CIWO in action

Center for Innovation in Worker Organization (CIWO)


What is CIWO?

The Center for Innovation in Worker Organization (CIWO) is a “think and do tank” whose mission is the promotion of strong workers’ organizations. We seek to shift the balance of power towards greater economic and social equality. CIWO leverages the resources of a highly respected research university to create a centralized go-to institute for strategic and organizational development. Our primary objectives are to facilitate the generation and dissemination of ideas, strategies, and programs for newly emergent as well as established worker centers, community organizations, labor unions and their local, state and national networks.

Our mission and goals || Our Team || CIWO Fellows || Join our mailing list. 

All Black Lives Matter: Read CIWO's statement.


Our Programs:

Bargaining for the Common Good

Build the Base 

Build the Bench

Strengthening Labor Standards Enforcement

WILL Empower


Upcoming Events:

Strike! 50th Anniversary Symposium - Register here

Since its original publication in 1972, no book has done as much as Jeremy Brecher’s Strike! to bring U.S. labor history to a wide audience. Strike! tells the dramatic story of repeated, massive, and sometimes violent revolts by ordinary working people in America. Told from the point of view of rank-and-file workers Involved in nationwide general strikes, the seizure of vast industrial establishments, and nonviolent direct action on a massive scale, Strike! reveals a dimension of American history rarely found in the usual high school or college history course. Fifty years later, the book still captures the imaginations of students, workers, and organizers alike, who continue to struggle for progressive social change to improve the lives of working people.

To consider the legacy of Strike!, including lessons for the current political-economic moment, we are joined in conversation by a panel of respected labor leaders, scholars, and journalists, including an opening keynote by Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.

CIWO is proud to be co-hosting this event alongside Rutgers Labor Action Education Research Network (LEARN) and the Labor Network for Sustainability.


Build the Base, Grow the Movement! - A new Training Program in April 2021 that will help you recruit, develop and support many more leaders and grow the power of your organization.  [Brought to you by CIWO + PowerLabs]

For more info, click the flyer below or go to:











Happening at CIWO:



WILL Empower is now recruiting Apprentices and Host Sites for the Fall 2021 Class!

Click here for more information & to apply.




Black Womxn DemandsCalling Black womxn activists, trade unionists, feminists, leaders, and scholars into dialogue with one another to discuss current demands for economic, racial, gender, and LGBTQ+ justice for Black people and others. These dialogues invite everyone to listen closely to Black womxn demands and to learn much more about us, our scholarship, and our movement work.

Bargaining for the Common Good has welcomed three new members to the Advisory Committee:  Cecily Myart-Cruz (UTLA), Rob Baril (1199 SEIU), and Rev. Francisco Garcia (Wendland-Cook Program on Religion and Justice at Vanderbilt University).  See the full BCG Advisory Committee here.

Build the Bench has welcomed two CIWO Fellows for 2021:  Felicia Griffin (Partnership for Working Families) and Kathleen Gaspard (Institute for Policy Studies), who will also serve on the program's new Advisory Committee with Mackenzie Baris (Jobs with Justice), Aisha Satterwhite (, Chevalier Lovett (Florida Rising), Renata Pumarol (ACRE), Vivian Huang (APEN), and Beth Shipp (Caring Across Generations).

Strategic Labor Standards Enforcement is launching a new Strategic Enforcement Community of Learning and Practice (SECLAP)  with state and local agencies from across the country. CIWO is hosting the first SECLAP session on January 27, 2021.


    Our Partners

    CIWO collaborates with many local, regional, and national partner organizations, networks, and foundations. View the list of our partners and supporters.

    Contact us!

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