All News & Updates

2020 Michael Weiner Scholarship for Labor Studies Recipient — Rachel Rekowski

Rachel Rekowski is a 2L at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Prior to law school, she worked for almost a decade in the labor movement. She didn’t plan to get involved in labor after college, but after working on Harry Reid’s campaign for Senate in 2010, she was offered an internship with the Culinary Workers Union, Local 226 in Las Vegas. Local 226 is Unite Here’s largest local union in the country. There, she saw first-hand the difference a union can make in peoples’ lives. Union members really lived the “American dream” in Las Vegas – a dream they fought hard for in every union contract. After her internship, she was offered a position as an organizer and then as a research analyst. Housekeepers, cocktail waitresses, bartenders, and cooks were Rachel’s leaders and teachers. They taught her how to organize and how to empower working people to transform their workplaces and communities.

In 2015, Rachel accepted a position with the national AFL-CIO in their communications department. The federation broadened her knowledge of the labor movement and taught her the power of solidarity. There, she worked with state federations, labor councils, and affiliates in dozens of states to defeat anti-worker legislation, elect pro-worker politicians, and plan organizing campaigns. As a communications strategist, she helped uplift working peoples’ stories in national and local media outlets across the country. One of her proudest moments was working with unions in Missouri to defeat right-to-work in 2018.  

Following her first year of law school, Rachel worked at the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) as a law fellow, working to free the wrongfully incarcerated. Her fellowship at OIP will continue during her 2L year, and she also recently became a law clerk at Cook and Logothetis, a labor law firm in Cincinnati.

Michael Weiner Eligibility Language                                                          

To be eligible for an award, applicants must be Graduate or Law Students enrolled in an accredited educational institution in the United States or Canada and graduating no sooner than the semester following the scholarships award.  Further, they must have a demonstrated interest in, and wish to make a career out of, working in the labor movement and on behalf of workers’ rights.  To receive an award, eligible candidates must also meet a combination of criteria identified below:

  • A strong academic record;
  • Demonstrated prior commitment to the labor movement;
  • Demonstrated financial need;
  • A strong recommendation from an academic or a labor/workers’ rights practitioner, and
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

Preference will be given to those who can demonstrate financial need through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) scores or otherwise.

The Players Trust awards up to five scholarships totaling up to $50,000 annually. The program has distributed over $290,000 to date. For more information, please visit the Michael Weiner Scholarship page.