March 30, 2012

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UUPers work for change at AFT Higher Education Conference


UUP President Phil Smith listens as AFT President Randi Weingarten holds up signs mocking Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker during her speech March 29 at AFT’s National Higher Education and Community Organizing Issues Conference.

More than 350 higher education unionists and leaders from national student groups and civil rights organizations are at the annual three-day event in Chicago. Smith is at the conference, along with several statewide UUP officers and Executive Board members. The conference’s theme is “Teaming with Community: Strategies to Win Educational, Economic and Social Justice.”

Weingarten delivered the keynote address at an afternoon event moderated by Smith. Weingarten urged unionists to connect and work with students and community groups to affect sweeping change necessary to make higher education and other social justice issues a priority in America.

“No campaign for social justice has succeeded without labor and students,” Weingarten said.

During the conference, higher education and social justice leaders from across America will participate in panel discussions and workshops designed to help unions identify, engage and mobilize community members in a nationwide campaign to support higher education.

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