UALE 2014 Annual Conference, “Organizing for Power”

Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class Los Angeles, California, March 26-29, 2014. Proposals are due December 15.

The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) invites labor educators, community organizers, organizers based in worker centers, and others committed to worker education to unite together in Los Angeles for a conference dedicated to educating, empowering, and organizing the new working class. UALE seeks proposals on how labor education can contribute to a new labor movement which empowers the new working class. Specifically, we invite proposals which demonstrate how modern labor education can help working people assert their fundamental right to organize proudly, bargain collectively, and work safely in a neoliberal climate which relies on systematic inequality.

Proposals may draw from all disciplines and take many forms, including strategic or academic reports or posters; qualitative or quantitative analyses; teaching demonstrations; labor history research, curriculum for adults or K-12; union membership training tools; case studies; workshops; general curriculum design; strategy sessions and performances; music, art, including public art, and theater.

Conference Format

Sessions will vary in structure to provide a robust conference experience for presenters and participants.

Concurrent Sessions are simultaneous 2 hour sessions. These sessions will offer some combination of the formats below.

Panel Sessions combine a number of presenters who present and discuss their work on a similar topic. Each presenter will have equal time to present their work. After all presenters have presented their work, there will be a joint time at the end for questions and discussion. The idea is that by combining different aspects of a topic, rich discussion among presenters and the audience will ensue. Session chairs will be appointed and time will be available for chairs and panelists to meet prior to the session.

Paper Sessions may be comprised of research papers, case studies, reports related to labor education, etc. These sessions combine presenters who present and discuss their work, generally on a related topic. Each presenter will be provided with equal time to present their work, after which time the session chair will lead discussion. Session chairs will be appointed prior to the conference and time will be available for chairs and panelists to meet prior to the session. While a paper may be accepted based upon its proposal, full-length manuscripts are expected by the time of the conference in March 2014.

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 session centers on one main theme, presents useful information, and stimulates discussion. Presenters prepare a display that captures their topic and ideas in easily understood printed text and graphics on a board no larger than 30″x40.” As conference attendees visit the display, presenters will have the opportunity to discuss their poster topic with them. Presenters should prepare a few remarks that will welcome attendees to their poster. It is helpful to provide handouts for participants with presenters’ contact information to facilitate further discussion. Poster sessions are often an informal blend of presentation and dialogue.

Roundtable Discussions provide an opportunity to discuss labor education issues, research in progress, or other relevant topics with a small group in an informal setting around a table or in a circle of chairs.

Teaching Demonstration Sessions engage participants in an interactive manner that simulates a particular workshop or demonstrates a labor education technique, particularly popular education. The demonstration is typically followed by discussion of the technique(s) demonstrated and the uses to which they might be put.

Working Group Sessions are organized by some working groups around their respective areas of interest.

Workshop Sessions are similar to teaching demonstration sessions in that they typically engage participants in an interactive manner that facilitates group participation in some form.

Plenary Sessions are two hour all-assembly sessions designed to engage conference attendees in important areas of labor education. Plenary sessions are determined by UALE’s Executive Board.

UALE encourages proposals which directly relate to the conference theme and how a new labor movement empowers the new working class. Proposals should include presentation form, title, full contact information for all authors, presenters or participants including organization/affiliation, mailing address, email address, and phone number. Proposals need to contain an explanation of 300 – 500 words which will allow the conference committee to review the proposal for conference acceptance. The proposal should describe not only the topic of the presentation but the basis of the presenter’s expertise and the preferred presentation format (paper, panel, poster, teaching demo, workshop, etc.). Proposals can be considered in multiple formats, the proposal should simply indicate all forms for which it seeks consideration. Proposals should also include a 100 word abstract or synopsis. Accepted proposals will have their abstract/synopsis and presenter information published in the conference program.

Conference proposals will be selected based upon

  • relevance of proposals to the conference theme
  • having a balance of academic, union, and community presenters
  • aiming for demographic balance: race, gender, region, age, etc.
  • balancing the number of proposals with depth of presentations
  • proposals that spark and hold people’s interest

For convenience, proposal requirements are outlined below. You may also visit the UALE Conference 2014 page at for additional information.

Proposal Requirements

  1. Presentation Format (paper, panel, poster, teaching demo, workshop, etc.)
  2. Presentation Title
  3. Individual or Panel Designation
  4. Contact Information for Each Presenter/Participant
    1. Name
    2. Organization/Affiliation
    3. Mailing address
    4. E-mail address
    5. Phone
  5. Proposal describing topic, presenter expertise, and presentation form (300-500 words)
  6. Does your proposal fit into the subject area of one of UALE’s working groups? If so, which? (The names of the working groups are below)
  7. Abstract or synopsis (100 words)
  8. Timely submission as late proposals cannot be considered.

Individual or panel proposals should be submitted by November 15 to Tony Michael at [email protected] You will receive an e-mail confirmation when your submission is received.

Working Groups have the opportunity to develop and submit proposals by December 15. Working Group chairs should submit proposals by e-mailing proposals to Tony Michael at [email protected]. Working Groups typically solicit group-member input to develop proposals, and new members are always welcome. Working Group information is available at, 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

Please note that Labor Studies Journal (LSJ) and Student Scholarship submissions have different due dates and guidelines. These are available at

For more information on the conference and to register, please go to Questions about the conference should be directed to Tony Michael at [email protected]