12:00 P.M. (ET) | 90-minute sessionsPeople want to be part of something that’s bold, has momentum, and enables people like them to have a voice and get things done.
It’s hard to resist jumping on that train. This session covers the key elements of narrative, storytelling and imagery that we must use in our union to build an irresistible labor movement. Lots of strong and weak examples will be discussed along with common pitfalls to avoid and a chance to practice and get individual feedback on your work.
This workshop series is for union staff (organizers, comms, everyone!) who need their union to be irresistibly inspiring…inspiring to new and old members, prospective members, and their families and neighbors too.
It’s for you if you want to cut through ideological anti-union walls propped up with disinformation, and help people connect on a human level around real needs and common interests.
What We’ll Cover:
- What an inspiring union narrative sounds like, and its 5 necessary ingredients.
- An empirically-tested narrative on race and class that resonates with working people, and why skipping it could be a big mistake
- Examples of stories designed to create connection and activate across ideologies
- What makes a compelling story
- Why it’s so important to connect stories to the union narrative, and how to do it
- Organizing conversations can be a rich source of stories. How to organize our team to make the most of that.
- What it means to do story coaching, and why that’s so powerful in building a leaderful union
- How to distill stories into eye-catching and engaging videos and graphics
- Ethical storytelling: key principles
- Mistakes to avoid
Assignments will be made after each session, designed for participants to practice learnings by trying them out right away. Instructors will provide feedback.
A Certificate in Worker Storytelling may be earned by attending all sessions and showing proficiency in all assignments.
Heather Cushman, SMT Labor Movement Support Coordinator
Heather Cushman has over a decade of experience in the labor movement. She has worked on external and internal organizing campaigns with private sector, federal and public sector workers across the country. At SEIU Heather helped organize thousands of higher education faculty and negotiate landmark collective bargaining agreements. Most recently, Heather worked as the state-wide communications director for a state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers in the Deep South. Here, Heather introduced a variety of new tools and practices that strengthened organizing efforts and helped win the first state-wide pay raise for teachers and school employees in over a decade, with continued raises in subsequent years. Through improved messaging strategies and increased outreach, Heather helped local affiliates grow their membership, fight unsafe COVID-19 policies, defeat anti-union legislation, win collective bargaining, and support membership growth.
Deivid Rojas, SMT Staff Partner
Deivid is an organizer, storyteller, communicator, and visual artist with 10+ years of experience supporting and building organizing campaigns that tightly intertwine field organizing, communications, and digital, including over six years as the Communications Director at Fight For 15 Chicago, where he led the communications work for hundreds of actions, strikes, and protests. He developed and coached dozens of workers to become effective campaign spokespeople and landed national stories with national and international press, created content shared thousands of times online, and produced iconic protest visuals. Deivid has also led communications and digital organizing with SEIU National Fast Food Workers Unions, SEIU Local 73, and UFCW 881. As a queer man from Colombia, he is fluent in Spanish and has deep experience working with groups focusing on labor, Latine, racial justice, Black/Brown solidarity, and LGBTQIA+ issues.
January 23, 30 & Feb. 6 | 12:00 P.M. (ET) | 90-minute sessions
Find your time zone here. Training will be recorded for those in time zones that don’t facilitate live participation.
In order to support a movement organization learning space, SMT trainings are for staff of non-profits – NGOs, unions and electoral campaigns. Trainings are not for consultants or agencies. Consultants & agency staff who register will have their registrations refunded. Alternatively, on demand trainings are available to all on SMT’s course platform.
|Region||Budget of the Organization||Early
(by Jan 1, 2024)
Referral: forward us the communication you received to qualify.(thru Jan 1 only)
North America & Western Europe
Global (outside North America & Western Europe)
Groups referred by outreach partners can get discounts on available training programs (see table above). Please name the outreach partner in your registration and forward the email you received to [email protected]. The outreach partner discount does not apply to group rates or 2nd person rates, which are already steeply discounted. Outreach partners pass along opportunities for training and coaching to lists of organizing groups. This helps SMT as a non-profit reach more groups that could organize more powerfully with SMT support.
Interested in being an outreach partner? Contact [email protected] and describe the size and type of groups you’d reach out to. Typically, this is a list of chapters of a network; national unions on behalf of their local affiliates; State Federations, Labor Councils etc.