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Campaign launched to fund labor education

Last month, the Washington State Labor Council’s executive board voted to launch a three-year fundraising campaign (2011-13) to support the state’s labor education efforts, which play a critical role in strengthening and building the labor movement. The campaign will benefit two innovative, effective institutions: the Washington State Labor Education & Research Center and the Labor Archives of Washington State.

“The Labor Center and the Labor Archives both rely on support from Washington’s labor movement to continue their important work preserving our history, and educating today’s activists and tomorrow’s leaders,” said Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council. “That’s why, in addition to making our own contribution, the Washington State Labor Council has launched this fundraising campaign asking all unions in our state to make a three-year commitment to supporting both institutions.”

Download the campaign brochure, which includes a pledge form unions and individuals.

The Washington State Labor Education & Research Center is at the Georgetown campus of the South Seattle Community College, but works throughout the state to provide trainings and classes for and about working people. Its mission is to collaborate with unions and community members in designing programs that will help them develop the skills, confidence, and knowledge to become more effective leaders, staff, and rank-and-file activists.

“Working with the Labor Center on our Rank & File School has been a valuable asset for our Regional Council in helping our affiliates meet the educational needs of their members,” said Lynda Evans of the Spokane Regional Labor Council. “Although based in Seattle, the WA LERC is serious about providing educational service to labor throughout the state.”

The Labor Archives of Washington State (LAWS) was founded to preserve the records of working people and their unions and to serve as a center for historical research, ensuring that new generations have access to the rich labor history of the region. A collaborative project of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and the University of Washington Libraries, funding for the Labor Archives comes largely from the labor movement.

“The Labor Archives has been very supportive of my local union’s efforts to preserve its membership’s history by offering a helping hand in preserving our hard-fought history,” said Brian Earl, President of GCC/IBT Local 767M.

The WSLC passed a resolution at its May 10 meeting to launch the funding campaign with a goal of raising $200,000 a year in each of the next three years. For its part, the WSLC plans to contribute $20,000 in each of the next three years to the campaign “to help build our labor education infrastructure.”

Download the campaign brochure, which includes a pledge form unions and individuals. For more information about these institutions contact:

Washington State Labor Education & Research Center
Director Sarah Laslett — — 206-764-5382

Labor Archives of Washington State
Labor Archivist Conor Casey — — 206-685-3976

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