Labor Summer 2023

Labor Summer 2023 Interns

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Jordyn Windom (she/her)

Host site: Weinberg, Roger, and Rosenfeld
Placement: N/A
Bio: Jordyn attended San Jose State University, where she was an advanced student with their Record Clearance Project and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Justice Studies and a minor in Human Rights. She came to UC Davis Law to pursue public interest law and has served as a counselor for the Gender and Name Change Project, President of the Black Law Students Association, Social Media Coordinator for the Native American Law Students Association, research editor for the Social Justice Law Journal, Admissions Ambassador, and is a member of Students Against Mass Incarceration. 

How did Labor Summer impact you?:

My labor summer internship opened my mind up to new areas of law. It showed me that I could have a career serving the labor movement, empowering workers, and supporting working-class solidarity.

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Ugomma L. Mwin (she/her)

Host site: California Nurses Association
Placement: N/A
Bio: Ugomma L. Mwin, is a UK-trained foreign attorney originally from Nigeria, currently a graduate student at King Hall UC Davis School of Law. Beyond her impressive academic pursuits, Ugomma is also the founder of the Advanced Legal Scholar Association (ALSA) at King Hall, showcasing her leadership and initiative in fostering legal excellence. With a full license to practice law in Nigeria, she brings a wealth of experience and a diverse skill set to her legal journey, making her a promising advocate with a global perspective and a passion for justice.

How did Labor Summer impact you?:

The labor summer internship provided invaluable real-world experience that deepened my understanding of the labor movement. Through hands-on opportunities to explore economic and social justice issues, I gained practical knowledge about the inner workings of labor organizations. Networking with seasoned labor and community organizers gave me connections to professionals in the field that can inform my future career. Working alongside organizers, I now have a clearer picture of how unions operate to impact workplace policies and practices. The internship offered a unique learning opportunity that went beyond the classroom to build tangible skills for advancing workplace equity and worker advocacy. My time spent collaborating with labor teams fueled my passion while preparing me for leadership in organizations dedicated to worker justice.

The Labor Summer plays a significant role in shaping the future of the labor movement. It serves as a unique platform that sees students actively participating in internships across California, immersing themselves into the vital elements of the labor movement. Such experiences provide the emerging generation of labor leaders with crucial real-world insights, promoting the movement's continuous evolution. The program guarantees a consistent inflow of informed, enthusiastic individuals, ready to foster the labor movement's growth. The vitality and relevancy of unions and worker organizations owe significantly to initiatives like Labor Summer, which encourage continuous adaptation, growth, and innovation in response to shifting workforce requirements.

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Reilly Berberian (he/him)

Host site: SEIU 1000
Placement: SEIU 1000
Bio: Reilly graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science, Minor in Philosophy) degree. His parents are active teachers’ union members, so he grew up around organized labor, but did not have any formal experience before this summer. He loves watching horror movies, chess, sports, and playing ultimate frisbee.

How did Labor Summer impact you?:

The experience I gained this summer will be extremely valuable in my pursuit of a career in labor law! I got great practice conducting legal research and writing legal briefs and memos in a labor setting through my internship.

Emily Wong (they/she)

Host site: California Nurses Association (CNA)
Placement: California Nurses Association (CNA)
Bio: Emily's political journey started as a Youth Leader at Youth Movement of Justice and Organizing (Youth MOJO) at the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA). While they were at Youth MOJO, they organized alongside their peers to fight for mental health resources for San Francisco high schools. Their time at Youth MOJO provided so many fruitful opportunities for them such as becoming a Generation Rising fellow with San Francisco Rising (SFR), where alongside a group of fellows, we deepened our political education and phone banked for the 2020 presidential election. After the elections, they stayed with SFR to be their Digital Organizing Training and Strategies Fellow, Social Media Coordinator, and Data Organizing Intern. While at UC Davis, they also interned for AFSCME 3299, organizing students to demand that the University of California raise their base minimum wage to $25 for all UC workers, even students.

Although they have a B.A. in Sociology, they must credit a majority of their socio-political education to the nonprofit and grassroots organizations in the Bay Area, and now the Labor Center! They are proud to be community-raised and community-educated.

How did Labor Summer impact you?:

The most impactful aspect of Davis Labor Summer has been meeting so many of the staff at the California Nurses Association, from the Research Department, the Education Team, the Strategic Campaigns Team, the Labor Reps, and most importantly, nurses. Every single staff member I have met is so dedicated and passionate about what they do, and it helps me believe that I, too, have a role in the Labor movement.

There has never been a more crucial time for Labor. The rise of the gig economy, work becoming digitized and algorithmicized, and the pay gap is exponentially widening among workers and capitalists. Rather than just fighting for bread and butter (wages and benefits), Labor Summer can become the home to the next generation of organizers to cultivate a reality where Labor is reimagined to be revolutionary.

So many of the issues that are researched at universities and institutions are experiences lived by our community. We already know that these issues exist, research validates these experiences and must be utilized to create change. This internship really allowed me to bridge research and organizing, to engage in a praxis in utilizing research to propel organizing.

Bri Perez-Brennan (they/she/elle/ella)

Host site: SEIU 1000
Placement: SEIU 1000
Bio: Bri graduated from UCLA: Political Science (BA), International Development Studies (BA), Minor in Labor and Workplace Studies. UC Davis School of Law expected J.D. in May 2024. They were involved in several student and volunteer organizations during law school, including: Co-Founder & Co-Lead of Disability Justice at King Hall; Board Member & DEI Chair of the Latinx Law Students Association; Board Member of King Hall Lambda Law Students Association; a Law Student Volunteer for the LSNC Gender and Name Change Clinic a served as the UC Davis Social Justice Law Review Co-Editor-In-Chief; Martin Luther King Jr. Public Service Graduation and Scholarship Committee; member of National Lawyers Guild, member of the Schwartz-Levi Inn of Court; and is a Certified Mediator.

