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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.

How To Advocate for English Language Learners

America’s fastest-growing student demographic is so disproportionately underserved by the public school system, the number of programs and dollars spent per English Language Learner is in decline even as the number of ELL students has skyrocketed. How can educators and other stakeholders fight for the rights of language-minority students? NEA’s new guide, All In! How Educators Can Advocate for English Language Learners, offers strategies, resources, and step-by-step instructions for navigating the real-life issues educators encounter every day.

Student Leader Is the Face of NEA’s Women’s History Month

Chair of the NEA Student Program, Chelsey Jo Herrig is a powerful advocate for America’s student teachers. “I can help others,” says Herrig, “because at every step along the way, a strong woman helped me succeed”—from a single mother who worked two jobs to make ends meet to a middle school principal who helped the bullied student believe in herself. Herrig talks with NEA about women in leadership and the joys and challenges of teaching. Read more...

watch NEA's women's observance, featuring chelsey jo herrig:

Larry Hamm Speaks with NEA for Black History Month

Community activist Lawrence Hamm has been a human rights advocate ever since he was a teenager. The subject of a documentary film and recipient of numerous leadership and service awards, Hamm once went on a 41-day fast to protest school funding cuts. Hamm talks with NEA about the connection between public education and the struggle for social justice. Read more...

watch nea's black observance, featuring larry hamm

New Report Reveals Vulnerability of Transgender Americans

In a year when transgender Americans are experiencing unprecedented visibility in the State of the Union address, the media, and popular culture, while simultaneously suffering extreme violence, two new reports detail the widespread discrimination and inequities the transgender population faces, particularly transgender women and people of color. Even transgender students often face hostile, unsafe, or unwelcoming school environments. Due to high rates of poverty, harassment, violence, poor health, limited job opportunities, and isolation from their larger communities, transgender people are among the most vulnerable communities in the country. Read more . . . 

• Read Understanding Issues Facing Transgender Americans.

• Read Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for Being Transgender in America.

New Focus on Long Term English Language Learners

A new focus on an “invisible” group of students comes as data reveals a growing number of long-term English language learners—students who have been enrolled in special programs to learn English for years but who have never tested as fluent in the language. Some experts predict that without a concerted effort, this student population will likely double or triple in the next decade. What can schools do to meet this challenge? California has become the first state in the nation to define and identify a “long-term English learner,” but most school districts are at a loss as to how to best educate long termers.

• NEA’s new guide, Meeting the Unique Needs of Long Term English Language Learners, gives educators and policymakers a crash course on instruction and advocacy.





nea social justice award

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

Put Your Values to Work

Stand up for what you believe in and win!