We have reached a critical point in our organizing. This is the time of great struggle, like the loss of one of our compañeros, Delfino Velazquez, who was killed in 2014 doing construction work, by a contractor who did not take precautions for his workers safety and the addition of 1,300 new NYPD. We aim need to redefine what #SafetyIs. Our health and safety are at risk, our salaries are being robbed, our immigration status is insecure, our family’s needs are great but our dreams are even greater.
In 2015 we launched the Delfino Leadership Institute (DLI), named after Delfino who was among the founding members of the New York Worker Center Federation. DLI is a year long intensive training in developing workers as a leader and placing them in positions of power to lead campaigns. Participants will learn how to organize and base building, planning and leading campaigns, developing team leaders, facilitating trainings, and popular education. DLI aims to increase the capacity of Worker Centers, so that they have stronger leaders.
The Delfino Leadership Institute builds the new generation of the labor movement. Worker leaders learn how to build movements larger than economic based, helping to lead actions against police brutality, gender justice training, women summits, and immigrant rights marches. Frontline workers are taking the lead to transform the worker rights movement.
DLI successfully ran four year cohorts from 2015- 2018, with about 30- 40 workers per cohort.