Unforgettable Experiences at the MLI Program

Participants from CWA's Minorities-Leadership Institute (MLI) gathered this week in Washington, DC, for the second week of the 2017 training program. The program, organized and conducted by the CWA Human Rights Department, includes workshops and instruction to support activists and leaders as they organize, mobilize, and challenge members to make our union CWA STRONG.

The MLI program is dedicated to increasing the involvement of minorities at all levels of the union. The training topics include organizing, writing and speaking skills, social media usage, and much more.

What participants are saying:

The 12 participants from this year’s training said that the experience has been unforgettable.

Cheryl Lee, CWA Local 6132, said, "This training is like no other training. It's a completely new way of thinking on how to run the local and engage the members. To be able to approach being in the union from a different angle helps us to be able to have real conversations with people. It'll help us be able to win and organize better."

Raza Siddiqui, NABET-CWA Local 54041, said he was enjoying the collaboration between the MLI participants from different sectors. "To sit down with people, including municipal workers and flight attendants, and see what issues they're facing in their locals, and being able to discuss what we face gives us a sounding board on what's going on in the union as a whole."

Sheila Lindsay, TNG-CWA Local 32035: "My highlight has been getting to know this wonderful group. We've meshed from Day 1. We're a family now. The organizing training was great. I'm going to be taking back some of that information to help build our human rights and equities committees."

Mary Robinson, CWA Local 1040: "I'm looking forward to bringing these skills back to my members. It's going to help me immensely."

Natalie Thomas, AFA-CWA Local 23080: "The highlight for me has been meeting the other members from different job descriptions and understanding that we all face the same issues in engaging our members. We're all going through the same thing together."

Jim Vang, CWA Local 9408: "The highlight for me was learning new social media skills. Being part of a huge telecom company [AT&T], taking that back and being able to use that information to reach out to our members and to keep them involved and educated is really useful."

Mustafa Hassan, CWA Local 3905: "I thoroughly enjoyed learning new organizing skills."

Kwami Barnes, CWA Local 4603: "I particularly loved learning how legislation and politics affect us on a local level as a union member and as a member of my community. One of the main things I want to bring back to my local is being able to have an authentic conversation with the membership as a whole about diversity."

Jay Jackson, CWA Local 3570: "The highlight for me has been learning how to think outside the box with writing, and to use social media to tell and show our members what we're doing on a broader spectrum."

Kisha Haynesworth, CWA Local 2205: "I have formed bonds I've never experienced in my entire life."


This year's participants are: Mary Robinson, Local 1040; Kisha Haynesworth, Local 2205; Mustafa Abdullahi Hassan, Local 3905; Kwami Barnes, Local 4603; Cheryl Lee, Local 6132; Art Clemens, Local 7800; Jim Vang, Local 9408; Natalie Thomas, AFA-CWA Local 23080; Jay Jackson, Local 3570; Amber Brooks, IUE-CWA Local 81380; Sheila Lindsay, TNG-CWA Local 32035, and Raza Siddiqui, NABET-CWA Local 54041.

-CWA Newsletter