An intergenerational learning event on tech, labor, and organizing
October 19–21, 2022 // online, via Zoom
What’s this event?
To imagine better futures, we look to history as a teacher. This teach-in is hosted by volunteers in the Tech Workers Coalition (TWC) newsletter crew to facilitate intergenerational oral history, relationship building, and strategizing among fellow workers. Over the past year we’ve assembled a community of elders who were active decades ago in groups like the IBM Black Workers Alliance, Computer People for Peace, Polaroid workers against apartheid, The Lucas Plan, and workers organizing at National Semiconductor, and on October 19-21, 2022, we’re hosting our first teach-in to invite these workers into a community with younger organizers to learn from and support one another. We’re doing this because workers in tech are and have always been historical actors, but learning from history in a fast-paced industry can be challenging – even the past few years can feel inaccessible. This event is for workers to share personal stories, organizing strategies, and support across generations while connecting past and present worker-led movements. By situating worker perspectives and collective actions in history, we’ll all be better equipped to face the demands of workplaces today and organize for the future.
Why this, why now?
As #hotlaborsummer continues, we believe now is a critical time for building solidarity in tech across workplaces, and across generations. Workers are organizing in data centers and warehouses, on the front lines of ridehail or delivery or cleaning gigs, and even at their own homes making and packaging goods. Like in decades past, bold efforts are led by Black, femme, queer, and international organizers. However, in software, there is outsized focus on unionization efforts among white engineers and coworkers in corporate offices. Like pushes for “responsible tech,” this continues almost 90 years of “responsible unionism” where businesses promise some workers white collar job security and other workers nothing. But reforms and compromises have never been enough to unite workers across race and class, redistribute power, and create a world where we all can live with dignity and self-determination. So, in this teach-in, we will celebrate our elders, gather wisdom from history, and use it to guide our future organizing.
Who are we?
We are a collective of volunteers who met through the TWC newsletter and this teach-in effort. We come with experience in labor and community organizing and have strong ties to allied social movement efforts. Our group includes workers in occupations ranging from engineering and facilities to research and support, working in tech, government, and academia. We approach organizing with care, empathy, and humor, and we see this labor as a form of mutual aid.
Event accessibility fund
This fund is to help people join the teach-in. The event is free, but we realize people have financial need related to taking time to attend a 3-day event. As of Oct. 16, our accessibility fund has ~$7,000 out of a $15,000 goal. If you have the means to help make this event accessible to fellow workers, please consider a suggested donation of $50–$500 to our Open Collective.
Want to see our lineup of sessions and presenters? View the teach-in program.
Want to connect with an organizer for support, referrals, or resources? Sign up for a 1-on-1.
We’re grateful to have support from the following organizations: