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Delegates Hit Denver for NEA’s 152nd Annual Meeting

Beginning this week, educators from around the country will arrive in Colorado’s Mile High City to rise to the challenge of setting public education policy. Nearly 9,000 National Education Association members from every state will come together to address issues facing schools, students, and the teaching profession during the National Education Association’s 152nd Annual Meeting and 93rd Representative Assembly (RA) June 26 — July 6 in Denver, Colo.

NEA’s Representative Assembly is the world’s largest democratic deliberative body, and this year the delegates will face complex issues that will have far-reaching implications for the profession, from the future of testing and accountability to the role of standards and equity in education.

The annual meeting kicks off with the Joint Conference on Concerns of Minorities and Women, whose theme is “Action Now: Unleashing the Power of Diversity.” Participants will explore the unfinished agenda of Brown v. Board, as well as the past, present, and future social justice activism of NEA minorities and women. American Indian scholar Brenda Child will give the opening plenary session on Sunday. Luncheon plenary keynote will be provided by Malika Saada Sarr, founder of the Rebecca Project for Justice, one of the most powerful and influential organizations serving vulnerable women and families. Monday’s closing plenary will be hosted by Darren Phelps, the National Executive Director for Pride at Work, a constituency group of the AFL-CIO for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender union members and allies.

On Monday, June 30, the “Outreach to Teach” tradition continues. Every year, hundreds of educators from around the country pick up hammers, shovels, mops, and paintbrushes today to give a needy local school a much-needed facelift. This year, educators will spruce up Denver’s Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy and Valverde Elementary School. The “Outreach to Teach” community service project is sponsored each year by the NEA Student Program.

On July 1st, NEA’s Read Across America will hold a special read-in at Denver Public Library with nearly 200 local students. Supported by national partner Renaissance Dental, this high-energy event will draw attention to the importance of summer reading.

Wednesday, July 2, is Empowered Educators Day, which will showcase the work of educators leading the way for quality instruction and student success. Hosted by MSNBC political commentator Melissa Harris Perry, the event will feature leaders including NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, Iowa State Education Association President Tammy Wawro, and Montserrat Garibay, Vice President, Education Austin, Texas.

The four-day RA opens on Thursday, July 3, when NEA President Dennis Van Roekel will give his final keynote address. NEA will also honor Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick with the “America’s Greatest Education Governor” award.

On the last day of the RA, NEA will award its highest honor, “Friend of Education Award,” to education advocate Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani student who stood up to the Taliban, survived a brutal attack in 2012, and became a global symbol of courage and a tenacious spokesperson for children and education around the world. NEA’s Friend of Education Award is bestowed upon an individual, organization, or group whose leadership, acts, or support have significantly benefited public education, education employees, and students on a national level.

For complete coverage of this year’s Annual Meeting and RA, visit


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