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NAACP Board Meeting
Press Statement May 21, 2024

NAACP National Board of Directors Swears in AFT President Randi Weingarten as New Member

NAACP Board Meeting


May 21, 2024

Contact: Alicia Mercedes, 

WASHINGTON - During the NAACP National Board of Directors' May Meeting, Randi Weingarten, President of the AFT, was appointed as a new member of the NAACP National Board of Directors. Weingarten brings a wealth of experience, leadership and dedication to the fight for civil rights and social justice. 

NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, shared a statement celebrating the news:

"As we embark on Freedom Summer, President Weingarten's unique perspective and visionary leadership will be an invaluable contribution to our work advancing civil rights and creating a more just and equitable society for all. The AFT is a longstanding partner of the NAACP, and President Weingarten's appointment to the National Board of Directors will allow us to continue building on this crucial relationship. We look forward to collaborating with her to further our shared goals and make a positive impact on the communities we serve. Let's get to work!" 

In her role as AFT president, Randi Weingarten has been a tireless advocate for educators, students, and working families across the country. Her leadership and commitment to ensuring that every child has access to a quality education align perfectly with the NAACP's mission and values. 

Weingarten said:

 "As a life member of the NAACP, I am honored and humbled to be elected to the National Board of Directors. My life's work has been driven by the mission of winning justice, freedom and opportunity for working people by strengthening the three institutions — the labor movement, public education and the sacred right to vote — that help them get ahead. And that is the work the NAACP is committed to every day.

"It was the NAACP National Board of Directors that approved Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall's strategy to successfully litigate the desegregation of American public education, leading to the landmark victory in Brown v. Board of Education. The AFT stood with the NAACP in desegregating its locals, calling for desegregated schools and integrating our society. The National Board of Directors has since called national attention to the crisis of vouchers and the privatization movement that has siphoned billions from America's public schools to private interests, hurting the most vulnerable. 

"In recent years, we've seen a surge in culture wars targeting our students and classrooms - from book bans to curriculum censorship and attacks on honest history. We've been proud to partner with the NAACP to establish 'Freedom Libraries' in communities where books have been stripped from shelves and worked to organize parents, educators, and community to take collective action.

"Whether in 1954, 2014, or 2024, the deep relationship between the NAACP and the AFT has been rooted in our shared values and commitment to ensuring every child has the tools and support they need to thrive and every worker the opportunity to secure a better life. I look forward to continuing our relationship with the NAACP on behalf of the 1.7 million members of the AFT and the students, patients, and communities we serve, as a member of the National Board of Directors."

"We are thrilled to welcome Randi Weingarten to the NAACP National Board of Directors," said Leon W. Russell, Chairman of the National Board of Directors, NAACP. "Her passion for education, equity, and justice is evident in all she does, and we are confident that her leadership will greatly benefit our organization and the communities we represent. We look forward to working together to advance our shared vision of a more inclusive and equitable society for all." 

Weingarten has been the recipient of many commendations; in 2017 she received the Roosevelt Institute's FDR Distinguished Public Service Award. In 2013, the New York Observer named Weingarten one of the most influential New Yorkers of the past 25 years. She was named one of Washingtonian's 2023 Most Powerful People and a member of City & State 2023 New York City Labor Power 100.

Prior to her election as AFT president in 2008, Weingarten served for 11 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, representing approximately 200,000 educators in the New York City public school system, as well as home childcare providers and other workers in health, law and education.

To learn more about NAACP's work to make education more equitable, visit our website.



The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.