BUILDING COMMUNITY DURING COVID-19
As our country faces three crises—a health crisis, an economic crisis and a justice crisis—we will rise to the challenge together. It’s on us, using our collective voices as we’ve done in past crises, to rewrite the rules to form a more just, equitable society and to insist that leaders truly value and invest in the public schools, public health infrastructure and public services that anchor our communities. This gets to the heart of who we are as a union: we care, we fight, we show up and we vote.
“I know that our students will need additional supports when we finally are able to return to our schools, classrooms and learning centers. To prepare for that day … we’ve been working collaboratively with teachers and administrators to put together a plan to address the needs of our students.”
Jeff Whittle, a 25-year veteran special education paraprofessional and president of the Macomb Intermediate Federation of Paraprofessionals.
For guidance on safely reopening, visit aft.org/reopen-schools.
BUILDING OUR COLLECTIVE POWER
Our collective action strengthens our democracy and ensures a better life for all. We build power by engaging members and communities around our shared values and aspirations—including an America free from systemic racism and inequality. We build power by creating community inside and outside the union, through coalitions, campaigns and connections. And together, we accomplish what is impossible to achieve alone.
Here are some ways you can boost the power of our collective actions.
- Spread the word about essential AFT member benefits: trauma counseling, available at aft.org/benefits/trauma; and student debt relief, available at meetsummer.org/aft.
- Get answers to your health, safety, workplace and financial questions by calling the AFT at 800-900-2343 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Help guide your community’s reopening plans using the AFT’s Plan to Safely Reopen America’s Schools and Communities, available at aft.org/reopen-schools.
- Stay informed by participating in the AFT’s telephone town halls. Visit actionnetwork.org/forms/aft-tth-subscription to sign up.
- Make sure your network knows about the heroic work our frontline members are doing every day by sharing stories from voicesfromthefrontline.org.
- Honor members, and their loved ones, who lost their lives during the pandemic. The Albert Shanker Institute’s memorial site is a place for the whole AFT family to gather virtually: shankerinstitute.org/commemorations.
- Ensure that your voice is heard as healthcare, education and other employers respond to the pandemic. Resources on collective bargaining, emergency personnel and memoranda of understanding are available at aft.org/covid19-leaders.
- Join our network of activists to receive alerts on how your voice can help address everything from securing personal protective equipment to increasing economic supports for workers: aft.org/action.
- Get involved in protecting immigrants, including supporting those who were brought to the United States as children, and calling for compassionate immigration reform, by visiting aft.org/our-community/immigration.
- Multiply the AFT’s power to continue initiatives like distributing books to children in homeless shelters. See aft.org/covid-19-response-fund for details.
- Read about members’ experiences and share your experiences at aftvoices.org.
- Protect America’s people and values by helping elect Joe Biden and other leaders who will work with us to build a better, more equitable and just America. Resources to help you be active in the 2020 process are available at aftvotes.aft.org/2020-take-action.