Building the Field and Capacity of Worker Centers

Harmony Goldberg & Marilyn Sneiderman


The paper describes the interconnected history of both capacity-building and field-building for worker centers from the 1980s to the present. “Capacity-building” refers to the development of specialized skills like legal advocacy, policy analysis, lobbying, internal organizational management, and strategic communications. Whereas “field-building” refers to the development of relationships, alignment, and infrastructure among worker centers—the construction and strengthening of connective tissue (both formal and informal) that helps individual centers operate in tandem as a movement rather than as isolated organizations. The final portion of the paper discusses next steps to further both capacity and field-building for worker centers.


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