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Defeating Voter Suppression

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Two Generations of Civil Rights Leaders Address National Teachers’ Union Convention

Written by Featured Organization on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 12:43.

LOS ANGELES—Two civil rights leaders spoke Friday at the American Federation of Teachers’ national convention taking place July 11-14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Rev. William Barber, leader of the Moral Mondays movement, and 10-year-old student activist Asean Johnson, outlined a vision of how engaging the community, creating new coalitions and fighting for voting rights are essential to reclaiming the promise of public education. In her keynote speech at the convention on Friday, AFT President Randi Weingarten made it clear that solution-driven unionism can only work when the community is engaged. She said, “When 1 out of 3 Americans was in a labor union, we didn’t just speak for the community, we were community. But today, we must create new coalitions and, through them, the groundswell needed to reclaim the promise of America. In some ways, community must be our new density.”