Campaign To End Racial Profiling
In response to a call to action from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Education Association (NEA) has joined civil rights, education, faith, labor, and community groups in a national campaign to end racial profiling. This campaign includes civil and community action, legislative initiatives, and an education strategy.
Racial profiling is the suspicion of people based on race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or other immutable characteristics, rather than on evidence-based suspicious behavior. Racial profiling is often paired with potentially negative action. Although racial profiling is often associated with law enforcement policies and practices, it occurs in many different settings. For example, in schools, profiling is evidenced by the disproportionate number of Black and Latino students who are suspended and expelled. Frequently, Muslim students and their families are profiled as “terrorists;” and Spanish-speaking students and their families are profiled as “illegals.”
For details about the targeting of American Indian, Asian, Black, and Hispanic groups, as well as Muslims, specifically by law enforcement, read these case examples compiled by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Each of us can engage in stereotyping and profiling. However, when those with power and/or authority engage in this behavior, there can be devastating consequences—as we saw in circumstances surrounding the killing of Trayvon Martin.Have you or your students been a target of racial profiling? Take our online survey to share your experiences and help identify ways that educators can help end racial profiling.
Like the cases of Emmett Till and Rodney King before it, the case of Trayvon Martin has activated millions of Americans to urgently seek answers to how we can finally end wide-spread, officially-sanctioned, racial profiling and racially motivated violence against and humiliation of racial and ethnic minorities. We believe that the time is right to leverage the heightened national attention created by the Trayvon Martin shooting, to raise awareness and create dialogue about the problem of racial and ethnic profiling nationwide. We also believe that this dialogue must happen in our schools and communities, amongst parents, educators, and with our youth.
To help create this dialogue, NEA has joined a curriculum workgroup with the NAACP, Not In Our Town/Not in Our School, Teaching Tolerance/Southern Poverty Law Center, The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Human Rights Educators of the USA (HRE-USA) Network, and Facing History and Ourselves. The workgroup has identified and/or developed the materials below to help educators, parents, administrators, and youth address the problem of racial profiling. These material include tips for youth on how to interact during encounters with law enforcement. These materials are “living” documents which will be improved on a regular basis. We hope you find them helpful and that you will join our movement to end racial profiling.
- Racial Profiling Curriculum Guide (organized by topic) - a guide to select existing curriculum and lesson plans
- Racial Profiling Curriculum Guide (organized by grade level) - a guide to select existing curriculum and lesson plans
- Racial Profiling Resource Guide - additional resources on racial profiling
- Racial Profiling One Pager - a quick guide to starting a conversation about racial profiling with youth
- Know Your Rights Postcard - a quick guide to basic do's and don'ts when youth encounter law enforcement
- Know Your Rights Supplement - more details about the rights of individuals and youth when encountering law enforcement
Civil Action: NEA Joined Silent March Against Racial Profiling
NEA Executive Director John Stocks at Silent March to End Racial Profiling.
NEA's Executive Director John Stocks joined civil rights, faith, labor and community groups in a silent march to on June 17 to protest New York City's "stop and frisk" policies.
These policies allow police to stop law abiding New Yorkers, and conduct street interrogations for no reason. The police are stopping hundreds of thousands of people every year, and the vast majority are Black and Hispanic children – mostly boys, between the ages of 14 and 18.
This practice has resulted in a growing distrust between the police and the communities they are sworn to protect. Nine out of 10 people stopped are totally innocent, meaning they are neither arrested nor ticketed.
Click on the links below for more information.
CNN: Thousands March in Silence Against NYPD's Stop and Frisk