Union Summer: Interns Talk Labor, Community and Organizing [VIDEO]
As the summer winds down to a cool, so do the seasonal jobs, volunteer programs, and internships some young people sandwich around their semesters of school to gain credentials and life skills for future—and hopefully gainful—employment endeavors.
Most precarious, student-aimed opportunities focus on strengthening skills for the individual. But some unique programs, like the AFL-CIO's Union Summer, also teach young people how to navigate their rights as workers once they've land their dream job: by building power collectively.
The educational internship sends young people across the nation to use what they learn about social labor movements and organizing to create change in their own communities. The interns in the video hail from various backgrounds and lived experiences; from the young Lesley Salinas who has just discovered the common threads that tie issues facing the immigrant community to the labor movement, to the experienced Addy Davidoff who grew up tethered to parents who participated heavily in their unions. All testify to the transformative experience that working on state legislative battles, building relationships with workers and their communities, and organizing marches and rallies can have in one's prospective workplaces and beyond.
Naima Ramos-Chapman is an associate editor at Campus Progress.