Community Engagement


What is Community Engagement?

An ongoing, regular function of a union that builds, maintains, strengthens and cultivates relationships with individuals and organizations.

reclaiming hands

Working Together Makes Us Stronger.

Engaging with parents, students, educators, faith leaders, community organizations and other stakeholders is an increasingly important part of the work of AFT Michigan’s members. These partnerships are critical to defending public education and providing access to quality education for ALL students.


Members of the Washtenaw Regional Organizing Committee (WeROC) join with AFT Michigan members to discuss common issues in the community.


Representatives of the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO, Detroit Branch NAACP, ACLU of Michigan, AFT Michigan, parents, students and faith leaders standing together for education justice .

kids in classroom

Students in Dearborn receiving books through the AFT/First Book partnership.

Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education

We are parents and caregivers, students and community members. We are educators and school staff. We have come together around a common commitment to public education. We believe that the only way to give every child the opportunity to pursue a rich and productive life, both individually and as a member of society, is through a system of publicly funded, equitable and democratically controlled public schools. We have not reached this goal as a nation—particularly for poor children and communities of color. We are not satisfied with an institution that finds the resources to provide some students with the most experienced and well-trained teachers, advanced technologies, expansive course options and state-of-the-art facilities, while other students languish in substandard buildings and are taught in overcrowded classrooms by teachers lacking the basic supports they need to do their jobs. We are not satisfied. But we believe in strengthening, not dismantling, public education in the face of these challenges.

The Principles that Unite Us:

  • Public schools are public institutions.
  • Our voices matter.
  • Strong public schools create strong communities.
  • Assessments should be used to improve instruction.
  • Quality teaching must be delivered by committed, respected and supported educators.
  • Schools must be welcoming and respectful places for all.
  • Our schools must be fully funded for success and equity.