Randi Weingarten to speak Tuesday at YUC awards ceremony

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Youth United for Change will hold its 22nd annual award ceremony and reception on Tuesday, May 7. The theme for this year’s event is “Defending Public Education.” American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten will be the keynote speaker.

As a union leader, Weingarten has advocated for partnerships with parents and students around reforms that improve public school education nationwide. In March, she joined hundreds of teachers, students, parents, and other public school advocates outside District headquarters in Philadelphia to protest mass school closings. She later was arrested, along with 18 other protesters, after an organized attempt to block School Reform Commission members from entering a meeting to vote on which schools would be shuttered.

Weingarten has also provided support to the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools. At the ceremony, YUC will present the “Partners in Change” award to the coalition for its work, which has included developing a Philadelphia Student Bill of Rights that calls for a quality education for all children and outlines research-based, practical solutions to the challenges facing public schools. The organization will also be honored for its community education plan, Excellent Schools for All Children, which demands restorative practices, student-centered instruction and curriculum, and greater voice for students and parents.

The ceremony will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School, marking the 10th anniversary of YUC’s efforts in campaigning for a new building for the school.