Georgetown, Rutgers launch new program to identify, train new female union leaders

WASHINGTON—Using funds bequeathed to them from the Berger-Marks Foundation – and for the same purpose the foundation had – Georgetown and Rutgers Universities launched a program to identify, train and mentor new female labor leaders.


The WILL Empower program started Feb. 1. It now seeks “letters of interest” from women who want to be part of its first class, said co-directors Lane Windham of the Kalmanovitz Initiative for the Working Poor and Sheri Davis-Faulker of Rutgers. The “will” in WILL Empower stands for “women innovating labor leadership.” The deadline is April 6.



“Mobilizing women’s power, especially that of women of color and immigrants, is key to building a successful 21st century labor movement,” they explained. The program will interact “on multiple levels” with women who want to empower themselves to become union leaders.


The multiple interwoven levels are Cohorts of Collective Learning, the Apprenticeship Program, the Innovative Women Fellowship, and the Future of Labor Interactive Project (FLIP). Please check out our website for more information on the programs.


“WILL Empower is designed to reach next-generation leaders both in the early stages of their work life as well as more experienced women ready to advance to the next level. People of color, young activists and immigrants are all important constituencies. WILL Empower reaches women both in traditional unions and other worker-based organizations,” said Davis-Faulker and Windham, who is a former top AFL-CIO communications specialist.


“Women’s issues are front and center in today’s public dialogue, and women will soon be a majority of union members. The time is ripe for a new effort to ensure women are fully represented as leaders in today’s workers’ movement. We look forward to joining with each of you in empowering women to break new ground as labor leaders, and in building a better future for America’s working people,” Windham and Davis-Faulker said.

Further information about the program is on its website,

Source: PAI