Wyoming Education Association

Summer 2016

Issue link: http://digital.copcomm.com/i/697518

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SUMMER 2016 | WEAnews 6 Your WEA At Work WyCO Organizing Institute a Huge Success Organizing has no boundaries, which was evident from the first-ever Wyoming/Colorado Organizing Institute held June 6-8. Leaders and staff from the Wyoming Education Association and the Colorado Education Association participated in an institute designed to immerse participants in both the theory and the science of organizing. "The goal is to strengthen our Locals by empowering the leaders with the skills they need to organize their members and potential members," said Ron Sniffin, WEA Executive Director. Teams (four from Wyoming and five from Colorado) of five individuals each joined for the first two days on the Colorado State University campus in Fort Collins, CO. Two intense days of learning about the fundamentals of organizing there were followed by a third day of participating in a field experience in Cheyenne, WY. The field experience utilized the latest data- gathering applications on your smartphone. Participants spent nearly two hours knocking on the doors of WEA members who live in Cheyenne. They talked with the members about what they valued in their Association and issues going on in the school district. Members also offered suggestions for new potential leaders. The intent of the field experience was to illustrate the importance of "one- on-one conversations," the fundamental element of organizing. Many of the participants were anxious prior to going door-to-door. "I loved it!" exclaimed Barb Gonzales, a Cheyenne Teachers Education Association member. "Everyone was so friendly after they realized we were also with the Association. Some of them wouldn't stop talking." Funding for the Institute was provided by a grant from the NEA to the Western Region. East Laramie County President Diana Wedl and Colorado Education Association member Angela Bird enjoy a conversation with CTEA member Karleen Sheppard during the field experience portion of the WyCO Organizing Institute. Sweetwater Education Association member Molly Steer is engaged in a one-on-one conversation, a fundamental element of organizing. CTEA member Barb Gonzales offers her voice in the room during the Institute, which is designed to have at least two- thirds of the time with participants participating.

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