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Message from the Editor-in-Chief

Let’s Inspire and Empower!

I have a rewarding job—one that gives me the opportunity to visit public schools and meet dedicated educators nationwide. These educators cover classroom supplies with their own money, and they stay late to help struggling students catch up. They provide snacks and lunches to those who would otherwise go hungry, and purchase backpacks for kids who can’t afford them. When it comes to their students, educators strive to do what’s right and just. Individually, those efforts make a lasting impact on a student’s life. Taken together, right and just actions become a powerful force for change.

In this issue’s cover story we explore the change that comes when educators act and speak with one voice for the good of students and the community. We also examine how union organizing that is based upon the principles of social justice helps to improve the lives of students and their families and, in turn, helps to improve learning and working conditions in our nation’s schools.

Social justice is also explored in “Where Have the Black Male Teachers Gone?”. There is still much to do when it comes to fighting racial intolerance. Students need to see more educators who look like them, who experience the same prejudices, and serve as role models of all the success and leadership that is possible in the lives of all students.

Gender equity is the focus of “Biases and Stereotypes at School Sideline Girls in STEM” and we take a look at gender equity in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields, and ways to get more girls to pursue these fields. Research shows that educators have enormous influence. In this feature, we tell you how to help a student soar high.

Finally, we delve into higher education’s opportunity gap—who gets to go to college, who doesn’t, and how NEA is making a difference.

We hope this issue inspires you to become more involved in your Association. Let’s make a difference and create a right and just future for every student.

Steven Grant

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