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Winter 2022: Making Labor Work - Organizing for Power in the 21st Century

Meets Wednesdays from 7-9pm
February sessions are online ONLY
March sessions are in-person at the General Baker Institute (15798 Livernois St., Detroit); livestreamed simultaneously on YouTube.

Free & open to the general public; light dinner provided before each class.

Dates: February 9, 16, 23; March 9, 16, 23, 30

UM-Ann Arbor students: Register for the class here. Free transportation provided. Note: bus will depart Ann Arbor at 6pm each week in March and return by 10pm. 

Detroiters Speak returns for the Winter 2022 semester with a focus on the role of work in our lives and how workers have organized to improve their workplaces and communities. The course will begin by exploring foundational questions: What is work? Where do Detroiters work? Who are the working class? What is the labor movement and what are unions? How do workers without unions (the so-called “unorganized”) build power to improve their lot? We will hear from activists involved in contemporary organizing struggles in strategic work sectors: automotive, service/domestic, public sector, logistics/international, and more. The class will end with a workshop in which participants will develop their own organizing “toolbox” for their future experiences in the working world. Note: This class is open to the general public and may also include college students from Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, and other area colleges, as well as anyone else in Detroit and the metropolitan area with an interest in learning.

February 9th - Detroiters Work and Where They Do It

Youtube Link

Speakers:

  • Carolyn Baker (facilitator)
  • Paul Jackson (Co-Director, East Michigan Environmental Action Council)
  • David Goldberg (Associate Professor, Wayne State University, Department of African American Studies)
  • Craig Regester (Acting Director and Lecturer II, University of Michigan Semester in Detroit Program)
  • Noah Urban (Co-Executive Director, Data Driven Detroit)

Suggested Readings:

February 23rd - Organizing Beyond the Auto Worker

Speakers:

  • David Goldberg (facilitator)
  • Dianne Feeley (UAW Retiree, Detroit Eviction Defense)
  • Steve Noffke (UAW Rank-and-file member)
  • Carolyn Baker (General Baker Institute)

Suggested Readings:

March 9th - Service Workers Unite!

Speakers:

  • Craig Regester (Facilitator)
  • Tristan Taylor
  • Graham Kovich
  • Vaibhav Diwadkar

March 16th - Globalization and the Logistics of Worker's Power

Speakers:

 

March 23rd - Public Sector Workers Against Austerity

Speakers:

  • Torie Anderson - Teacher, Detroit Public Schools Community District
  • Harvey "Big City" Wilson - Bus Driver, Detroit Department of Transportation
  • Praveen Loganathan - Staff, Wayne State University
  • Jane Duggan - Retired Detroit Postal Worker

Suggested Readings: 

March 30th - Organizing Where You Are

Speakers:

  • Danielle Aubert - President, Wayne State University AAUP-AFT, Local 6075
  • Zach Rioux - Labor Notes
  • Elliott Smith - Poor People's Campaign
  • Carolyn Baker - General Baker Institute

Suggested Readings: