ENACT Labor Network

The ENACT Labor Network: A Pilot Initiative

Since 2016, ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation has supported efforts to educate undergraduates about policy making through direct engagement in the policy process: researching bills, traveling to state capitals to meet with lawmakers and policy advocates, and providing research-based insights about proposed legislation. Undergraduates at 29 colleges and universities nationwide are now engaged in hands-on work involving state-level legislation through ENACT, and ENACT is expanding to all 50 states in the 2019-20 academic year.

The ENACT Labor Network (ELN) is an extension and deepening of this work that is creating a corps of faculty members and students focused specifically on labor legislation in participating states on a year-round basis. Students work in conjunction with one or more state legislators, with advocacy groups, with state-level research organizations, or some combination.

In every case, the goal is to create a steady locus of engagement for student involvement in state-level labor issues.

This year, four ENACT Faculty Fellows are participating in this initiative, working with a total of nine students  from four schools in Arkansas, Connecticut, Maine, and Massachusetts.

These students are working in their states to help pass legislation related to labor issues such as formally incarcerated workers returning to the workforce, contract workers, wage theft issues, "sick buildings”, rural healthcare worker shortage issues and fair workweek legislation.

ELN students also have the opportunity to interact with policy experts representing different perspectives on the legislative projects chosen by the participants.

ELN Staff

Melissa Stimell, ENACT Academic Program Director

David Weinstein, ENACT Assistant Director

Jessica Santos, Heller School Faculty Leader of the ENACT Labor Network

Norman Abbott, Dual Master of Public Policy & MBA in Nonprofit Management Candidate at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, ENACT Labor Network Graduate Student Assistant

ELN Faculty Fellows

ENACT Faculty Fellow Jay Barth and Prof. Peter Gess, Hendrix College, Arkansas

ENACT Faculty Fellow Katharine Owens, University of Hartford, Connecticut

ENACT Faculty Fellow Robert Glover, University of Maine, Maine

ENACT Academic Program Director Melissa Stimell, Brandeis University, Massachusetts


The 2019-20 ENACT Labor Network pilot initiative is supported by the Louis D. Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice