Celebrating Women's History Month at the AFT

Women's History Month

Women’s History Month began as National Women’s History Week in 1980 when President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation that created it. This week was observed until 1987, when Congress officially designated March as Women’s History Month. The AFT is excited to celebrate Women’s History Month and the many contributions women have made to the United States since its inception.
When celebrating the history of women in the United States, there is often a focus on the 19th Amendment; and while it’s a landmark piece of legislation that allowed women the right to vote for the first time, it is imperative to note that this amendment did not guarantee that right for Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latina and other women of color. We also need to address the intersections of women’s identities, whether related to race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality or gender identity. The AFT has championed equality and challenged society to do the same since the very beginning, with women such as Margaret Haley leading that charge. Women's history is AFT's history.
The AFT provides many resources centered entirely around women, from AFT resolutions about women’s rights, to Share My Lesson resources, to the work and differences women are making in policy, in the classroom and in their communities.

Women working on policy

In addition to reviewing social studies and United States history textbooks with minimal historical text related to enslavement in the United States, Dana Thompson Dorsey has joined a group of educators, including several other United Faculty of Florida/AFT members, to file a lawsuit against House Bill 7, also known as the Stop WOKE Act.

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Christine Engelbrecht, the co-president of the Los Alamos (N.M.) Federation of School Employees, is determined to lift up the voices of teachers and school staff. She knows they are the people closest to students, with the clearest view of what’s needed most in public schools.

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Women making a difference

In AFT communities

As president of the Jackson Federation of Teachers in Jackson, Miss., Akemi Stout is used to juggling the many needs of teachers and school staff, but as the water crisis in her hometown continues, she is distracted by a flood of additional challenges.

Read about her work

Olga Shafran is a high school math teacher at Niles Township High School north of Chicago and a member of the North Suburban Teachers Union, AFT Local 1274. She is one of several educators and other professionals who volunteer to keep Ukraine TrustChain operating.

Read about her work
Women making a difference

In AFT classrooms

“We want our children to be strong in who they are as Apsáalooke,” says Real Bird. “We want them to be strong in reading and math, all of it. But they need to have a foundation of who they are.”

Learn more about Lucy

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the spike in anti-Asian hate and violence has been a harsh reminder that even someone as Americanized as Tracy Lai — a third-generation Chinese American who has taught at a community college for more than 30 years — is perceived as an outsider, a foreigner and somehow not fully American.

Read Tracy's story

Amber Chandler has some experience supporting LGBTQIA+ students and their families, and thinks it is helpful to take the 1,000-foot view, because too often, we are dealing with school issues on the micro level, and in doing so, we miss the broader support that will help students.

Learn more from Amber

Samantha Rosado-Ciriello is a former elementary school teacher and president of the Yonkers Federation of Teachers. In this blog post she discusses what kids and school communities need, and what many of them do not have.

Read more about Samantha

Bethany Gizzi has been able to support the development of an affinity group for LGBTQ+ employees on the campus where she teaches sociology courses related to gender and sexuality. Additionally, she serves as the faculty adviser for the student Pride Alliance and participates in the LGBTQ+ committee of her statewide union.

Read more about Bethany

AFT Publications

In this article from AFT Healthcare, Jamila K. Taylor discusses the intersection of race and medical care in the present and in the past.

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Fundamental Rights

American Educator

In this article from American Educator, Khiara M. Bridges writes about the Dobbs v. Jackson decision and the erosion of medical autonomy.

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Women leading our Powerful Partnerships work

Powerful Partnerships Institute

The many women of Houston, Texas

Powerful Partnerships Institute

Amanda Curtis and Moffie Funk in Montana

Powerful Partnerships Institute

Arlyssa Heard in Detroit, Michigan

FAST (Faculty and Students Together) Fund

Liz Franczyk in Wisconsin

Native American Community Schools

Deanna Hron in Minnesota