Hundreds of educators from around the state are gathering at the Renaissance Hotel and Conference Center Friday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the successful merger of the formerly all white Alabama Education Association and the all black Alabama State Teachers Association.
Forty years ago this month the AEA voluntarily merged with ASTA to form what has become one of the state's most powerful organizations.
The merger between the two groups was the most successful integration in the region, and is the reason why Alabama has by far the largest education association in the Old South, with the exception of Florida, according to a press release from AEA.
AEA leaders Paul Hubbert and Joe Reed, who jointly orchestrated the merger and continue to share leadership of the merged organization, will be honored at the event for their service. Four decades of photos chronicling the history of the organization also will be on display.
-- posted by Markeshia Ricks