Regina V. Polk Women’s Labor Leadership Conference set for May 17-21


The Regina V. Polk Women’s Labor Leadership Conference is now accepting applications for its 2023 program scheduled for May 17-21.

The event is a multi-day, participatory conference for working women which creates an open and invigorating space for rank-and-file union activists and community leaders to learn from skilled instructors and one another. It is run by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Labor Education Program.

The goal of the program is to learn the nuts and bolts of contract enforcement while also developing leadership skills. The curriculum is developed for women who are just beginning their training as well as those with more experience allowing participants to learn from one another.

This year’s conference features over 30 women workers from Illinois and the Midwest representing all kinds of work. Courses are taught by university Labor educators, experienced Labor lawyers, union and worker-organization staff members and Polk alumnae.

The conference was established in 1983 in memory of Polk, who was killed in an accident on the job while working as a business agent for of Teamsters Local 743. She was a tireless advocate of inequities in the workplace and committed to worker empowerment.

The conference will take place at the Touch of Nature Environmental Center at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. The cost is $675 per person, which includes room and board, meals and classes. Scholarships are available.

Applications are due March 17. To apply, visit For more information, contact Emily Twarog at 773-744-8184 or Stephanie Fortado at 217-722-7544.



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