Popular Education & Leadership Development Program
In addition to and woven throughout Fuerza Laboral's campaigns are the two pillars of our model for systemic change: Popular Education and Leadership Development. Our Popular Education Program is the engine for generating new membership; we organize a year-round schedule of workshops on topics related to worker and immigrant rights, as well as leadership development, such as our twice-monthly Basic Workers' Rights Course, a Workers' Compensation course, a RI Wage Law 101 course, and our four-session Democracy School that connects participants to the history of workers, organizing, and immigration in the United States. Six of our members take turns hosting our twice-monthly Spanish-language radio program, which relates personal experiences with labor abuses to educate our over 20,000 regular listeners on their basic labor rights.
Fuerza Laboral has a well-defined "leadership ladder" in which members are trained and supported take on increasing levels of involvement. We envision that this systematic process of leadership development will result not only in a core of leaders who play key roles in advancing the mission of Fuerza, but also in likely candidates for future taff positions, at Fuerza or other organizations.
Since our founding in 2006, thousands of workers have participated in our workshops and courses to learn about basic labor rights and organizing. Through intensive training, 1-on-1 mentorship and hands-on organizing experience, many have confronted power and won results on the job, at the Rhode Island State House, and with national level decision-makers.
Organizing Against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Fuerza Laboral has been organizing a group of women leaders to investigate the various ways that sexism operates in the workplace, including sexual harassment of women workers. The group, along with Fuerza Laboral's staff, underwent training in February 2015 to learn more about how the law protects women from sexual harassment in the workplace, and how to address issues surrounding sexism in the workplace. These leaders have been incorporating these issues into our twice-monthly Basic Workers' Rights Courses.