AAIU Leadership Conference

In partnership with Common Ground Education Foundation, Eastern Michigan University Professional Programs & Training presents the first annual African Americans in Unions (AAIU) Leadership Conference. Designed for workers, (union or non-union) and leaders from multiple industries, the AAIU Leadership Conference offers general sessions and workshops in a variety of topics to build community, explore new ideas, and learn strategies and skills to meet the needs and challenges facing workers today. The conference welcomes participants from all genders and all cultural or ethnic backgrounds.

February 24-27, 2022

Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest
1275 South Huron Street
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
$600 Conference Fee
$60 Meal Fee

New! Virtual option now available.
Visit our registration site for more information and to enroll. 

Conference Information

All workshops and general sessions will be held at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest, 1275 South Huron Street, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. A confirmation email and link to select your first, second and third workshop preferences will be sent upon receipt of your registration and payment. Meals include two hot breakfasts, two lunches, and a continental breakfast on Sunday. No evening meals are included.

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    Thursday, February 24, 2022

    4:30-6:30 p.m. Registration
    7:00-9:00 p.m. Welcome and Orientation (light refreshments will be served at the end of the session)

    • Corey Jones, Jr. and Cleo Wynn, Conference Coordinators
    • Lois Richardson, Mayor of Ypsilanti
    • Ronnie Dean Peterson, State Representative District 54
    • Jimmy Wilson, Jr., Trustee, Ypsilanti Township
    Friday, February 25, 2022

    7:00-8:00 a.m. Registration Continues
    8:00-9:15 a.m. General Session and Brief Orientation (breakfast)
    9:30-10:30 a.m. Workshops
    10:30-10:45 a.m. Mid-morning break (light refreshments)
    10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  Workshops
    12:00-1:30 p.m. Lunch /General Session (Speakers)
    1:45-2:45 p.m. Workshops
    2:45-3:00 p.m. Mid-afternoon break (light refreshments)
    3:00-4:15 p.m. Workshops

    All evening meals are on your own.

    Saturday, February 26, 2022

    8:00-9:00 a.m. General Session and Awards (breakfast)
    9:15-10:30 a.m. Workshops 
    10:30-10:45 a.m. Mid-morning break (light refreshments)
    10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  Workshops 
    12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch /General Session (Speakers) Gerald Kariem, Retired UAW Vice President
    1:00-1:30 p.m. Ryan Mack / Professional Financial Planner
    1:45-2:45 p.m. Workshops
    2:45-3:00 p.m. Mid-afternoon break (light refreshments)
    3:00-4:30 p.m. Workshops

    All evening meals are on your own.

    Sunday, February 27, 2022

    9:00 a.m. Breakfast/Final program
    9:30 a.m. Award
    9:45 a.m. Graduation Ceremony
    12:00 p.m. Conference Adjournment
    12:30 p.m. Post Conference Debrief

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    Register early for the best chance at your first choice workshop. Participants will engage in multiple sessions on one workshop topic throughout the conference. Those attending the conference in person may select any of the ten workshops. Virtual attendees have a choice of five workshops. Once you've completed the registration process, you'll receive a confirmation email that will invite you to select your first, second and third workshop preferences. You'll be notified of your assigned workshop topic prior to the start date of the conference.

    Workshop 1: Print Media (in-person attendees only)

    Attend this workshop to become more effective at utilizing the tools of Social and Print Media to build member solidarity.
    Co-Instructors: Phil Hollifield and Erik Eichelberger 
    Facilitator: Pamela Powell

    Workshop 2: Labor History (in-person attendees only)

    Participants will learn about the impact of labor history in America. Further, the instructors will highlight the contributions of African Americans to the labor movement with encouraged participant involvement.
    Co-Instructors: Dana Greene and Gerald Williamson
    Facilitator: Lavier Mayer

    Workshop 3: Financial Planning (virtual and in-person attendees)

    Whether you’re building a nest egg, or planning for retirement, our mission will be to ensure that your financial plan is effective throughout all of life’s changes – expected or not.
    Co-Instructors:  Ryan Mack and Eric Morrison
    Facilitator: Lenette Holden

    Workshop 4: Committee/Steward Training (in-person attendees only)

    During this workshop we will focus on the process, power, and importance of grievance writing. In addition, how writing grievances can create change in the workplace and contractual language.
    Co-Instructors: Damon Sykes and Quintin Allen, Sr.
    Facilitator: Elijablu Lampkin

    Workshop 5: Male/Female Relationships (in-person attendees only)

    Come join this workshop to have an open dialogue regarding the dynamics of relationships. We will explore and understand who we are as brothers and sisters in the common struggle to overcome sexism and racism.
    Co-Instructors: Sam Kirkland and Sundra Lynette Baso
    Facilitators: Linnell/Tina Chapman

    Workshop 6: Parliamentary Procedure (virtual and in-person attendees)

    Making Motions; Point of Order; Amendments; Privileged Motion. In this workshop you will learn the basics of Parliamentary Procedure and be able to navigate through the discussion and topic at hand.
    Co-Instructors: Michael Alexander and Maurice “Skip” Turner 
    Facilitator: Jennifer Boonenberg

    Workshop 7: Collective Bargaining (in-person attendees only)

