Thursday | December 8, 2022

“We have a long history of showing up. Showing up for freedom, showing up for democracy, showing up for education, both here and abroad.”

This is what American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten told Nicole Wallace of MSNBC News about why she led a delegation a few weeks ago to Lviv, Ukraine as a gesture of solidarity and good will to meet with Ukrainian educators, trade unionists, medical workers and others who have suffered immensely during the war of Russian aggression.1

The visit was arranged by the AFT’s sister organization, the Ukrainian education union, where the delegation saw firsthand the destruction and deprivation wrought by the Russian invasion and heard in the voices of the teachers the trauma and horror of their personal experiences with this war. But in the midst of this unthinkable brutality, there was hope and inspiration in the resilience and unwavering determination of the educators to create some sense of normalcy for themselves and their students in the face of this terror.

1Read more on AFT Solidarity with Ukraine in a recent Shanker blog post

Contribute to the AFT Disaster Relief Fund at:


Alexandra Hernandez, Bilingual Special Education Teacher, United Federation of Teachers, New York City.

Dr. Irwin Redlener, pediatrician, Ukraine Children’s Action Project.

Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers and Albert Shanker Institute

Moderator: Mary Cathryn Ricker, Executive Director, Albert Shanker Institute.