Celebrating Women's History Month at the AFT
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.
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.
In AFT communities
In AFT classrooms
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.
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.
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.
In this article from AFT Healthcare, Jamila K. Taylor discusses the intersection of race and medical care in the present and in the past.