Members of the Spanish Leadership Working Group (SLWG) met the week of December 6, 2021 at the William W. Winpisinger Center to review and update the Spanish Language programs class materials and to develop plans for recruitment, communications and advocacy.

“The Leadership programs and staff classes in Spanish offered at the Winpisinger Center open doors and opportunities for IAM members to develop the skills needed to better serve our members and grow our union,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Especially now, with public perception of labor unions at a historic high, we need to cultivate and develop the talents of our diverse membership to seize this moment.”

“Educating our members in their first language removes a barrier and boosts their confidence,” said Chris Wagoner, Director of the Winpisinger Center. “For over a decade, we have seen graduates of the Spanish Leadership programs distinguish themselves at every level of our union.”

These success stories amongst our Spanish speaker members continues to demonstrate that the avenues to leadership within the Machinists Union are open to all our members and represent an imperative Union value we must support and continue to foster. 

From its conception and throughout the years, the Leadership program in Spanish has maintained one of its main principles—inclusivity. The program has been successful because it welcomes all members with different levels of understanding or command of the Spanish Language.

Although the program has thrived in an environment welcoming of Spanish-speaking members that otherwise may feel ostracized or marginalized because of a language barrier, participants are not required to have fluency in Spanish. In reality, many participants in the Liderazgo programs have their own language barriers when it comes to Spanish comprehension. The program simply asks participants to have the desire to engage with our brothers and sisters that may require assistance in their primary language. 

The meeting was organized by Luis Silvas, an Education Representative at the Winpisinger Center and the coordinator of Spanish language programs. Please contact Brother Silvas at (301) 373-2860  or at lsilvas@iamaw.org with any questions or special requests regarding the registration of participants into the Spanish Leadership program.

Information for the 2022 Leadership Programs in Spanish is available here . If interested in enrolling, the Leadership registration form can be found here . Enrollment in any Leadership Program in Spanish does not count towards a local lodge’s leadership school allotment, removing another barrier for member participation.

Leadership and Staff programs in Spanish for 2022 are:

Leadership I in Spanish: March 20-25 and August 7-12

Leadership II in Spanish: September 11-16

Advanced Leadership in Spanish: November 6-11

Train the Trainer in Spanish: October 16-21

Organizing I in Spanish: December 11-16

 

Group members sitting from left to right: Macario Camorlinga, Juan Negron, Joel Ochoa, Javier Almazan. Standing from L to R:  Milton Dueña, Cristino Vilorio, Mariaelena Fuentes, Geny Ulloa, Luis Silvas, Adriana Picasso, Jose “Lole” Rodriguez-Baez, Jorge Bonilla, Laura Ewan, Edmundo Osorio, Ines Garcia-Keim and Calixto Tapia.

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