Members from the U.S. and Canada, representing many Latin American countries including Puerto Rico, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and the Dominican Republic, make up the Spanish Leadership Working Group (SLWG), which met at the William W. Winpisinger (WWW) Education Center in Hollywood, MD. The diverse group has been tasked with reviewing, revising, and updating the curriculum and related material for WWW Spanish Leadership programs – Spanish Leadership I, II, and Advanced.
The dynamics of the entire SLWG were put to the test with the various dialects, meanings, and forms of grammar used in several Spanish-speaking countries, says Dora Cervantes, Assistant Secretary to the IAM General Secretary-Treasurer. However, the language differences, she says, provided a perfect blend of language skills and instructional points of view to review and create a more robust curriculum.
“As the dynamics of our union change, we must continue our efforts to reach and educate our members in all languages,” said Cervantes. “We cannot allow language barriers to limit our members’ access to education. If we want to continue to grow as a strong and diverse union, we must do all we can to include all members.”
Instructors were able to identify the best methods to most effectively teach union leadership skills to a broader group of future Spanish-speaking members, activists, and officers, which gives the IAM better opportunities in organizing the fastest-growing demographic in the labor force.
SLWG participants, led by Education Representative Richard Suarez, included Cervantes, Grand Lodge Representative Macario Camorlinga, Local Lodge 901 Steward Maria Pozo, Local Lodge 623 Steward Geny Ulloa, Grand Lodge Representative Carlos San Miguel, Jr., Local Lodge 1745 Special Representative Jorge Saenz, Local Lodge 2725 Business Representative Jose Rodriguez-Baez, Local Lodge 727N Organizer Calixto Tapia and Local Lodge 1125 Steward Edmundo Osorio.
Three Spanish Leadership Programs are scheduled for the remaining of the year: Leadership I will be held July 7–14, 2013, Leadership II will be held September 15–20, 2013, and Advanced Leadership will be held November 10–15, 2013. For more information about the Spanish Leadership Programs and how to enroll, contact Education Representative Richard Suarez at firstname.lastname@example.org“>email@example.com or 301-373-8823.