AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, on May 17, 2014, the nation marked the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, in which the court unanimously ruled that "in the field of public education, the doctrine 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal"; and

WHEREAS, the Brown v. Board ruling was the culmination of decades of legal fights to end state-sponsored segregation in U.S. public schools; and

WHEREAS, the decision is recognized as one of the most important U.S. court rulings of the 20th century because, although it did not succeed in fully desegregating public schools, it gave a legal basis for ending racial segregation in society and galvanized the then-nascent civil rights movement; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers has a long and proud history of supporting civil rights, racial equality and equal access to public education, including when, in 1954, an AFT local—the Teachers Guild, a precursor of the UFT—filed an amicus brief on behalf of the plaintiffs in the Brown v. Board of Education case and in 1957, when the Guild gave its John Dewey Award to Thurgood Marshall, who had litigated the case; and

WHEREAS, the AFT's commitment to racial and social justice continues today through its advocacy against education policies that perpetuate inequity; and

WHEREAS, the long history that led to the Brown v. Board victory inspires us in our continuing fight for justice and equality because it shows that the most important victories are not won overnight, but can take years of struggle:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers honors the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling and its significance to our country's history through our union's continuing fight for racial, social and economic justice in our schools and the nation; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT publicly affirm its commitment to integrated schools; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will conduct and gather research to inform our members, parents, students and the public of the scope and impact of segregation, desegregation and resegregation across the nation and take the appropriate actions to publicize, promote and motivate the unfulfilled goal of the integration of our public schools; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will encourage members and the public to lobby state and federal legislative members to implement changes to halt and reverse systemic segregation in all publicly funded schools; and support legislation that promotes and advances integration.