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Human and Civil Rights

Human and Civil Rights

Advocacy in Action

NEA Human and Civil Rights understands that education advocacy and social justice advocacy go hand in hand, and that an increasingly diverse kaleidoscope of students and educators must feel welcome in our public schools. 


Ramping Up Our Advocacy for Native Youth

How can we be better advocates for America’s first students? As Native American Heritage Month gets underway, NEA is partnering with national Native organizations on a series of education roundtables that will bring together students, educators, parents, and community members to help answer this question. The roundtables, set to take place early next year, will provide a forum for American Indian and Alaska Native youth to share issues they face in and out of school.

  • Get up to speed on the education of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students with Native Education 101 ( PDF, 912 KB, 26 pgs.), a joint National Indian Education Association and NEA publication.
  • Explore Native American history and contemporary life with classroom lessons and other resources developed by the National Museum of the American Indian and Native community members. See more grade-level lesson plans and activities.
  • Visit Vision Maker Media for grade appropriate Native films with accompanying lesson plans and other school resources. Download a poster
    ( PDF, 1.13 MB, 1 pg.) of award-winning films for your classroom.
  • Read NEA’s interview with Jacqueline Pata, Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians, about the impact of stereotypes on Native students and educators as agents of change.

Equal Footing for Schools

It’s no mystery America’s schools are widely unequal. If you’re fortunate enough to attend school in a well-heeled neighborhood, you’re more likely to have access to a rich curriculum, experienced educators, and state of the art facilities. Yet, 60 years after Brown v. Board, students with access are still far less likely to be minority, English Language Learners, or low-income. Now, educators and activists fed up with inequity have a new resource in their arsenal. The U.S. Department of Education has announced practical steps, in the form of a Dear Colleague letter and other guidance materials, to ensure America’s students—regardless of race, color, national origin, or zip code—have equal access to a high-quality public education.

Are your students msising out on the resources they need? Tell us your school's story and we'll send it to the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.

Higher Rates of Poverty Among LGBTQ Americans

LGBTQ students will pay an unfair economic price over their lifetimes asserts a new report that links significantly higher rates of poverty among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans  to discriminatory laws and customs. Read more . . .


New Day for America’s Schools

Across the country, educators are back at school—readying their classrooms, offices, cafeterias, and buses for the surge of students who’ll sweep their campuses in the next few weeks. But this year’s return to school marks a new milestone. For the first time in our history, America’s public schools are majority-minority, with students of color outnumbering their white peers. What does this mean for public education—now and in the future? Read more.

Teaching Girls to Lead

A new survey finds that educators can play a critical role in closing the leadership gap for girls and women.

Read the full report to see how you can make a difference.




Putting Our Values to Work

Putting Our Values to Work, NEA’s practical new resource, shows a new generation of social justice activists how to use the power of organizing to stand up for what you believe in—and win.

Find out how you can make the Putting Our Values to Work resource work for you.




nea social justice award

Nominate an awesome educator to receive NEA's special new award!