For more than 25 years, Lakia Wilson-Lumpkins has been an active member in the Detroit Federation of Teachers. She started her career as a first grade teacher at Spain Elementary & Middle School in 1997. Upon completion of a Master’s Degree in counseling and the timely retirement of Spain’s counselors, Lakia was able to obtain a counseling position at Spain and continue advocating and building relationships with students, families, and staff while leveraging support from stakeholders in the community in which she loved. Lakia recalls the anxiety of walking the picket line in the strike of 1999 and the excitement of delivering Spain Schools’ ballots in the election of officers to the DFT office, which formerly stood next to Dittrich Furs on Third Avenue. Lakia has always provided support to the DFT at the building level as the Building Representative, Alternate, and Union Committee.
In 2014, Lakia was elected to her first term on the DFT Executive Board. Since then, Lakia has served as both Vice President and Executive Vice President of the DFT. With the onset of the 2023-2025 biennium, Lakia is humbled, privileged and blessed to be elected as the 9th President of the DFT. Professionally, Lakia is honored to represent over 3000 of the world’s best educators and support staff.
In Lakia's family, education and unionism have a long history. Her mother was the first black teacher at St. Anne Catholic School in Southwest Detroit for 7 years (now closed). She ultimately retired as a proud MEA member from Mount Clemens Public Schools after 24 years of teaching both kindergarten and first grade. Lakia’s father, after 40 years of work, retired as a proud Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly Plant employee. Her uncles were Sleeping Car Porters, and she has three UAW proud brothers who worked for each of the Big Three—Ford, Chrysler, and GM—with one becoming a union steward for the Bakery and Confectionery Union at Hostess Cake. Her aunts were educators as well. Currently, Lakia’s sister teaches 1st grade in Maryland, her goddaughter is a second year teacher in Tennessee, while her nephew is a professor in Texas. “The love of learning and teaching runs in the family”, claims Lakia.
A lifelong Detroiter—born, raised, living and working in Detroit, Lakia is an outspoken advocate for social, educational and economic justice. Lakia has been featured on many media outlets. Most notable are her appearances on C-SPAN during the AFL-CIO Raising Wages Summit, AFT “Life Inside Detroit Public Schools”, NBC News Learn, and HBO Real Sports.
Lakia is a Mount Clemens High School alumna. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Science Education, and Oakland University with a Master of Arts in Counseling. She holds Principal Certification from Lamar University, and is currently working toward her doctoral degree in Leadership at the American College of Education.
Lakia, who still qualifies herself as a newlywed, shares her home with her amazing husband Michael and their energetic eight-year-old son Noah.
Jason Posey, Executive Vice President
Jason Posey has been an active member of the Detroit Federation of Teachers for nearly 20 years. In 2003, he began his career at Coleman A. Young Elementary School where he taught second and third grades and was elected Alternate Building Representative. Jason also served as Alternate and Building Representative at Noble Elementary-Middle School for many years.
In 2014, Jason was elected to his first of five terms as an AFT Convention Delegate. Later that same year, he was elected to serve the first of five terms on the DFT Executive Board. Beginning in 2019, he was selected to serve as one of DFT’s inaugural Organizing Fellows. The organizing fellows program has increased the DFT membership as well as built capacity within the union by training and assisting building representatives and our rank and file members.
Unionism is deeply rooted in Jason’s family. His mother was a DFT member for 21 years prior to becoming a district administrator. His grandfather was a proud UAW-Chrysler member for over 30 years. His grandmother was a member of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union. His aunts were members of the Communication Workers of America; one of them serving as shop steward.
Jason is honored to be voted as one of DFT Vice-Presidents and humbled to be selected by the DFT Executive Board to serve as Executive Vice-President.
Professionally, Jason is prouder of nothing more than his advocacy and representation of the members of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.
Jason is a graduate of the University of Detroit Jesuit High School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan.
Jason shares his home with his wife, Jessica, who is also an educator and his four year old daughter Lauren.
Learn more about the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which was founded in 1916 to represent the economic, social and professional interests of classroom teachers and is an affiliated international union of the AFL-CIO.
The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do.
1916- Faced with salary cuts and "yellow dog" contract, Chicago teachers take first steps to form national teachers union. Delegates from locals in Gary, Ind., New York, N.Y., Oklahoma City, OK., Scranton, PA. and Washington, D.C. meet and found American Federation of Teachers. Month later, union is chartered by American Federation of Labor (AFL).
1920’s- Early attempt to organize union of Detroit teachers fails when city’s daily newspapers launch media attack on teacher "unionism" and principals threaten instant dismissal of teachers who dare to join up.
1931 - On February 24, a feisty band of Detroit teachers, ignoring threats of reprisals from school administration, is awarded charter as Detroit Federation of Teachers Local 231.
Learn the history of the AFT, including the union's founding in Chicago in 1916, its affiliation with the AFL-CIO, its battles for workers and human rights and its continued work to uphold the proud traditions on which the union was created.