Lorretta Johnson is secretary treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers. Previously she served as AFT Executive Vice President; president of AFT-Maryland; president of the Baltimore Teachers Union’s paraprofessional chapter; and chair of the AFT Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel program and policy council. Before becoming AFT executive vice president, Johnson was an AFT vice president for 30 years. She began her career in 1966 as a teacher’s aide at a Baltimore elementary school, where she earned $2.25 an hour and received no benefits. To improve the work situation of paraprofessionals, she organized them into the Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU). In 1970, she negotiated the union’s first contract, which had a grievance procedure as its hallmark. That experience laid the foundation for Johnson’s union activism. Johnson, who received her teaching degree through the Career Opportunities Program at Coppin State University in Maryland, has also been a pioneer in the development of innovative career ladder and professional development programs for paraprofessionals and school-related personnel.
In recent years there have been signs of a resurgent grassroots movement to integrate schools. From a variety of perspectives, our panelists will examine the state of segregation by race and class in America’s schools, and the promising initiatives and practices that are emerging in the renewed movement to integrate America’s schools. Join us on June 7, 2017, noon to 2:00 pm, 555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001. More information and registration.