SMLR's Corporate Social Responsibility Convening
Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014

On October 28 to October 29, 2014, SMLR's “Corporate Social Responsibility Convening” of more than 100 high level leaders and staff from approximately 70 unions and community and workers’ organizations was held at the Labor Education Center, with the goal of furthering corporate social responsibility (CSR). Participants engaged in strategic, hands-on training on CSR by analyzing several case studies and sharing their organization’s campaign experiences. 

Experienced campaigners, including Bill Dempsey, Vonda Brunsting, and Saqib Bhatti, discussed “What Works in Shaping CSR Campaigns.” Veronica Mendez, an organizer from Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha, gave insight into her group’s successful campaign with Target Corporation, which resulted in the company’s adoption of a Responsible Contractor Policy to protect workers’ rights. MSNBC Contributor and Columbia University Professor Dorian Warren, addressed “Inequality and the Future of American Democracy in the 21st Century,” as a special guest speaker. Warren supplemented participants’ training by exploring solutions to the growing economic inequality in the U.S. 

Marilyn Sneiderman, director of the newly created Center for Innovation in Worker Organization at SMLR, facilitated the event. Ms. Sneiderman brings more than 30 years of experience in union, community, racial justice, and faith-based organizing. 

Planning committee members included:

• Saqib Bhatti, ReFund America Project at the Roosevelt Institute

• Vonda Brunsting, Service Employees International Union

• Bill Dempsey, Nathan Cummings Foundation

• Saket Soni and Prasi Gupta, National Guestworkers Alliance

• Christina Livingston and Maurice Weeks, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment

• Veroniza Mendez, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha

• Deepak Pateriya, Center for Community Change

• Dan Pedrotty, American Federation of Teachers

For more information, contact Marilyn Sneiderman, director of the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization, at


The Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations’ Center for Innovation in Worker Organization (CIWO) addresses our nation’s rising economic inequality, precarious workforce, and racial inequality by developing innovative research, strategies and programs.

Through our work, we aim to strengthen the role of civil institutions including community organizations, worker centers, and labor unions.