Webinar: When Community and Labor Join Forces: Parent, Student and Teacher Partnerships

Friday March 31, 2017 –

One of the many insightful picket signs from the successful 2012 Chicago teachers' strike read, "together we bargain: alone we beg." That important lesson doesn't apply only to teachers, but to everyone who wants to improve their public schools.

In that spirit, several cities have developed community and labor partnerships that are working on collective community bargaining platforms for local change that goes beyond teacher salary and school day hours. These alliances translate into community power.

Early education funding, community schools, changing zero tolerance policies, and even banking foreclosure reform are among the issues community and labor groups are uniting around and scoring big wins. Across the country, parents, students and educators are discovering the power they have when they build a common vision and work together to make it a reality.

We discussed effective collaborations and strategies used by teachers unions and education justice groups led by parents, students and community members to achieve substantive outcomes for students and communities in Chicago. We also explored the broader implications for community and labor partnerships to address education reform, as well as the racial and economic justice issues that impact a student’s opportunity to learn.

Click here for a recap blogpost of the webinar.

Our speakers included:

Dr. John H. Jackson
President & CEO
Schott Foundation for Public Education

Karen Lewis
Chicago Teachers Union

Katelyn Johnson
Executive Director
Action Now

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld
Building Movement Project (Moderator)

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #GrassrootsEd and #Schott25