Cornell University

July 17 2012

Rebuilding the Dream

Labor movement leaders from across state on campus this week

Teachers, subway workers, carpenters and more than 50 others have gathered at ILR this week to focus on one question: "Can Labor Rebuild the American Dream?"

The theme of the annual NYS AFL-CIO/Cornell Union Leadership Institute sets the stage for five days of interactive workshops.

Designed to build the skills of labor leaders from across the state, said Gene Carroll, institute co-director, the workshops range from learning how to recognize opportunities for leadership in the current political movement to managing conflict.

"The numbers show fewer and fewer Americans can achieve the American dream," Carroll said, but coalition building and strategic leadership by unionists can help improve the odds.

Organizers hope participants take away a restored belief in the American dream, he said.

ILR experts from the Ithaca campus and the Worker Institute at Cornell are teaching at the twelfth annual institute.

Terrence MelvinIn the Statler Hotel Friday, about half of this year's 65 institute participants will graduate from the year-long institute program, which includes seminars around the state in addition to two week-long sessions in Ithaca.

The graduation speaker is Terrence Melvin, president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and secretary-treasurer of the New York State AFL-CIO.

More information about the institute can be seen at http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/uli/.