Teacher Unions and Social Justice

Organizing for the Schools and Communities Our Students Deserve

Edited by Michael Charney, Jesse Hagopian, and Bob Peterson

Available in:

Publication Date: January 2021

ISBN: 978-0-942961-09-6

An anthology of more than 60 articles documenting the history and the how-tos of social justice unionism. Together, they describe the growing movement to forge multiracial alliances with communities to defend and transform public education.

“The fight for justice – the fight for educational justice – is achieved by community wins. As more unions join forces with their communities to engage in social justice unionism the community will win, and we need a playbook. Teacher Unions and Social Justice… is that playbook. It’s packed with ideas, strategies, and the voices of change from across the nation from people who are protesting, marching, striking, organizing, creating, and demanding the schools our students deserve.”  

Bettina Love, Professor of Teacher Education, University of Georgia, Co-founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network

“An educators guide to finding our voice, taking collective action, and winning on behalf of the schools and communities our students deserve. 

Cecily Myart-Cruz, President of United Teachers of Los Angeles

“Timely and relevant, Teacher Unions and Social Justice is part history lesson and part call to action. The editors have effectively woven together articles, interviews, documents, contract language examples, and resource recommendations that remind us of labor’s historical ties to social justice while challenging us to do more by putting social justice and anti-racism at the center of our classrooms, schools, and our teacher unions.”

Becky Pringle, President of the National Education Association 

The stories in Teacher Unions and Social Justice show that teacher union work is social justice work. What I have seen in these locals and many others is that teachers want what children need. This volume is necessary for the reflection, debate, visioning and organizing that will move our public schools to the central place they must occupy in a democracy.”  

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers

“The stories in this book highlight the paradigm shifts, challenges and victories that are vital for the next generation of grassroots organizers ––  educators, students and parents –– if we are ever going to dismantle the educational racism that exists.” 

Ansari Zakiyah, Parent Organizer and Advocacy Director for the New York State Alliance for Quality Education

Teachers Unions and Social Justice creates a clear roadmap for building and wielding the power working people need to restore our social contract, by using common-good bargaining to build solidarity that extends beyond our workplaces and into our communities.” 

Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA