable. However, 44 million people in the United States are saddled with student loan debt. In this 90-minute session you'll learn the landscape of free and underused federal programs (including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program) that help many student loan borrowers lower their monthly payments and, in some cases, even have their debt forgiven.
Rights (and Responsibilities) When Teaching Controversial Topics
Wednesday, August 25 at 4pm
Our members have been under attack for what they teach, how they advocate for change, and who they are as both unionists and employees. WIth expert guidance provided by Attorney Summer Murshid of Hawks Quindel, this session help give a better understanding of your legal rights as educators and unionists.