MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The group that Hillary Clinton is speaking to Monday evening in Minneapolis endorsed her as a presidential candidate one year ago, before the primaries.
The American Federation of Teachers is celebrating its 100th year.
The 3,000 delegates attending the national convention are not just teachers, but also specialists in a variety of fields like psychology, nutrition and special education.
They’ve come from all over the country to share ideas and get advice on educating kids in public schools.
Lisa Young teaches at an elementary school in New York City. She’s been a teacher for 20 years and says she still loves her job.
“Because right now, teachers, we are the ones paving the road for the future,” she said. “Because none of us would be where we are right now if it wasn’t for a teacher.”
They’re not just focusing on academics. They’re digging into what’s happening on the streets that’s impacting students.
Kimberly Colbert, a teacher at Central High School in St. Paul, spoke to the group about racial tensions and the shooting death of Philando Castile.
“We’re going to be talking about the types of issues that prompt so many black and brown and Asian and American Indians to be oppressed, discriminated against,” Colbert said.
She says students often need help in managing stress.
“How do we have an environment in which we can help young people to grow? Sometimes it’s difficult and sometimes we have to work on things like conflict,” she said.
Mary Cathryn Ricker, the executive vice-president of the American Federation of Teachers, says attracting more teachers of color is something the union is taking a leadership role in — not just here in Minnesota, but nationwide.
“We see a need to improve the number of teachers of color, the diversity of our teaching ranks across the country,” Ricker said.
Other speakers at the convention include the Mayor of Baltimore Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and the mother of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton. She is receiving a human rights award.