March Institute

NEARI is hosting the March Institute on March 9-10 2018, at Whispering Pines Conference Center on the URI Alton Jones Campus. The March Institute is designed to help advanced and new/emerging leaders develop strategies to strengthen their locals. All costs of the Institute are covered by NEARI.

There are two tracks; one for new/emerging leaders and one for advanced leaders. 

Generally, new/emerging leaders may:

  • Have little or no organizing experience or training
  • Are new to a leadership position and/or are building representatives
  • Are ready to take the next step in union involvement.  

Advanced leaders may:

  • Have some experience and training in organizing
  • Have attended previous NEARI March Institutes or NEA's Northeast Institute
  • Have been in a union leadership position for a few years
  • Are ready to take the next steps to explore issues in more depth.  

The Institute is an overnight retreat-style learning experience. Participants will be expected to arrive Friday afternoon and stay through the last session on Saturday at 5pm. Accommodations are two attendees per room. Check-in at Whispering Pines begins at 3:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon.  

Conference Agenda - 2017


3:00 - 5:00 pm  Check In 
5:15 - 5:45 pm  Guest Speaker: Steve Murphy, IBEW 
  Introduced by Bob Walsh, NEARI
5:45 - 6:45 pm  Dinner 
7:00 - 8:30 pm  Power 
  We will examine local organizing and advocacy and how we use power currently. We will expand the conversation to understanding power dynamics at play on a national scale and why it is important to scale up and build power collectively outside local actions.We will also explore how members contribute to building power on an individual and local level. 
  Facilitators: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, VTNEA
Kristi Taylor, WEA
8:30 pm  Discussion: Connect Today to Tomorrow 
  Guest Speaker: Samantha Winslow, Labor Notes
9:00 pm  Closing 
  Followed by Social 



Emerging Leaders Track:

8:00 - 8:30 am  Breakfast 
8:30 - 10:00 am  1-on-1 Conversations 
  We will explore and then practice the foundational tool of any good union leader – the one-on-one conversation. When used well, you can use this tool to recruit members to join the union, inoculate your members against misinformation put out by management, find new leaders and build a stronger more engaged membership.
  Facilitators: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, VTNEA; Vin Levcowich, NEA Chariho
10:15 - 11:45 am  Grievances 
  How to use the grievance process and people's problems to motivate, mobilize and move your members to bring about the positive changes they want to see in their workplace.
  Facilitators: Amy Mullen, NEA Tiverton
Crystal Bergantine, CCRI ESPA 
12:00 - 1:00 pm  Lunch 

Advanced Leaders Track:

8:30 - 10:30 am  Labor, Race & Gender 
  Facilitators: Mike Araujo, RI Jobs With Justice
Andrea James-Gómez , Institute for Labor Studies & Research 
10:45 - 12:15pm  Secrets of a Successful Organizer: Turning an Issue into a Campaign 
  Everybody has complaints and frustrations, but an organizer has the power to turn problems into opportunities. Learn how to sort through the issues you hear from coworkers, bring people together, and make an escalating plan to solve the problem. 
  Facilitator: Chris Brooks, Labor Notes 
12:15 - 1:00 pm  Lunch 

All Participants:

1:15 - 2:45 pm  Bargaining for the Common Good 
  We will analyze the political and economic moment we are in and how it impacts public education. We will explore how Bargaining For the Common good is a path forward helping us engage members and community partners to fight for economic and social justice at the negotiations table. 
  Facilitators: Sarah Markey, NEARI; Amanda Scott, NEA Portsmouth 
3:00 - 4:00 pm  Cross-Local Dialogue 
4:00 - 5:00 pm  What Happens When You Organize? 
  Guest Speaker: Merrie Najimy, MTA 
  Introduced by Amy Mullen, NEA Tiverton 


Facilitators and Speakers


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Cranston, RI 02920-2631

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