AFT launched its National Convention with the Opening General Session July 27th. Delegates were treated to a performance by the Detroit School Choir and the Mayor of Detroit, David Bing, greeted delegates and welcomed them to the city. AFT Executive Vice President Francine Lawrence addressed delegates, as did Susan Hopgood, president , Education International, and Peter Waldorf, general secretary, Public Service International.

Lorretta Johnson, AFT Secretary-Treasurer, was a featured speaker at the Opening Session. Dr. Johnson and Francine Lawrence presided over the presentation of the AFT Everyday Hero Awards. Among the Heroes acknowledged for outstanding service was Mike Morris, a member of the Baltimore County Federation of Public Employees, an AFT-Maryland affiliate.

Following the Opening General Session, Conference selected delegates attended committee meetings devoted to 2012 elections, constitutional amendments, and divisional meetings. A Retirees Leadership Conference also was convened on the Convention’s first day.

The evening concluded with the Kamalikulture Fashion Show.