Bylaw 3-1(g) and Leadership Diversity
The NEA policy Bylaw 3-1(g) has been a part of the Association’s governing documents for nearly 40 years and is the Association’s most effective and comprehensive measure for encouraging racial/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. 2012 marks the first year in which the proportion of identified ethnic-minority populations within each state is calculated based on the 2010 U.S. Decennial Census.
The degree to which each state delegation annually approaches, meets, or exceeds its ethnic-minority numerical goal provides an opportunity for us to broadly examine the racial/ethnic diversity present among delegate leaders in our state and local organizations, and in the entire Representative Assembly.
Bylaw 3-1(g) has always been about more than numbers in a report. In crafting ethnic-minority involvement plans, affiliates realize that a wide range of actions and approaches must be taken to achieve and maintain successful leadership diversity. These actions include educating and informing members about the Association’s ethnic-minority involvement policies through delivering presentations, distributing brochures, and through other traditional, web, or social 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.
At NEA, the Executive, Ethnic Minority Affairs, and Credentials Committees serve as the Association’s national stakeholders in monitoring the implementation of Bylaw 3-1(g), annually collaborating with state affiliate leaders to discuss the challenges involved in policy planning and to consider effective approaches to improve and reaffirm our efforts for one of NEA’s most important and longstanding programs. The range and depth of our actions to support ethnic-minority involvement at all levels enhances and sustains our local, state, and national efforts to reflect the diversity found among the students, schools, and communities we serve.