Their world is shaped by the bruised and swollen hands of the family that made them. They come from a mixed-status and multi-racial blue-collar household and saw the critical difference in opportunities and outcomes from union membership. They learned humility from an early age, helping their mother clean houses. They fought statistical and other barriers to be the first in their family to graduate college and soon law school. They view the law as a tool to combat the abuses and violence they witnessed and experienced growing up. "Community" is the intimate spaces where we create refuge through love and care. Community is the source that brings power to anything we do with love.

As a teenager, they advocated with local leaders and activists for college financial access for undocumented students and support for BIPOC LGBTQ+ students, as well as advocating for gender neutral restrooms and a pilot program to make BA degrees more accessible. In their hometown, they worked on a school-to-prison pipeline honors research project and fought for a transparency act in city decision-making and funding. They advocated for the building of a community center and park which they later returned to volunteering and created a program for low-income, at-risk school aged children.

In DC, during the pandemic, they worked with Black and Brown unhoused and undocumented communities to connect them to social services, housing, and advocated with them and a grassroots lobbying organization for civil rights protections and increased housing vouchers. They led a Latinx LGBTQ+ civil rights group in providing mutual aid to low-income neighbors who did not qualify for pandemic assistance, raised funds to distribute scholarships to LGBTQ+, Black and Latinx DC youth. Because representation matters, they created a mentorship program so Queer BIPOC youth could have direct examples of what it could be like to be out, have support, and a professional future as your whole self. Because of the impact their disability in their personal life, they center Disability Justice that is intersectional in their current and future work for collective liberation.

How did Labor Summer impact you?:

Labor summer exposed me to organizing and advocacy possibilities available to us as legal professionals but also as advocates in the Labor Movement.

The feeling of hope. We are in times of constant crises -- where there is not a moment our world is not on fire, at war, and on the brink of collapse. And then there are moments when we get to be together, and I am surrounded with hope and a knowledge that we can and will fight for a future we can be proud of.

Labor Justice is Disability Justice. I take what I learned from labor leaders in my labor summer internship into my work as an advocate and hope to continue building community and new opportunities for us with these leaders throughout my career.

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America Ramirez Lomeli (she/her)

Host site: Sacramento Central Labor Council (SCLC)
Placement: Lideres Campesinas
Bio: America is a Political Science and Sociology Double Major with a minor in Chicanx Studies. She is an intern for the 2023 UC Davis Labor Summer internship program paired with the Sacramento Central Labor Center and worked with Unite Here Local 49, SEIU 2015 and SEIU 2015.

How did Labor Summer impact you?:

The labor summer internship gave me the best introduction to the labor movement and the importance of creating unity for workers’ rights. The hands-on experience was unique and gave a solid basis in understanding the many components of helping all workers. I especially loved being able to connect with so many groups of people like the workers in hospitality, the in-home care workers, and the state workers. Each experience gave me a new perspective and I learned so much.

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Tova Valentine (he/they)

Host site: Sacramento Central Labor Council (SCLC)
Placement: Sacramento Central Labor Council (SCLC)
Bio: Originally from the Bay Area, Tova Valentine is a senior in the Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning major at UC Davis. He became involved in the labor movement during UAW 2865/5810's shared strike in Fall of 2022, which he participated in as a unionized tutor. Having worked in both unionized and nonunionized positions on campus, they feel the difference a union makes. He loves community building and organizing and looks forward to working in the labor movement after graduating.

How did Labor Summer impact you?:

I took this internship looking to broaden my understanding of the labor movement and hone my organizing skills. Not only did I accomplish these goals, but I also met many wonderful people who I look forward to working with long into the future. Labor summer let me see the inner workings of labor and changed my future trajectory for the better.

Labor Summer 2023 Host Organizations

Sacramento Central Labor Council 

The Sacramento Central Labor Council is the democratically elected body dedicated to represent the interest of working people at the state and local level. The Sacramento Central Labor Council is one of the local labor councils of the AFL-CIO at the heart of the labor movement. They mobilize their members and community partners of unions and labor organizations to build power to fight oppression and improve communities. 

California Nurses Association/National Nurses United

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee/AFL-CIO is a premiere organization of registered nurses and one of the nation's fastest growing labor and professional organizations in the U.S. with more than 100,000 members in hospitals, clinics, and home health agencies in all 50 states. National Nurses United, with nearly 225,000 members nationwide, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history.

SEIU Local 1000

SEIU Local 1000 of the Service Employees International Union is a united front of 96,000 working people employed by the State of California, making Local 1000 the largest public sector union in California and one of the largest in the country. Local 1000 believes that unions have a duty to do more for their members than just represent them in contract negotiations and enforcement, but advocate for workers outside of the workplace to build strong communities and coalitions to build a better future.

Weinberg Roger & Rosenfeld

Weinberg, Roger and Rosenfeld is a law firm founded on the principle that working people are entitled to the best legal representation in an economy and social system that was not designed with them in mind. The firm sees itself as a part of the labor movement, along with the labor unions and working people it represents. WRR's attorneys have represented labor unions and employees of all levels of education and experience in myriad industries in both the public and private sectors.