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On International Workers’ Day, we’re excited to announce the launch of our Food Workers Organizing Institute!

Since our founding in 2009, the Food Chain Workers Alliance has been committed to building organized worker density in the food chain with strategies led by members. To achieve that vision, we support 33 member groups — representing hundreds of thousands of food workers from the fields to the check-out counters — to amplify their organizing projects, build their leadership skills, and foster solidarity across the food system.

Over the past three years, we have responded to members’ desire for more programming for workers and senior organizers to build skills, share strategies, and develop organizing projects with peer support. The Food Workers Organizing Institute combines existing programs with a few new ones:

Food Sector-based cohorts: Workers from FCWA member groups learn and share organizing strategies, campaign planning and power analysis skills. Meetings are led by FCWA staff and a range of guest speakers.

Member Organizer Fellowship: Workers and organizers from FCWA member groups expand their work under the mentorship of our staff, and receive funding to spend one day per week on an organizing project important to their sector.

Senior Organizer Trainings: One-off trainings on strategy and organizing tools for experienced organizers. Upcoming topics include overcoming employer retaliation and supply chain mapping.

Conducting these programs virtually makes them more accessible to workers and allows us to convene participants from across North America. We provide iPads, wifi hotspots, tech support, language interpretation, and stipends to workers to ensure accessibility.

As an alliance of groups organizing workers across the entire food chain, we have the unique opportunity to create a pipeline of worker organizers to connect with the larger food movement and effect meaningful changes to our food system. Stay tuned for more updates from these spaces and check out the FCWA blog to meet our 2023 Member Fellows!