UCLA Labor Center

Summer Institute on Union Women

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Breaking Down Barriers and Borders

“SIUW offered me the opportunity to build solidarity and find fellowship with my sisters from across western Canada and United States. After spending a week amongst my peers, I better understood how the struggle women face in the labor movement and in a greater society is a common theme for women everywhere, but by standing united, we can find ways to overcome.”–Emily Shannon

About SIUW 

Every summer, women organizers from unions, community rank-and-file activists from the Western States, British Columbia and beyond come together for a week of leadership development, engagement on current issues, skills-building and networking. This annual 4-5 day residential program, the Western Regional Summer Institute on Union Women (SIUW), is one of 4 regional “women’s schools”. Sponsored by the United Association for Labor Education, each “women school” is hosted on a rotating basis by university labor education programs in each region.  In the past, the Western Regional SIUW has been supported by the Washington AFL-CIO, the BC Federation of Labour and various labor councils and labor federations in the West.

It is an exciting program of in-depth classes to hone skills and deepen knowledge. Workshops and plenary sessions examine current issues.  Cultural events and a solidarity action add richness to the Institute and inspire us in our work.


“SIUW is a powerful week of building community, understanding and celebrating our achievements as Women in the Labor Movement! I look forward to participating and connecting with women from Canada and the US where we come together to build solidarity across borders.  As an activist I have made life-long friendships during my time at SIUW!”–Natasha Tony

The annual Western Regional Summer Institute on Union Women (SIUW) is a four-day residential conference sponsored by the United Association for Labor Education (UALE) and hosted by UALE member Labor Centers in the region on a rotating basis. The UCLA Labor Center last hosted the conference in 2009. The 2016 four-day residential program brings together workers and leaders from unions, worker centers, and student and community organizations from the western United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and Japan. The conference features leadership development training, workshops on the history, struggles, and achievements of working women, and the opportunity for participants to share strategies, information, experience, and skills.

This year’s theme is breaking down barriers and borders, and we are focused on building a space to collectively address working women’s issues. With anti-immigrant sentiment and violence against women on the rise, it’s important for us as women to come together to build a culture of loving solidarity across the world.

Join us this year to advance women’s leadership in labor and social movements around the globe!


We have had an amazing response to this year’s Summer Institute on Union Women and have reached capacity. Please follow the conference online at #SIUW2016.


“The Summer Institute is a great space for women in labor and worker centers to connect, network, and hang.  I encourage anyone who is looking for a fast and furious training ground to take in this year’s institute at UCLA. You will make life-long connections!!”–María Abadesco


August 9-13, 2016

The Institute will be held at UCLA, in the DeNeve Plaza Building, 330 De Neve Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90024. Most of the details about the UCLA campus and dorms are on the Residential website.

Directions to campus as well as a campus map, click here.

The closest major airport to UCLA is the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), located approximately 15 miles south of the campus. Cab fare is approximately $38 plus tip. We sadly don’t have any unionized cab companies, but we urge you to take taxis instead of Uber.

Registration Fees

Singles: $750 (2 twin beds, 1 occupant, private bathroom)

Doubles: $550 (2 twin beds, 2 occupants, shared bathroom between two rooms)

Commuters: $450

Commuter registration fee includes meals, parking and a SIUW 2016 t-shirt.  Doubles and Singles registration fee includes lodging (air conditioning, wireless high-speed internet connections, in-room telephone and daily housekeeping service), meals, parking and SIUW 2016 t-shirt.

Stay connected and help us get the word out!

Facebook: Summer Institute on Union Women

Twitter: @2016WesternSIUW

Contact: arizocentino@ucla.edu

Flyer for SIUW: SIUW flyer 3

Social Media Logo: SIUW Graphic 1 , SIUW Graphic 2

Facebook Event Headline: SIUW FCB Graphic


We have provided a schedule for you to be able to see how the conference will run.

View the Schedule

See local area attractions and recreational activities.

List of Plenaries, Core Classes, Workshops and More!

View the List

Sponsorship Information

We would be honored if you could be a sponsor for the SIUW. Please send this letter out to your email lists, websites, and social media sites. Thank you!

Download the Sponsorship Letter Template

Facilitator Interest Form

We would greatly  appreciate your participation as a facilitator for the SIUW.  Your experience and skills in labor and working women’s issues would be a valuable asset to the success of the conference. If you would like to be a facilitator for the SIUW and if you are interested in proposing a workshop or co-facilitating a core class, please fill out this form.

Thank you for submitting. We had an overwhelming number of interested facilitators! 

Berger-Marks Registration Fee Waiver 

The Berger-Marks Foundation is providing registration fee waivers for participants 35 and under to attend the Western Region Summer Institute on Union Women, August 9th through the 13th, 2016, at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Please share this great opportunity with your networks.

This year’s theme, Breaking Down Barriers and Borders, will foster dialogue and strategies to address the issues and challenges facing working women today. The 5-day residential program will bring together organizers from unions, community organizations, and student groups from the western United States, British Columbia, and beyond, for a week of leadership development, skills-building, and networking.

Thank you for submitting. We had an overwhelming number of interested applicants and have notified all of the recipients. Those on the waiting list, please stand by!


We are excited to announce that we have t-shirts for SIUW available now for a suggested donation of $20. The proceeds from the t-shirts will go to registrations for the conference for low-income women, as well as for childcare, if anyone is interested in supporting.  We have sizes small through 3XL. You can send us a check payable to “UC Regents” addressed to us at the

UCLA Labor Center: 675 S Park View St, Los Angeles, CA 90057-3306

(In the memo line, just write “t-shirt/size” )

union made

For questions, feel free to contact Elizbeth Espinoza, eespinoz@ucla.edu562-659-9566, or Ana Rosa Rizo-Centino, arizocentino@ucla.edu213-480-4155 x208.