May 30, 2008

A 'march to the arch' for civil rights

Source: NYSUT News Wire
Caption: NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan Lubin, third from right, with the NYSUT/AFT delegation in St. Louis.

NYSUT members participated in a solidarity march to the famous Gateway Arch in St. Louis in May to support the efforts of AFT Missouri and a broad coalition of labor and community groups to defeat the state's anti-affirmative action ballot measure.

On the surface, the Orwellian-named "Civil Rights Initiative" (CRI) seems to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, ethnicity or national origin. But its unstated intent is to end affirmative action in employment and education, and return to the so-called "colorblind" policies that effectively disadvantaged women and minorities for much of the country's history.

The march to the arch was organized as part of the annual convention of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. A delegation of twenty NYSUT members attended the convention to advocate for improvements in education, health care, affordable housing and labor issues.

The NYSUT delegation, led by Executive Vice President Alan Lubin and AFT Black Caucus National Chair Zina Burton-Myrick (UFT), also hosted an event to honor retiring AFT Secretary-Treasurer Nat LaCour.

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