2019 Transform Finance Cohort: The Future of Workers is Now

 

In the face of eroding labor rights, the offshoring and outsourcing of jobs, and the rise of contingent work, worker justice organizations continue to protect and improve the lives of millions of US workers. Decisions by financial actors tend to be at odds with worker well-being; as our work has shown, shareholder primacy, combined with short-termism, is increasingly a threat to workers.

At the same time, we see a new willingness from the world of finance to engage differently with workers.  

This presents a window of opportunity for strategies and tactics for worker justice organizations to target capital in new ways, going beyond more traditional divestment and shareholder advocacy. Building on Transform Finance’s prior work to support activists and social justice leaders in their engagement with finance, the 2019 Transform Finance Cohort supports worker justice organizations in integrating a "capital flank" to strengthen and complement their existent strategies and goals.

Over the course of nine months, the Cohort members learn about key financial actors and their leverage points and develop engagements around financial strategies via in-person sessions and virtual discussions and learning opportunities. Members have access to individualized technical assistance from expert coaches and connections to financial actors who can be allies in their campaigns.

The 2019 Cohort Members

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL), Jobs With Justice, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) Service Employees International Union (SEIU FPSU), Workers Defense Project, and Working Partnerships USA were selected for their deep commitment to worker justice and interest in integrating new engagements with capital into their existent work. From coordinating with public pension funds and foundation endowments to improve construction worker conditions, to developing financial tools that center and share power with workers, organizations come to the Cohort with a range of interests but voice a shared belief: we need capital to become a tool for worker justice.

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Cohort Members will benefit from:

  • Strategic knowledge about the financial ecosystem, its actors and their pressure points

  • A tailored, self-identified engagement with capital for their organization to integrate into their efforts

  • Ongoing individualized feedback on tool integration into their strategy from peers, experts in the field, and Transform Finance

  • Opportunities to workshop tools with select members of the Transform Finance Investor Network, aligned investment actors and other friends of Transform Finance

  • Shared experiences and connections with peers looking to engage differently with capital