Friday, July 27, 2012

American Federation of Teachers Convening in Detroit Vice President Joe Biden, Charles Blow, Diane Ravitch, UAW President Bob King Among Major Speakers

Media Advisory
July 26, 2012
Carolyn Fiddler

American Federation of Teachers Convening in Detroit
Vice President Joe Biden, Charles Blow, Diane Ravitch, UAW President Bob King Among Major Speakers 

WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers 2012 convention will begin Friday, July 27, and will last through Monday, July 30, at Cobo Center in Detroit, where more than 3,000 delegates will gather from across the country representing preK-12 teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; early childhood educators; federal, state and local government employees; and nurses and other healthcare professionals.

The convention opens with AFT President Randi Weingarten’s keynote address introducing “solution-driven unionism,” a redefinition of unionism that advances solutions focused not just on members, but also on the people they serve and the communities in which they live. Solution-driven unionism will advance creative solutions to unify members and their communities around issues important to all working people.

After delivering her keynote address on Friday, Weingarten will join members of the Detroit Federation of Teachers as they gather at the Detroit Pubic School headquarters to tell Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts to stop dictating and start working collaboratively to ensure the students of Detroit have what they need to succeed.
Essential items the convention will address include:
  • Approving a new American Federation of Teachers mission statement that emphasizes the organization’s commitment to championing fairness, democracy, economic opportunity, and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities.
  • Passing a resolution calling for an end to the fixation on high-stakes testing and the restoration of balance to public education by prioritizing high-quality instruction informed by appropriate and useful assessments.
  • Passing a resolution addressing the need for infrastructure and public service investment to create jobs as the AFT works to improve public education, prepare students for work and improve the outlook of the U.S. economy in the 21st century.
Featured speakers at this year’s convention include Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, historian of education at New York University and best-selling author Diane Ravitch, New York Times columnist Charles Blow and United Auto Workers President Bob King (see list and schedule below).

AFT Convention at Cobo Center, Detroit
Speaker Highlights

Friday, July 27, 9 a.m. session

           AFT President Randi Weingarten

Friday, July 27, Noon
            Rally at DPS,  3031 W. Grand Blvd.

Saturday, July 28, 9 a.m. session
            UAW President Bob King
Saturday, July 28, 2 p.m. session
             Diane Ravitch, NYU historian of education and best-selling author
             Rev. Wendell Anthony, Detroit Branch NAACP president

Sunday, July 29, 2:30 p.m. session
            U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee (Mich.)
            Dr. Jill Biden
            Vice President Joe Biden (see below for special instructions)   
Monday, July 30, 7:30 a.m. Women’s Rights Breakfast
             Sandra Fluke, Georgetown Law School graduate
             Betty Dukes, lead plaintiff in Dukes v. Wal-Mart
Monday, July 30, 9 a.m. session
             Charles Blow, columnist for the New York Times

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