Racial Justice

Protecting Immigrant Students, Educators and Caregivers

In classrooms and on campuses across the nation, undocumented youth, from preschoolers to college students, are terrified. Young people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status as well as visa-contingent educators and healthcare professionals fear that changing policies could jeopardize their safety. In an increasingly  hostile political climate, national, state and local union leaders have stepped up to defend communities, demand fairness and corral resources to help.
 
Click here for our national union's resources for immigrant communities.
 

Spotlight: Teaching & Protecting Civil Rights

For the month in which the nation observes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, we're spotlighting union members whose work carries on the social justice leader's legacy. Here in Connecticut, attorneys in the state's civil and human rights enforcement agency strive to confront ongoing discrimination faced by residents. At the same time, local public schools' educators teach their students the history of the movement that Dr. King led — and its relevance to struggles for justice and equality today.
 

Summit Gives Full Context to Challenge of Teacher Diversity

Key public education stakeholders earlier this month convened to address efforts to attract, prepare and retain a teaching workforce that reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of our nation's students. The May 6 summit in Washington, D.C. drew participation from a full spectrum of organizations and individuals grappling with the issue and was co-sponsored by our national union.
 

"From My Classroom to My Colleague:" Improving Teacher Retention

The challenge of retaining highly qualified teachers for public schools in high-poverty neighborhoods is having a detrimental impact on the "opportunity to learn" for children across the country. That's among the significant findings of a report on the so-called "diversity gap" between educators and their students by the Albert Shanker Institute. In Connecticut, union members, who on a daily basis see the effects of teacher turnover in distressed local communities, are discussing its implications and proposing possible solutions.
 
Click here for the report.
 

Better Choices than Suspending Young Students

The question of appropriate, effective responses for student misbehavior was the thorny issue addressed last week when AFT and the Albert Shanker Institute brought together a distinguished panel of experts. The goal was a conversation about positive alternatives to suspensions or expulsions in early childhood education (ECE) -- approaches that have been shown to be age-inappropriate and highly ineffective.
 
Click here to watch video of the full forum.
 

Toward Racial Equity

More than 30 diverse member leaders from local unions across the country last month gathered in June for the first meeting of AFT’s Racial Equity Task Force. They met in Baltimore, where less than two months earlier six police officers were arrested on charges related to the mysterious injuries that killed 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody.
 

AFT Organizes First Forum on Racial Justice

Public school and college support staff union leaders from around the country earlier this month gathered to engage in a formative discussion on how to close the opportunity gap for American men and boys of color. The town hall-style event in Orlando was attended by members of AFT's national Paraprofessionals & School-Related Personnel (PSRP) Program and Policy Council (PPC), which includes local leaders from Connecticut.
 
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