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Tommy Douglas Conference Center, Silver Spring, Md.
November 14-15, 2019


Thursday, November 14

8-9 a.m. Registration

9-9:15 a.m. Welcome and Opening of ILCA Convention, Lisa Martin, ILCA President

9:15-10:15 a.m. Keynote Address: Carla Murphy

Essayist and author of Why We Need a Working-Class Media, Murphy will share a personal and populist perspective about how to find power from the socio-economic margins.

10:15-10:30 a.m. Break

10:30-11:45 a.m. Plenary: Changing the Narrative and Going on the Offensive

Developed by the California Labor Federation, Change the Narrative is a proven initiative based on a wall-to-wall rethinking of how unions and workers are described, perceived, and depicted in popular discourse. What happens when we replace the word “union” with the phrase “working people standing together?” Take a look. Under the leadership of ILCA Executive Council member Rebecca Band (pictured), this session will illustrate how to change the narrative to alter perception in workers’ favor.

11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Lunch Break

Breakout Workshops

Choose from concurrent sessions

1-2:30 p.m.

Starting and Jump-Starting Your Social Media
Chauncey Robinson of People’s World will cover the basics of social media – from how to get started to tips, guidance, and dos and don’ts.

Communicating to Win Elections
Leaders of the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society will discuss how they built a labor-community coalition that successfully defeated anti-worker legislation. Allies from outside of labor joined the coalition and campaigned alongside trade unionists to oppose a Missouri right-to-work bill. The workshop will examine the tactics used to form, sustain, grow, and strengthen the type of coalition that’s often glorified on paper and much harder to execute in practice.

Strategic Media Outreach: Effectively Working with Reporters
Nora Loreto of the Canadian Association of Labour Media will facilitate a role-play exercise on interacting with the media and being interviewed by a reporter. Participants will learn how to respond strategically to questions to best represent your union as a media spokesperson.

2:45-4:15 p.m.

From a Like to a Leader: Real Online-to-Offline Organizing
Concerted Action strategists Christian Norton and Kelcie Glass will help you understand that using social media to move your message isn’t enough to build a movement. Learn how to proactively find new supporters using ads, how to use social media to build a community, and how to build an online-to-offline pipeline to connect individuals with organizers, advocates, and campaigns. Convert likes and ad clicks into activists and members and develop the leading presence to achieve your real-world goals.

Introduction to Producing Videos
The Machinists Union staff includes a number of expert videographers, who will introduce attendees to video production. Your smartphone is the entry-level equipment required to get started, meaning it doesn’t take a big investment in hardware to make basic videos. Learn to record with phones and video cameras to produce multimedia messages that capture attention.

Growing Email Lists and Publishing Electronic Newsletters
Elana Levin of New Media Mentors/Organizing 2.0 will share guidance on the best tools and techniques to grow your audience and amplify your reach. Learn how to harness the power of petitions, field organizing, and in-person events to grow your email list. Then get tips on publishing quality content that keeps your subscription list healthy.

4:30-6 p.m. Hosted Happy Hour sponsored by Concerted Action. Come sundown, let’s raise a glass to our collective resilience.

Friday, November 15

9-10:30 a.m. Plenary: Organizing and Messaging to Combat Wage Theft

A diverse Minneapolis coalition of civil-rights groups, trade unionists, and workers’ advocacy organizations united to expose the plight of low-wage workers who fell victim to employers’ wage theft. The coalition was the driving force behind anti-wage-theft legislation that both the city and state enacted this year. ILCA Executive Council member Howard Kling coordinated the coalition and documented its success through a series of Workday Minnesota videos. The plenary will feature a panel discussion with two leaders of the successful coalition, SEIU Minnesota State Council Communications Director Josh Keller and Susan Kikuchi, a former organizer at the Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha. Panelists will discuss the communications and outreach strategies they used to organize multiracial, multilingual stakeholders to defend the interests of working families.

10:30-11:30 a.m. Breakout Workshops

Choose from concurrent sessions

Deep Dive on Facebook Algorithms
Beth Becker will share granular expertise about the inner workings of social media platforms, a topic she studies in depth as a consultant and owner of Becker Digital Strategies. Becker will discuss the ever-changing algorithm that functions as gatekeeper between the messenger and their potential audience. How does it work and how can labor communicators outwit it – or at least make strategically calculated moves in this high-stakes, virtual game of chess? Bring your curiosity and listen in.

Producing Accessible Multimedia
Evolving with technological innovation, labor communicators now produce much more than print newspapers. Videos are especially effective to reach younger workers, but many unions are not maximizing the reach of their videos and other multimedia. Subtitles and other enhancements can ensure that electronic media is widely accessible to people with disabilities. AFL-CIO senior digital strategists Caleb-Michael Files and Kate Hilts will teach techniques to produce accessible multimedia that brings the message to the masses and includes all workers in our essential conversations.

To Podcast or Not to Podcast, That is the Question
165 million people in the U.S. have listened to a podcast, 32% of Americans are monthly podcast listeners, and 22% listen to podcasts weekly. The Labor Radio/Podcast Network contains a growing list of nearly two dozen labor podcasts. Podcasts are inexpensive and relatively easy to create, but are they really right for you? Chris Garlock, host of the Labor History Today podcast, WPFW’s Union City Radio, and Your Rights At Work, explores the many pros and cons of podcasting.

Peer-to-Peer Skillshare
Executive Council members Chelsea Connor and Marci Rosenblum are holding office hours for attendees to drop in and receive guidance about strategic labor communications in general or a specific project on your mind. Bring questions and get feedback about how to most effectively resolve a problem, package an issue, communicate a message, and write/produce results-oriented labor communications.

11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Business Meeting and Officer Elections
Members are invited to run for office in accordance with the ILCA constitution. File your declaration of candidacy by Nov. 12.

12:30-2:30 p.m. Labor Media Awards Ceremony and Luncheon

Find ILCA on Facebook and Twitter and tag your convention posts #ILCA2019 to share your experience.

Guest Rooms

On-site at Tommy Douglas Conference Center, 10000 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20903. Regional airports are Reagan National and BWI.

•  $179 single (one king or queen bed, one guest)
•  $269 double (two queen beds, two guests)

Room rate includes:

• Daily breakfast and dinner, both in the dining doom
• Wifi
• Access to fitness center, lounge, recreation room, business center and self-parking

Room Reservations

Call (240) 645-4000 or email and refer to the “International Labor Communications Association room block.” Please indicate arrival date, departure date, bed type preference (if any) and any special guest room needs at time of reservation request. A deposit equal to one-night’s room rate is due with each reservation. Failure to cancel a guaranteed reservation at least 48 hours prior to arrival of the reservation will result in forfeiture of advance deposit or one night’s room and tax billed to the credit card or master account.

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