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Community leaders, VIPs celebrate All the People book launch

New book authored by noted historian highlights NEA's minority presidents and their contributions


WASHINGTON - September 27, 2008 -

National Education Association executives, Board members, staff, past presidents, and community leaders gathered Saturday afternoon to celebrate the launch of acclaimed historian, author, and NEA manager Al-Tony Gilmore, Ph.D.'s, new book, All the People: NEA's Legacy of Inclusion and Its Minority Presidents, during a private book signing and reception.

"Ever since NEA's inception in 1857, we have honored the principles of diversity and inclusion," said Dennis Van Roekel, NEA president. "However, prior to this book, little had been researched or written about our minority presidents and the remarkable impact each has made on our illustrious history. On behalf of NEA and all our members, I commend Dr. Gilmore for so accurately and vividly documenting NEA's great social activism and quest for equality."

All the People chronicles NEA's steadfast commitment to realizing true social justice for Blacks and other minorities. By tracing the lives, accomplishments, and contributions of NEA's five minority presidents-Braulio Alonso (1967-68) Elizabeth Koontz (1968-69), James Harris (1974-75), Mary Hatwood Futrell (1983-1989), and Reginald ("Reg") Weaver (2002-08)-within the context of important historic moments, Dr. Gilmore unravels the rich story behind NEA's rise to becoming the nation's leading racially inclusive organization.  The book will be available at NEA Headquarters' gift store, as well as online at nea.org.

During the book signing reception, NEA Executive Director John Wilson said, "No other organization our size in America is as inclusive as NEA. No other organization our size is as committed to affirmative action as NEA. And no other organization our size can proudly claim five minority presidents over the past 40 years. All the People: NEA's Legacy of Inclusion and Its Minority Presidents is a remarkable story, superbly told."

In addition to All the People, Dr. Gilmore is also the author of The National Impact of Jack Johnson and editor of Revisiting the Slave Community. His articles and reviews have appeared in the New Republic, American Scholar, South Atlantic Quarterly, Journal of American History, Journal of African American History, The Washington Post, and San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications.  He was selected by The Historymakers to have his life story recorded and has contributed to several televised documentaries, including the recent PBS series, African-American Lives. 

Note to Editors:  High resolution photos of the book signing reception are available upon request.

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers

CONTACT: Christiana Campos  (202) 822-7823