Polk School Information


Polk Program Description

The Regina V. Polk Women’s Labor Leadership Conference is a multi-day participatory conference run by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Labor Education Program for working women that creates an open & invigorating space for rank and file women union activists & community leaders to learn from skilled instructors and one another.

The goal of the program is to learn the nuts and bolts of contract enforcement while also developing your skills as a leader. The curriculum is developed for women who are just beginning their training as well as those with more experience. This mix allows us to learn from one another.

During the four days, you will learn from over 30 women workers from Illinois and the Midwest representing all kinds of jobs. Courses are taught by university labor educators, experienced labor lawyers, staff of unions and worker organizations, and former Polk students.

By the end of the training, you will join the ranks of over 500 women workers who have attended The Polk School before you and have gone on to elected union leadership, union staff positions, returned to school, and so much more.

Women & Work in a Pandemic

In May 2020, nearly 150  people logged in to attend our three-day online forum series Women & Work in a Pandemic,  Thank you to all of our amazing speakers who shared information about front-line women workers in Chicago, how the pandemic is impacting women workers globally, and how women workers can protect their own well-being during this global health crisis.