From June 23 to 27, Reed College’s tranquil summertime campus was once again the site of a summit for union women from around the Western United States and Canada. The Western Region Summer Institute for Union Women is an annual event that rotates between British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and northern and southern California. It comes to Portland every five years.
This year’s Institute drew 150 attendees, including about 60 from Canada. The event is a chance for women trade union activists and leaders to meet, share experiences, and learn.
“Not only do they learn new skills and get new ideas,” says conference organizer Barbara Byrd, “but they leave with a network of friends who can support them into the future as they take on more responsibilities in their unions. They get a sense of themselves as part of a larger movement.”
The conference was sponsored by the Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) of the University of Oregon, and co-sponsored by the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center.