July 28. 2023 — PEF is always working to build leadership within the union, and a new program aims to do just that while also nurturing a multigenerational team to help the union achieve its goals in the years ahead.
The mission of the PEF Emerging Leaders Institute is to not only help build upon the skills of PEF’s current leaders, but to develop the skills of new ones. It recognizes the strength that comes from having leaders of all age groups and generations.
Most of PEF’s leaders are Baby Boomers or Gen X, with few Millennials in the mix. The Emerging Leaders program hopes to bring in more Millennials and even members of Generation Z so that they can lead the union into the future. One of the institute’s core beliefs is that knowledge must be exchanged between generations.
A three-day pilot program is taking place the final weekend of July, after which members who complete the program will work towards completing an “in-service” assignment involving some sort of activism in their specific communities. The 15 members participating in the pilot program will shadow and work alongside an existing union leader to do that work.
During the program on July 28-30, participants will navigate and connect with PEF’s values, union building, and how to effectively communicate with members and non-members about the union and organized labor in general. The curriculum for the Emerging Leaders Institute is being developed with and facilitated by the American Federation of Teacher’s (AFT) Union Leadership Institute.
The institute aims to give its graduates the tools to run their own issue campaigns and navigate the sometimes-murky landscape of social media. The institute also hopes to connect with other union allies in the AFL-CIO and local communities.
After the first pilot program, the plan is to offer new Emerging Leaders Institute sessions three to four times each year. Members who are interested should contact the PEF Organizing Department at Organizing@pef.org.