CIWO believes that the leaders who are on the front lines fighting for economic, racial, and gender justice know the solutions needed to push our movements forward. The Innovation Seeding Transformation Program gives space, resources, and support to leaders who are interested in moving their solutions from an idea into reality. Through funding from the Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundation, we are able to provide support (financial, programmatic, administrative) to new cutting-edge programs in the social, racial, economic, gender, and worker justice movement.  

Our Workers Innovating New Strategies (WINS) Series is Going Strong!

So far in 2024, the Workers Innovating New Strategies (WINS) Series has featured leaders from across the labor movement who are bringing innovation to organizational development, organizing strategy, and leadership development. Want to check out past webinars on these topics? Click here to watch WINS events on YouTube!

Next up? Transformative Practices to Engage Global Women Leaders on Feb 29th from 8-9:30am ET and Amazon Warehouses: Contemporary Forms of Worker Control on March 7th from 12-1:30pm ET. 

Click here to learn more and register for upcoming webinars. Most webinars will have live interpretation in English/Spanish!

Doing Racial Justice in Labor Cohort

The Doing Racial Justice in Labor cohort is a space held by CIWO and supported by the Open Society Foundation. This cohort of leaders are moving and leading transformative racial justice work within their unions and community organizations. This cohort is designed for leaders to build cross-organizational relationships, support each other in the challenges that come with moving racial justice work in their organizations and communities, and innovate around responding to emerging needs in their work. 

The cohort emerged because while there have been historic RJ wins in recent years, there are ongoing efforts to create new barriers while undoing historic protections are happening all around us. At CIWO, we envision a future where All Black Lives Matter and where good stewardship of land and labor enables all working people to thrive. We believe that through community-building we can break out of silos and liberate ourselves from “divide and conquer” strategies. Transformative (rather than transactional) relationships allow activists/organizers to care for and ready ourselves for ever shifting crises and hard conversations; knowing we are not alone. 

To learn about the cohort participants, click here.

Supporting Domestic Workers to Lead Policy Implementation in Latin America

Adriana Paz Ramirez joined CIWO as an Innovation Fellow from March 2022-June 2023. Adriana is leading a project titled Supporting Domestic Workers to Lead Policy Implementation in Latin America. Partnered Organizations Include: the International Domestic Workers Federation, the Latin American & Caribbean Domestic Workers Confederation, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), & Open Society Foundation. To find out more about Adriana, click here. 

Amazon's Policing Power 

CIWO is continuing to provide support for Dr. Tamara Lee (Rutgers SMLR) and Dr. Maite Tapia (University of Michigan) to analyze, in a series of public reports and academic publications, the policing and surveillance of Black and Workers' at Amazon facilities. To learn the Amazon Policing Power Project, click here.

Always Essential Worker Cohort

CIWO has partnered with United for Respect to run a virtual cohort for 15 essential workers across the country who are interested in deepening their mobilizing and negotiation skills. Participating organizations in the fellowship are the following: Green Workers Alliance, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Missouri Workers Center, Step up Louisiana, United for Respect, & Workers Defense Project. To find out more about the 2022 Always Essential Fellows, click here.

Clergy for the Common Good 

KB Brower and Catherine Rice have joined CIWO as Innovative Fellows to pilot a common good campaign training for students at Union Theological Seminary. This project will train future clergy and chaplains in basic mobilization skills such as having one-on-one conversations and will introduce them to some of the most visionary ‘bargaining for the common good’ campaigns happening around the country. The training will be offered in Spring 2023 and will connect students with labor and social movement organizations when they graduate and begin work. We imagine that this training will prepare clergy and chaplains to deeply engage their congregations in coalitional campaigns for economic and racial justice. We hope that this training can be replicated for future and current clergy and chaplains at seminaries and in cities around the country. To find out more about KB and Catherine, click here.

Political Directors Convening

CIWO piloted a convening in May 2022 that brought together 15+ majority Women of Color Political Directors from across the economic justice movement. This event was co-sponsored by the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. The intention of the convening was to understand how to better support political directors' unique needs and identify pathways to expand their leadership, including into executive leadership. Ongoing webinars and support will be provided to these leaders as they increase the political power of workers across the country. To read more about this convening, click here

Grief and Resilience in Our Movements

CIWO partnered with the STOKE Collective to offer workshops on Grief & Vicarious Trauma in our Movements. This workshop opens up a conversation about the individual and collective impacts of grief and vicarious trauma. Workshop participants are introduced to terminology around different types of grief & how systemic violence and oppression affects how much different communities are forced to grieve. Additionally, participants begin to think through ways that they can integrate practices that acknowledge grief into their organizations. Following the session - everyone receives a Creating Cultures of Care Resource Guide that gives examples of how to create cultures of care on the individual, community, organizational, and systemic levels. 

This workshop was offered to the CIWO community at the Emerging Cohort Retreat (April 2022), to staff and fellows (July 2022), and to Build the Bench participants (September 2022). More workshops will be available to those in the CIWO network in 2023.

New Jersey Future of Work Accelerator 

This 9-month program supports “innovations that advance New Jersey’s workers’ health and safety, improve access to benefits, strengthen training opportunities, and bolster worker's voices.” Select CIWO staff participated in the accelerator and connected with like-minded organizations across New Jersey that are working to execute innovative ideas and strategies.