Dear Union Brothers and Sisters and our Community Allies:
I want to continue helping you build a stronger, more inclusive labor movement in the coming months and years. Since 2011, I have given 268 speeches, interactive workshops and trainings in 18 states across the country for you and our many community allies. I have spoken to national, regional, state, and local conventions and meetings of 22 International Unions as well as AFL-CIO state federations and local labor councils, and building trades councils.
Donald Trump and the Republican Congress pose the greatest threat to our movement and country in many decades. Our hard-won gains are threatened on every front. The American people want change but they want change that will improve their lives, create greater opportunity and fairness and a better future for their children and grandchildren.
As you know, we cannot have a brighter future without a resurgent labor movement that is strong ties to other people’s movements. More than ever, we need to inspire, educate and energize our staff, activists, members and community allies to stand up and act to ensure that we move our country forward. Our ancestors triumphed again great odds and we can too.
These testimonials demonstrate the value I can bring to your Union.
Mark presents a unique perspective from a historical point of view by comparing labor’s modern day challenges with the overwhelming challenges of workers’ organizing efforts in the 19th and 20th centuries. Many were interesting and informative but very few as compelling as Mark’s. He is one of the best at informing and motivating. – Don Siegel, IBEW 3rd District International VP, Pennsylvania.
Mark inspired and electrified our Region 9 leadership conference with a clear message of how we, as organized labor and working people, can once again lead our nation toward greater justice and security for all. I strongly recommend Mark to any union wanting to inspire and educate their leaders and activists about the road forward. – Cindy Estrada, International Vice President, United Auto Workers Union.
What is most valuable about Mark’s workshops is the recognition that as we remember our history, we get a sense of optimism and hope that when we come together and focus on what we have in common, rather than what divides us, we can overcome seemingly impossible odds and make progressive change. – Jeff Johnson, President, Washington State Labor Council.
My interactive workshops for leaders, staff, stewards, activists and apprentices focus on labor history, economic justice education, coalition building, communications skill building and strategic planning. I also produce educational and training materials designed specifically for individual unions. All of my work is focused on what we can learn from our past and present struggles that will inspire and educate participants to take more sustained actions that are needed to build more power today and into the future. My six interactive workshops are:
“Making the American Dream Real for Everyone” which focuses on the rise and fall of unions and our allies over the past 125 years in our fight to share fairly in the wealth we produce and build a more just and equitable country, and how we can rebuild our power.
“Winning Big in Hard Times” ‘which explores the rise and fall of unions and our allies in strengthening our democracy over the same time period and how we can reclaim our democracy.
“Which Side of History Are You On?” which focuses on Corporate America’s counterattack over the past 40 years and how disunity between organized labor and our potential community allies and movements weakened us. Most importantly we learn about many examples of major successes that new labor/communities alliances are winning.
“Speaking from the Heart to Win Community Allies” which encourages participants to speak from their hearts and use better messaging techniques as they reach out to non-union workers and current and potential community allies.
“Reaching Out to Young Workers and Young People” which explores the generation gaps of the 1960s and today and stimulates discussions about better ways to encourage our very progressive youth to greater activism in our unions.
“Train the Trainer” which teaches participants a range of skills needed to run workshops of different contents and varying lengths. These skills can be used to run workshops that are content-focused like the “American Dream” workshop as well as a communications or messaging workshop like the “Speaking from the Heart” workshop.
My speeches and workshops combine personal and family stories and experiences, finding our common ground of economic hard times and concerns about the future for our young people, and sharing our deep concerns about the future and our shared American Dream. We explore critical lessons about how we move forward to change the direction of our labor movement and country. The work also highlights significant victories that labor and our allies are winning across the country which are largely hidden from us. Each workshop concludes with small group and large group discussions of how we use the shared information and new skills more effectively in our work and bringing more people into our movement and coalitions.
Each workshop can be adjusted for length of time, audience size and type e.g. leader, staff, activists, members or apprentices and your union’s needs. I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead.