United Association for Labor Education Annual Conference

Rethink, Rebuild, Revitalize:  Labor, Education and Our Communities
Detroit, Michigan
April 5-8, 2017

Call for Proposals

The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) invites labor educators from unions and educational institutions, workers’ centers, community organizations, and others committed to worker education to come together in Detroit, Michigan for our annual conference. This event provides a unique opportunity to share curriculum, build our skills as educators, challenge each other and ourselves on emerging issues and events of concern, and strengthen the labor education community.  UALE seeks proposals on how we can rethink, rebuild, and revitalize labor, education and our communities as we promote racial, gender and economic justice.

Proposals may draw from all disciplines and take many forms, including strategic or academic reports; qualitative or quantitative analyses; teaching demonstrations; labor history research or curriculum for adults or K-12; union or community training tools; case studies; roundtable discussions; curriculum design; video, posters, music, art, and theater.

Individual or panel proposals should be submitted by November 30th, 2016

Working Groups can submit proposals up to January 15th, 2017

Conference submissions should go to Marilyn Sneiderman at [email protected].  You will receive an e-mail confirmation when your submission is received.

Submissions for the New Generation Award conference session are due no later than December 12th, 2016 and should be sent to Sarah Laslett at [email protected]. See the UALE website for more information about this opportunity.

Although UALE membership is not a requirement to submit a proposal, it is strongly encouraged. UALE is only as strong as its membership base.


Conference Format

The UALE Conference generally offers two types of sessions: plenary and concurrent.

Concurrent Sessions run for two hours, several of which take place during the same time slot. Sessions vary in structure to provide a robust and diverse conference experience for presenters and participants; they offer some combination of the formats listed below.

Panel Sessions include a number of presenters who share their work on a similar topic. Each panelist will have equal time to present his or her work, followed by Q&A and discussion. By offering presentations on different aspects of a single topic, panel sessions engender rich discussion among presenters and the audience. Session chairs will be appointed in advance and will be responsible for planning with panelists prior to the session.

Paper Sessions can include research papers, case studies, or other kinds of reports related to labor education. These sessions offer presentations from authors who have written about a generally related topic. Each author will have equal time to present their work, after which the session chair will lead discussion.  Authors should submit an abstract for consideration; full-length manuscripts should be submitted prior to the conference. Session chairs will be appointed in advance and will be responsible for planning with authors prior to the session.

Roundtable Discussions provide an opportunity for participatory discussion of labor education issues or programs, research in progress, or other relevant topics in an informal setting around a table or in a circle of chairs. The convener poses a series of questions to participants and leads a conversation. Roundtable Discussions draw heavily on the experience of those in the room.

Teaching Demonstration Sessions simulate a workshop or demonstrate a labor education technique, using popular education methodology. The demonstration is typically followed by discussion of the technique(s) demonstrated and the uses to which they might be put. Facilitators should be prepared to offer their design and materials to participants to adapt and use.

Poster Sessions provide an opportunity to present and discuss a single theme or relevant topic in an informal setting, somewhat like an exhibit hall or information fair. A good poster presents useful information and engaging graphics, and stimulates discussion. Poster presenters should prepare a display using easily understood printed text and graphics on a board no larger than 30”x40.” Presenters should prepare a few remarks to welcome conference attendees and explain their posters. Attendees and presenters will then have the opportunity to discuss the posters and the topics they address. It is helpful to provide handouts for participants with presenters’ contact information to facilitate future dialogue. In order to have a poster accepted for display at the conference, please submit a photograph of the poster with a brief accompanying explanation of its content and purpose.

UALE encourages submissions that relate directly to the conference theme, but will accept submissions focused on other areas.

Some sessions are organized by Working Groups around their specific areas of interest. Working Groups typically solicit group-member input to develop proposals, and new members are always welcome. Working Group information is available at, and current Working Groups include:

  • Central Labor Council (CLC)
  • Immigration/Globalization
  • K-14 Labor Education
  • On-Line Education
  • Popular Education
  • Worker Writers
  • Labor Film Documentarians
  • Young Workers

Plenary Sessions are two hours long and designed to bring all conference attendees together around important areas of labor education. Plenary sessions are determined by UALE’s Executive Board, but UALE members are welcome to submit suggestions and volunteer to help develop plenary sessions


Proposal Requirements

  • Presentation Format (paper, panel, poster, roundtable, teaching demonstration)
  • Presentation Title
  • Individual or Panel Designation
  • Contact Information for Each Presenter/Participant
    1. Name
    2. Organization/Affiliation
    3. Mailing address
    4. E-mail address
    5. Phone
  • Proposal describing topic, presenter expertise, and presentation form (300-500 words)
  • Abstract or synopsis (100 words). This will be published in the conference program.

Conference proposals will be selected based upon:

  • Relevance of proposals to the conference theme;
  • Having a balance of academic, union, and community presenters;
  • Demographic inclusivity (race, gender, region, age, etc.);
  • A balance between the number of proposals and the depth of presentations;
  • Proposals that spark and hold people’s interest.

Timely submissions are essential. Late proposals cannot be considered.


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