We hope you’ll join us later this month at the Higher Ed Labor United Winter Summit: Confronting the Crisis in Higher Ed—four afternoons of online workshops, panel discussions, and plenary sessions held Wednesday, February 23, through Sunday, February 27. HELU, the coalition of college and university unions and organizations that our union cofounded last summer, will be discussing next steps for transforming public higher education.
We’re excited to hear from some of the most important voices of our movement, including our former colleague, renowned author and social justice activist Naomi Klein, the keynote speaker at the summit’s final plenary session on Sunday the 27th at 6 p.m. The conference kicks off on Wednesday the 23rd at 3:50 p.m. with a plenary featuring union organizer and author Jane McAlevey. Other highlighted speakers include Erica Smiley, executive director of Jobs With Justice, on Thursday the 24th at 5:15 p.m.; and Stacy Davis Gates, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, on Saturday the 26th at 5:15 p.m.
HELU’s first summit last summer drew together the founding members of a coalition that is now endorsed by 117 unions and organizations in 29 states, representing over 530,000 workers and more than 300,000 students across eight national unions. HELU emerged as a prominent new voice advocating for federal legislation that could change the direction of higher education.
At this summit, member unions and organizations will discuss a broader focus, with three core tasks in mind:
- Coordinating the surge of higher education worker organizing across the country.
- Developing federal policy proposals to reverse the trends that have damaged higher education over the last several decades.
- Engaging in the political process on these issues and working to support those who will advance a program of democratizing higher education.
We know it will be a stimulating, productive gathering, both for developing strategy and for building solidarity across job categories, campuses, and union lines. We hope you’ll take the time to attend for at least some of the four days. Click here for more information on the summit, and click here to register. Because you are represented by our union, an endorsing organization, registration is free, and you will be able to attend all the sessions.
Becky, Todd, Ian, and Naomi
Rebecca Givan, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Todd Wolfson, General Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Ian Gavigan, Executive Council, TA/GA Steering Committee, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Naomi R. Williams, New Brunswick Chapter Leadership Committee, Rutgers AAUP-AFT