South Central Winter Leadership Conference Registration

The 2023 South/Central Winter Leadership Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista South (4955 Kyngs Heath Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34746) on March 3-4, 2023. 

Friday, March 3

  • 6:00-7:00 p.m. Registration 
  • 7:00-8:00 p.m. Welcome and True Colors
  • 8:00-8:45 p.m. Legislative Horizon
  • 8:45-9:00 p.m. Benefits partners introduction
  • 9:00 p.m. Reception

Saturday, March 4

  • 8:00-9:00 a.m. Breakfast in hotel lobby
  • 9:00-10:00 a.m. Session 1 (Session titles below)
  • 10:05-11:05 a.m. Session 2
  • 11:10 a.m.-12:10 p.m. Session 3
  • 12:15-1:00 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:05-2:05 p.m. Session 4
  • 2:10-3:00 p.m. Closing with benefit partners 


Session Titles and Descriptions

Advocacy 101: Grievances, Arbitration, and Knowing Your Rights as an Employee

Facilitators: Dr. Kerr Fazzone and Gary Simmons

This course is intended to provide activists with an overview understanding of Grievances, Arbitrations, and Knowing Your Rights as unionists and develop an appreciation for the collective bargaining process. A primary focus of this course will be to address the Grievance Process and Knowing Your Rights as covered by the collective bargaining agreement and the importance and impact of arbitrations.

Bargaining Like a Team

Facilitators: Jonathan Tuttle and Brittni Wegmann

In this session, participants will work together with other members from their local to develop a bargaining blueprint, determine strategies, create a communication plan, and draft proposals. Participants should bring copies of their contract and be prepared to identify areas of need. 

NOTE:  This session will take up three consecutive sessions and participants are required to be in all three sessions back-to-back. Each participating local should send a group of members from their bargaining team including any chief negotiators, spokespersons, or crisis/communication team leaders.

Building Leaderful Organizations: Strategies for Leveling Up Worksite Structure

Facilitators: Thomas Lentz and Valerie Smith

Organizing focuses on power: who has it, who doesn’t, and how to build enough of it to shift power dynamics and bring about change. In order to build the power we need to get the changes we want, we must cultivate high-participation, leaderful organizations that fully leverage the diverse range of skills, knowledge, and experiences each member brings to our movement. This session is a primer version intended as a brief introduction for local leaders, reps, and anyone who wants to grow leaders within our union. 

Building Racial Equity in Education Together

Facilitator: Dr. Primrose Cameron

What is my role in promoting racial equality in my classroom, in my school or workplace, or in my community? If you have asked yourself this question and are interested in exploring your role in this conversation, this workshop is for you. As educators we owe it to our students to build allyship and understanding through honest conversation and mindful practice. Through courageous conversations, we will examine the impact of racial identity, define our common language and terminology, and explore our own racial consciousness.

Financial Literacy—Retirement Basics

Facilitator: David Lapenna

Retirement planning is a life-long process; one that begins on the day you start working and continues until the end of your life. This workshop provides an overview of the FRS and helps you understand the nuts and bolts of planning for your retirement. During the seminar we will review your sources of retirement income, including Social Security, and the FRS Pension and Investment Plans. You will leave the seminar knowing which steps to take next and what tools and resources are available to assist you.

Legal Landscape & Landmines

Facilitator: Peter Caldwell

Learn about Florida law affecting educators and other employees.

Making our Schools a Safe Place for Educators: Best Practices for Protecting Yourself

Facilitator: Marcelino Rivera and Blanca Sotelo

This session is focused on ways to make your schools a safer place for educators and students. It is designed for Education Support Professionals who are in contact with students and may also be responsible for overseeing student behavior, both within and outside the classroom setting. We will share best practices for protecting yourself from harm and strategies for managing difficult and disruptive students.

Organizing with Member Benefits and our Benefits Partners

Facilitators: Shayla Ivey and Benefits Partners

To help you save money, FEA and our national affiliates—AFT and NEA—have partnered with merchants to provide discounts year-round. These programs are a part of our commitment to helping our members live the American Dream —by providing members solutions that improve their lives, allowing them to focus on supporting their students. Join us to learn how to engage members virtually using member benefits as well as how to access your members only profile and start saving TODAY!

Turning Anger into Action

Facilitators: Cecil Cahoon and Jeff Sherels

Susan B. Anthony told us, “Organize, agitate, educate, must be our war cry.” To agitate, we have to focus on that which motivates educators to join and become active alongside us: their righteous anger. This session offers simple strategies to agitate, to identify individual motives, to channel anger, and ultimately to achieve organizational goals.

Hotel Information 

The 2023 South/Central Winter Leadership Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista South (4955 Kyngs Heath Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34746)

Local unions will be charged for double occupancy rooms at the cost of $225.87 per room.  As the name suggests the Embassy Suites is an all-suites hotel. Each two-room suite offers two queen-sized beds and a separate living room with a sofa bed.  Embassy Suites includes a made to order breakfast for all guests.

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