Ohio Teacher Leader to Share Experiences with Educators in Beirut

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Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper travels to Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday to share her experiences as a teacher in mobilizing educators and the community to improve public education.

Cropper will participate in a two-day workshop, "Campaigning for Economic and Social Justice and Quality Education - Mobilizing our Members and Building Public Support.” The session is being organized by Education International, the world’s largest federation of unions, representing 30 million education employees in about 400 organizations in 170 countries.

A panel of speakers, including Cropper, will share their experiences in mobilizing members and connecting issues with the local community to improve teaching and working conditions. In particular, Cropper will discuss the SB5 battle in Ohio to preserve workers' rights and how community groups joined labor and educators to overturn a law that threatened public schools, firefighters, police officers, nurses and other workers who keep our communities safe.

The workshop is intended to help members of the Teachers’ Syndicate of Lebanon develop an action plan for Education International to support newly emerging unions as they build capacity for mobilization to support economic and social justice and quality education.

Lebanese workers have hosted strikes recently to draw attention to their struggle to ensure decent living and working conditions for themselves, as well as quality public education for their students. This workshop will highlight the need for national authorities to understand that cutting spending in education and other public services, such as health, is a short-term view, and in no way the solution. 

To speak with Cropper before her departure or upon her return, contact OFT Communications Director Lisa Zellner at 614-619-2771 or lzellner@oft-aft.org.