Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten Celebrates Life and Legacy of Colin Powell

For Release:


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after the death of Colin Powell, former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

“Colin Powell is an American hero, patriot and success story: The child of Jamaican immigrants and a graduate of New York City public schools, he went on to serve with honor and integrity as a soldier, a diplomat, a politician and a civic leader. His long career was marked by optimism, wisdom and careful, methodical thinking; beyond his storied professional service, Powell was a generous and enthusiastic role model for young people. As the founding chair of America’s Promise Alliance, he grew one of the largest networks in the United States focused on youth well-being, advocating that our country’s young people were an urgent national priority.

“He left an indelible mark on our nation, and our hearts go out to Alma, his children, the rest of his family, and all his colleagues and friends. May his memory forever be a blessing.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.