AFT Offers Support to Japan's Disaster Victims

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AFT president Randi Weingarten met with the director-general of the Japan Teachers' Union in New York City on March 16 to offer support and assistance following the shattering earthquake and ensuing tsunami that devastated areas of Japan on March 11.

Weingarten and members of the Japan Teachers' Union were in town to attend the International Summit on the Teaching Profession. In a letter hand-delivered to Masaki Okajima, the director-general for the education, culture and policies bureau of the Japan Teachers' Union, Weingarten expressed condolences on behalf of AFT members. She noted that the disaster not only brought destruction to homes, schools, roads, hospitals and businesses, but also the more devastating loss of family, children, colleagues and neighbors.

"As Japan recovers and rebuilds, drawing on the strength and resilience of its people and communities, we want you to know that the AFT stands alongside you in solidarity," Weingarten wrote.

During the meeting, Okajima said his union is assessing the needs of its members and that he would take the letter back and share it with them. In the meantime, the AFT is urging our members to make contributions to Save the Children and the International Committee of the Red Cross. [Adrienne Coles]

March 17, 2011