Spring 2023


Civic Engagement and Leadership Development – Spring 2023:







Participants attending all three Saturday sessions will receive a Leadership Certificate from the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies.


Seminar Description:

SLU’s spring 2023 Civic Engagement and Leadership Development Saturday sessions will examine a range of on-the-ground organizing in light of their potential and the challenges they face.  Speakers will discuss the work of organized labor and social justice organizations to advance racial, gender, and economic justice and environmental sustainability.  Particular attention will be paid to ongoing challenges related to aligning electoral work with the priorities of ongoing grassroots organizing and issue-based coalition-building.  The seminar will be led by Dr. Alethia Jones, Distinguished Lecturer in Labor Studies at the CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies.

Framing Questions:

  • What are the chief challenges and opportunities confronting progressive forces currently seeking to bolster and deepen democracy?
  • How have statewide organizations worked to expand the voter base, particularly among voters of color and poor and working-class voters?
  • What role can unions play in building multi-racial coalitions and large-scale public support for progressive policy goals?
  • What obstacles stand in the way of greater labor-community collaboration?
  • How can electoral engagement be carried out in ways that maximize labor-community cooperation?


SESSION 1:  Sat. March 11, 2023 * 10am – 12pm E.T.

“The Complexities of Electoral Power in New York”

Guest Speakers:  

Sochie Nnameka – New York State Director, Working Families Party

Hae-Lin Choi – Political Director, Communication Workers of America, District 1

Seminar Introduction: 

James Steele and Alethia Jones, former and current SLU Distinguished Lecturers & CELD directors


SESSION 2:   Sat. March 18, 2023 * 10am – 12pm E.T.

“How and Why the Political Tides Are Turning in Georgia”

Guest Speakers:  

Nsé Ufot – Former President, The New Georgia Project

Gerry Hudson – Former Secretary-Treasurer, Service Workers International Union


SESSION 3:  Sat. March 25, 2023 * 10am – 12pm E.T. 

“The Battle for Democracy in Michigan”

Guest Speakers: 

Art Reyes III – Executive Director, We the People Michigan

Jennifer Root – Executive Director, SEIU Michigan


Click here to register:  slucuny.swoogo.com/CELD-Spring2023

Spring 2022 - ``Democracy in Peril?``


DEMOCRACY IN PERIL:  Leadership Challenges in a Time of Crisis

Civic Engagement & Leadership Development (C.E.L.D) – Spring 2022 civic leadership seminar




The virtual Spring 2022 C.E.L.D. seminar will take place on five Saturday mornings starting on Sat. March 5, and held via Zoom.

The seminar is led by Professor James Steele of the CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies, and each session features special guest presenters.


Click here to view the seminar schedule.​

Questions? Suggestions?  Email us:  events@slu.cuny.edu

The CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies offers civic leadership workshops and seminars that build the capacity of working-class people to engage at all levels of the democratic process. As corporate interests hold increasingly greater sway in national politics, CUNY SLU provides educational resources to enable working-class voters and communities to exercise the influence concomitant with their numbers.

To receive updated information about upcoming programs and trainings, email:  events@slu.cuny.edu

Past Courses

Housing Justice — Saturdays in October 2021

The newest addition to civic leadership offerings at CUNY SLU, the Housing Justice mini-course — held on Saturday mornings — addresses the long-standing crisis of unaffordable and substandard housing that NYC and other working-class families face.  The Housing Justice series helps participants understand the role that racism and corporate investment play in the displacement and gentrification of working-class communities.

CLICK HERE to view the Fall 2021 syllabus and to register for the Housing Justice leadership seminar.


Electoral Activism & Leadership Academy Class — fall semester

Every fall, CUNY SLU collaborates with the Latino Leadership Institute to host a series of Saturday morning classes on the electoral process and civic activism. The series seeks to empower Latinos and other minority groups by increasing their participation in the democratic process by training, organizing and mobilizing leaders.  To register, or for more info, visit the Latino Leadership Institute website.


Civic Engagement and Leadership Development — spring semester

Each Spring, CUNY SLU hosts a popular civic leadership mini-course on Saturday mornings.  Each session features CUNY faculty and veteran practitioners with years of experience and expertise in public leadership, electoral politics, mass movements and policymaking at the local, state and national levels of government.

Past Courses