Workers' Education Local 189 Records

Accession Number: 
12 linear feet (24 MB)

Workers Education Local 189, American Federation of Teachers, was founded in November 1922 as the bargaining agent for the faculty members of Brookwood Labor College. After Brookwood closed its doors in 1937, Local 189 opened its membership to all persons, regardless of geographic location, who were engaged in workers' education. Throughout its existence Local 189 had been active in distributing workers' education materials to other members of the AFT, and to public schools, colleges and to the community at large. Members developed histories of the labor and civil rights movement. In the 1960s and 1970s Local 189 became vocal critics of the war in Vietnam and of President Nixon and voiced their opinion about the direction of the AFT. When the executive board of the AFT passed a resolution limiting locals to one geographic area, Local 189 would not abide by this and disaffiliated from the AFT in 1977.
The papers reflect the activities of the union in promoting workers' education, developing standards for workers' educators and supporting various progressive causes. The collection also documents the controversy which led disaffiliation from the AFT.

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