50 years later, 'We need this march more than ever'
It was, in a word, "breathtaking," said Leesa Crawford-Young, a guidance counselor with the Lansingburgh Teachers Association. "What an out-of-body experience to be around so many Americans from all walks of life."
More than 1,500 NYSUT members, including UUP members, above, and NYSUT officers Maria Neira and Andy Pallotta, below, were among 100,000 who marked the 50th anniversary of the "Great March on Washington."
Dozens of speakers, standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, called for strengthening civil rights, workers' rights, women's rights, immigration rights, for better public education funding and for ending voter suppression. Marchers then walked to King's memorial, below right.
United Federation of Teachers retiree George Altomare led his bus mates in singing "Old Freedom," "Which Side Are You On" and "We Shall Overcome" — songs he sung on the way to Washington, D.C., in 1963. UFT was then just three years old and members, he said, spent time on picket lines calling for desegregation.
The 1963 march, he said, "was a watershed" for civil rights. Fifty years later, "we need this march more than ever."
Additional coverage and photos at www.nysut.org.
Orientation for new leaders
New local presidents Mel Bienenfeld, Westchester Community College Federation of Teachers, and Roseanna Cutietta, Hawthorne- Cedar Knolls Federation of Teachers, join NYSUT Vice President Kathleen Donahue, center, in singing "Solidarity Forever" at NYSUT's New Local Presidents Conference. This year's orientation was attended by 125 new local leaders. To view more photos, visit the photo gallery at www.nysut.org.
NYSUT at the fair
NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer Lee Cutler helped greet hundreds of visitors to the statewide union's booth at the New York State Fair. Members from Syracuse-area locals gave out helpful information, including anti-bullying resources. Visit www.nysut.org for more.
Semi High Tech U
Albany Public Schools Teachers Association member Sean Flansberg, above, was among nearly 40 educators from the Capital Region who participated in the NYSUT-sponsored SEMI High Tech U at union headquarters in Latham. The program introduces middle and high school teachers and guidance counselors to nano and emerging technology. More than 300 educators have participated in SEMI High Tech U since NYSUT and its partners created it six years ago. For more, visit www.nysut.org.
Please give to Disaster Relief
NYSUT members, staff and retirees from across the state continue their generosity to help those affected by natural and manmade disasters through the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund. Assistance is being provided to those still struggling with the effects of this past summer's flooding in the Mohawk Valley.
This past year, NYSUT distributed more than 2,600 grants totaling more than $675,000 to members who lost homes, cars and entire communities.
Donations are still urgently needed. Donate online at www.nysut.org (half-way down the home page is a link to "Disaster Relief"). Or, mail a check to Jeffrey Lockwood, NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund,