We are excited and honored to announce the six organizations that will join us for the 2019 Transform Finance Cohort: The Future of Workers is Now! The Cohort will bring together worker justice organizations to explore and integrate a "capital flank" to their existent strategies and goals. Over the course of nine months, the six organizations will take part in in-person convenings and virtual gatherings to learn about key financial actors and their leverage points; right-size potential engagements with capital for their work; and develop partnerships and paths forward for integration and implementation.
CTUL, Jobs With Justice, National Domestic Workers Alliance, SEIU, 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 methods and tools to ensure that investors prioritize deals willing to center and share power with workers, organizations come to the Cohort with a range of interests but voiced a shared belief: we need more ways to engage with capital for worker justice.
About the Application and Selection Process:
We are thankful to all our partners who helped with outreach and spreading the word about the Cohort.
The six participating organizations, which were selected from a final pool of 18 organizations, share a commitment to worker justice, alignment of values, and need and ability to pursue a strategy around engagement with capital.
We received applications from across the United States, with no significant cluster of applications coming from a particular city or region. Applying organizations ranged across sizes, structures and approaches (e.g., local to national coalitions; organizing low-wage workers to trying to influence pension fund Trustees).
Applying organizations focused on a multitude of sectors, including food, apparel, construction, and domestic work. The majority of organizations explicitly named people of color, women of color, and immigrant workers as their main constituents.
Despite the heterogeneity of the applicant pool, organizations almost unanimously emphasized worker concerns around wage theft, lack of benefits, discrimination, workplace safety and the challenges that come with contracting and subcontracting. The consensus and overlap around these concerns provides a focus point for the Cohort, even as their work is distributed across sectors, geographies and organization types.
The application process confirmed the high level of interest and demand for knowledge and tools to engage in more ways with capital and financial actors.