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Apr. 10, 2015 12:30 pm

Revitalizing the Labor Movement — An Event with Philly Socialists and Caucus of Working Educators

At the event, Jane McAlevey will discuss her book, "Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting for the Labor Movement."

Next Monday, April 13, Philly Socialists and the Caucus of Working Educators are holding “Revitalizing a Labor Movement,” an event with author Jane McAlevey about her book, “Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting for the Labor Movement.”

The event, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Old Pine Community Center, will look at what lessons can be learned from her experiences in building worker power as well as how can they can be applied to workplaces and communities in Philadelphia.

In the book, McAlevey writes about her experiences in labor unions organizing large-scale campaigns in “Right to Work” states such as Nevada, as well as how she helped to rebuild the labor movement into a mass movement. McAlevey spent most of her life as an organizer — she led power structure analyses and strategic planning training for a wide range of union and community organizations and has had extensive involvement in globalization and global environmental issues. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center and a contributing writer at The Nation magazine.

Tim Horras, chairman of Philly Socialists, a working class political organization, said they decided to hold an event with McAlevey after seeing a video interview of McAlevey on GritTV and after picking up her book.

“We were interested in the idea of ‘deep organizing’ of working people versus the much more common practice of ‘shallow mobilizing’ workers around campaigns and whatnot,” Horras wrote in an email. “We had been in touch with Jane for over a year trying to figure out a time we could get her to Philadelphia. After the Caucus of Working Educators was founded, there was a greater sense of urgency in our efforts to get her to speak on the ideas she lays out in her book. Everything finally lined up for Monday.”

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Caucus of Working Educators, a caucus of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers which advances a platform for building the schools Philadelphia children deserve, had also read McAlevey’s book as one of the books in its teacher-led summer reading series.

“As a grassroots union group, it was exciting to all of us to learn about the ways Jane has worked to make unions more democratic and empowering,” said Max Rosen-Long, in an email.

Image via Philly Socialists

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