    Attend this workshop to gain an understanding of the Collective Bargaining process. Learn how contractual agreements are negotiated for salaries, benefits, working conditions, and other aspects of workers’ compensation and rights for workers.
    Co-Instructors: Corey Cogshell and Edward McNeil
    Facilitator: Denise Jennings

    Workshop 8: Civil Rights (virtual and in-person attendees)

    In this workshop we shall consider key working-class experiences and lessons of the past several decades. We will examine people, ideas, activities, and organizing networks that contributed to the rise of what some scholars and activists refer to as “militant civil rights” and “economic, social and cultural human rights.”
    Co-Instructors: Elise Bryant and Marian Cramer/Civil Rights Activist
    Facilitator: Antwuan Riley

    Workshop 9: Getting and Staying Elected (virtual and in-person attendees)

    This workshop will demonstrate how to run a campaign utilizing strategies and techniques. Instructors will provide valuable insight as to how they succeeded and retained elected positions.

    Co-Instructors: Frank Rowser and Tony Totty
    Facilitator: Willie Hall

    Workshop 10: Basic Union Skills (virtual and in-person attendees)

    Do you know the basics of being a Union Member? Are you aware of your rights as an employee? Do you know what the most important documents to have as an informed union member? In this workshop you will learn those things and much more.
    Co-Instructors: Walter Robinson and Wayne Scott
    Facilitator: Richard Roach

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    A limited number of exhibitor tables are available. Please contact Kathi Harris at [email protected] for more information.

  • COVID-19 Protocols Expand dropdown

    Your safety and health are our top priority. The conference will comply with all current COVID-19 related CDC guidelines and any state and local requirements. 


Registration can be completed online, by phone or by mail.  Tuition assistance programs may cover most of the cost - check with your organization. If you're using tuition assistance, apply for $600; you or your workplace must pay the $60 meal payment, mandatory for all participants, at the time of registration.

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    Register Online

    To register online, select the Register Now link above and complete the registration process using a credit card. If you are using a tuition assistance voucher, enter promotional code AAIUtap at checkout to complete your registration.

    Register by Phone

    To register with a credit card over the phone, please call Julie Newland at 734.487.4926. All major credit cards are accepted.

    Register by Mail

    Complete the registration form and send with payment. Approved tuition vouchers and completed registration forms can be mailed or emailed to:

    Eastern Michigan University
    Professional Programs & Training
    203 Boone Hall, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
    [email protected]

    A confirmation email with a link to select your first, second and third choice workshops will be sent upon receipt of your registration and payment. A complete itinerary and any special program requirements or announcements will be sent along with your assigned workshop in early January. 

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    There are a limited number of partial scholarships available. Please email [email protected] to request an application.
  • Cancellation and Refunds Expand dropdown

    Cancellations must be received IN WRITING at [email protected] by Thursday, February 17th in order to avoid a processing fee of $60. There will be no refunds after February 17th. If you do not attend the conference and do not cancel or transfer prior to the start date, you are responsible for the full conference fee.

    There is no charge for substitutions, but they must be received IN WRITING to [email protected] by February 17th.

    Please note that it is our policy to hold all programs. However, EMU Professional Programs & Training reserves the right to cancel or reschedule any program, if necessary, and to substitute presenters. We will gladly issue conference fee refunds if cancellation is necessary, but we cannot be responsible for any airfare penalties or other travel expenses that may be incurred due to these changes.

Hotel Accommodations

logo for marriott hotel

The Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest is located at 1275 Huron River Drive, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. 

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    The Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest is proud to serve as the 2022 AAIU Leadership Conference venue!  The hotel offers well-appointed newly renovated guest rooms with resort like amenities, 40,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, a state-of-the-art fitness facility, & indoor pool!  We are Conveniently located only 2 miles to Ypsilanti Historic Depot town and 7 miles from Downtown Ann Arbor.  

    One of the Hotel’s top priorities is to ensure the wellbeing of our guests and associates.  The hotel will act in accordance with state and local directives to ensure everyone’s health and safety.  Accordingly, the Hotel has carried out extensive training and implemented protocols designed by Marriott and management for all associates.  We are ready to safely serve you with our Commitment to Clean!

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    For driving directions, airport information, parking and other transportation options, visit the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest maps and transportation web page.

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    $115 USD per night plus tax for Thursday, February 24, 2022-Sunday, February 27, 2022. Reserve your room at this special rate by:

    Reservations must be made by February 18, 2021. Guests must identify themselves as members of AAIU Leadership Conference group. After this date, reservations will be accepted based upon room type availability and the contracted rate may not be applicable.

    Room type preference (King or Double/Double) is required to accept each reservation. This information assists the Resort in assigning the appropriate rooms for guests. While these are preferences are requests and not guarantees, every effort will be made to honor all guests’ requests. All reservations must be guaranteed by a major credit card. Resort will not hold any reservation without a guarantee.

    Each Individual will be responsible for the sleeping room rates (including any tax) and incidental charges (e.g. room service, gift shop charges and in-room entertainment fees). At the time of check-in, each guest will be required to present a major credit card whose brand is accepted by Hotel, on which Hotel may place a hold or process a prepayment in the amount of the guest’s estimated charges and $50.00 per night for incidentals. If a guest does not cancel a reservation within 48 hours before the guest’s check-in date, then Hotel may charge the credit card one night’s room fee plus any applicable taxes.