AFT Resolution



WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers is strongly opposed to crimes of racial bias and discrimination; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic, begun in 2020, has created a climate of fear and insecurity; and

WHEREAS, nearly 11,000 hate crimes targeting those of Asian and Pacific Island descent across America were reported to Stop AAPI Hate, an advocacy organization, and the New York Times from March 2020 through December 2021; and

WHEREAS, these incidents include reports of people being spat on, blocked from public transportation, victimized by workplace discrimination, beaten, stabbed and assaulted while being called transmitters of the virus; and

WHEREAS, on March 16, 2021, eight individuals were killed, six of whom were AAPI women in Atlanta; and

WHEREAS, there has been a surge of assaults on Asian Americans in New York City's Chinatown, in Boston Common, as well as in many other communities across our country and that during these assaults, attackers have claimed that Asians had caused the coronavirus; and

WHEREAS, racially motivated violence has increased to alarming levels since the outbreak of the virus, increasing 77 percent between 2019 and 2020, and approximately 340 percent between 2020 and 2021; and

WHEREAS, we must invest in long-term solutions that address the root causes of violence and hate in our communities. And we must recognize that violence against Asian American communities is part of a larger system of violence and racism against all communities of color, including Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and immigrant communities; and

WHEREAS, in this time of crisis, we must come together and build strong communities of trust, where we all feel safe, where all workers are treated with dignity and respect, where all children feel comfortable going to school, and where all our loved ones have the freedom to thrive; and

WHEREAS, Illinois and New Jersey were the first two states that passed legislation requiring teaching of Asian American history in public schools, and efforts are being made to have it taught in many other states, including New York:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers supports state efforts to pass legislation to develop and implement an expanded curriculum that is inclusive of Asian American history and contributions to the United States; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will support federal legislation, Teaching Asian Pacific American History Act (H.R. 2283) sponsored by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) to promote the teaching and learning of Asian Pacific American history in schools across the United States; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT advocates for teaching ethnic and Indigenous studies as foundational knowledge for respectful cross-cultural understanding and uplifting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) voices and communities; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT repudiates all racially motivated crimes against Asians and Asian Americans and encourages that they are identified as bias/hate crimes; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT expresses its position on social media and in public forums, that the union stands in solidarity with Asians and Asian American students and educators; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT extends/reaffirms its commitment to policies, initiatives and movements that promote respect for and inclusion of Asians and Asian Americans; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will continue its advocacy on behalf of our students and communities to ensure that they are not discriminated against, targeted or profiled.

(July 17, 2022)