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NEA Leadership Diversity

RA Today Online – July 6, 2011

NEA Bylaw 3-1(g) is the Association’s most effective policy for encouraging racial and ethnic diversity in leadership at all levels of the organization. At each Representative Assembly, a state delegation is accorded an ethnic-minority numerical goal for the combined number of ethnic-minority state and local delegates in attendance. This goal is based on the percentage of ethnic minorities within the state’s population according to the most recent U.S. Decennial Census.
2011 marks the final year in which the proportion of identified ethnic-minority populations within each state is calculated based on the 2000 U.S. Decennial Census. NEA is reviewing the recently released 2010 Census data and will provide revised figures to state association presidents in fall 2011 for use beginning with the 2012 RA in Washington, D.C.

The degree to which a state delegation annually approaches, meets, or exceeds its ethnic-minority numerical goal provides a broad means of measuring the diversity present among our state and local organizations, and in the entire Representative Assembly.

Bylaw 3-1(g) has always been about more than a number. In the implementation of ethnic-minority involvement plans, affiliates realize that a variety of actions and approaches must be jointly taken to achieve and maintain success. These actions include educating and informing members about the Association’s ethnic-minority involvement policies through delivering presentations, distributing brochures, and through other effective media; establishing ethnic-minority affairs or human and civil rights committees to coordinate plan actions and activities between state and local affiliates; identifying and encouraging ethnic-minority candidates to run for delegate and other governance positions, and submitting their names as candidates for appointment to state and national committees.

Each year the NEA Executive, Ethnic Minority Affairs, and Credentials Committees collaborate with state affiliate leaders to consider the challenges involved in policy planning, and develop effective approaches that will continually improve and reaffirm our efforts. The range and depth of our actions to support ethnic-minority involvement at all levels will enhance and sustain our efforts to reflect the diversity found among the students, schools, and communities we serve.

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