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NLLI Class Gathering

About

Launched in the fall of 2013, the NLLI grew out of a partnership between the AFL-CIO, The Worker Institute at Cornell, and top labor educators from Harvard, Rutgers, Berkeley, Oregon, UALE, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, and the Rockwood Leadership Institute. The vision of the Initiative is to address the strategic challenges facing the labor movement in the 21st century. The Initiative helps top labor leaders acquire and refine the knowledge, skills, and qualities needed to lead when unions and working people are subjected to coordinated and well-funded attacks. The Initiative provides a space for unions, worker justice organizations, and labor educators to learn innovative approaches to developing the critical core of leaders our movement needs.

The National Labor Leadership Initiative (NLLI) aims to create a community of leaders dedicated to their individual and mutual learning and development, strengthening and transforming the organizations they lead and building a broad progressive movement that empowers working people in a rapidly changing world.

Program

Program Structure

Participants must be nominated and sponsored by their organizations. Nominees are in senior elected or staff positions in their organizations, with extensive leadership and oversight responsibilities for major areas of work.

The NLLI curriculum consists of three 5-day intensive retreats spread out over one year, held in different regions of the U.S.

Three thematic concentrations will be repeated throughout all the retreats, though each retreat will focus primarily on one. The three interdependent domains of leadership are

  • Personal Qualities of Leadership
  • Leading and Transforming Your Organization
  • Building an Inclusive and Dynamic Movement

Intensive follow-up with faculty, field application, peer coaching, and network- building will take place continuously between sessions.

Videos

NLLI Facebook Live Interview Montserrat Garibay

National Labor Leadership Initiative Facebook Live Series: "How are NLLI Leaders Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis." Jennifer Beuthin interviewing Montserrat Garibay, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Texas AFL-CIO, Wednesday, July 15th.
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NLLI Facebook Live Interview Montserrat Garibay

NLLI Facebook Live Interview Siobhan Vipond

National Labor Leadership Initiative Facebook Live Series: "How are NLLI Leaders Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis." Jennifer Beuthin interviewing Siobhan Vipond, Secretary-Treasurer, Alberta Labour Federation. Wednesday, July 8th, 2020.
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NLLI Facebook Live Interview Siobhan Vipond

NLLI Facebook Live Interview Mark Lauritsen

National Labor Leadership Initiative Facebook Live Series: "How are NLLI Leaders Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis." Kathleen Mulligan interviewing Mark Lauritsen, International Vice President of UFCW, NLLI Alum Year 2, May 19th, 2020.
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NLLI Facebook Live Interview Mark Lauritsen
I would highly recommend this program to anybody that's a union leader. I'm coming up on my 40 years in the union and I've been a union leader for 25 of those years working for families and union members, and I can’t say that I've went to a better program. So with that I would highly recommend it.
Ed Navarro, Regional Director, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers

10th Cohort

In November 2023, the National Labor Leadership Initiative (NLLI) proudly welcomed its 10th
cohort. Launched in 2014, NLLI was created to provide union leaders with the necessary skills
and tools to address the complex challenges faced by unions and the labor movement.
The 10th class of the NLLI program is a significant milestone for the Worker Institute. What
began as an experiment of leadership training has become a premier and transformative labor
leadership program for union leaders in the United States and Canada. Additionally, the program
has played a crucial role in helping union leadership face some of the most significant challenges
in recent American history.
The class has already helped union leaders deepen their relationships with each other, explore the
challenges of leadership in the current climate, and develop new strategies for success. The
launch of the 2023-2024 NLLI class also included a panel where participants discussed what
growth means in today's labor movement. They also discussed how to talk to members about
leading through times of incredible divisiveness and how to build relationships across the
movement between unions and non-unionized workforces.
The current cohort brings together leaders of different unions and organizations across different
sectors, including trade, education, service industry, climate justice, and healthcare.

The Worker Institute is hiring!

Cornell Worker Institute is hiring!
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The Worker Institute is hiring!

Happy New Year from the Labor Leadership Program’s Team!

The Labor Leadership Program’s Team at the Worker Institute at Cornell ILR wishes everyone a happy and healthy 2022.
Class od 2021 ULI
Happy New Year from the Labor Leadership Program’s Team!

NLLI Online Convening: Labor's Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

On March 31, the Worker Institute convened alumni of the National Labor Leadership Initiative to explore responses to the COVID-19 crisis.
Screenshot of NLLI Online Convening
NLLI Online Convening: Labor's Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Faculty and Staff

  • Senior Extension Associate

Elaine Kim spent over a decade on the leadership team at 32BJ SEIU, the largest property service union in the country, representing janitors, security officers, airport workers, and residential wor

  • Program Coordinator

Sherrie Morales is a Program Coordinator for the Worker Institute at Cornell/ILR. She has worked for Cornell/ILR in NYC for over 27 years with various departments within ILR.

  • Interim Executive Director, The Worker Institute
  • Director of the National Labor Leadership Initiative

Kathleen Mulligan is the Director of Labor Leadership Programs, and Director of the National Labor Leadership Initiative, at Cornell University’s ILR School.

  • Senior Extension Associate

Tamara Robinson [she/her] is an organizational development consultant, coach, labor leader, and activist with 16 years of experience.

Contact

For more information about the National Labor Leadership Initative, please contact Sherrie Morales at sm92@cornell.edu or 212.340.2827.