Established in 2021, Workers Confluence Fund of Minnesota is dedicated to building a more inclusive, more powerful movement for worker justice. We are nurturing a growing ecosystem of innovative worker power-building projects in order to build a Minnesota economy that works for everyone.
Confluence is a strategy table and resource hub for partnerships between community-based nonprofits and organized labor. We broker knowledge, resources and relationships so that these partners can transcend the barriers that would otherwise stop them from building powerfully together. Confluence currently nurtures 8 partnerships working in the construction, entertainment, meat packing, childcare, restaurant, and warehouse industries.
The Confluence approach includes four integrated components:
Ecosystem coordination & support. Confluence acts as a convener and connector, facilitating spaces where our newer stakeholders can learn from more established partnerships and all stakeholders can explore together how to more deeply align their work. Union and c3 stakeholders alike credit Confluence with creating valuable spaces for peer support, skillsharing, and dreaming big together.
Pooled funding. Confluence manages a pooled fund and runs a participatory grantmaking process to distribute grants to worker centers and other 501c3 nonprofits engaged in innovative worker power-building collaborations with labor unions. Some of these partnerships are aimed at increasing BIPOC and other marginalized workers’ access to union careers, while others aredeveloping other structures for building and wielding worker power such as guilds, worker cooperatives, and industry standard-setting bodies.
In-depth technical assistance. Drawing on their extensive experience working at the intersection of labor and community organizing in Minnesota, Confluence’s staff goes beyond typical technical assistance in supporting our grantees. We facilitate strategy sessions to bridge partners’ differing norms around communication and decision-making. We offer hands-on, customized coaching around fundraising, organizing skills, evaluation, and other common challenges. We also broker and secure outside support around needs such as industry research.
Building solidarity across difference. In these polarized times, building bridges between diverse communities of workers is as important as it is challenging. Confluence is uniquely positioned to support our union partners in building these bridges, and in confronting structural racism within their institutions, so that together we can build a Minnesota economy that works for everyone.