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National Council of Urban Education Associations

The National Council of Urban Education Associations (NCUEA) is an advocacy organization of local affiliates of the National Education Association (NEA), which is dedicated to strengthening member advocacy and making the NEA more responsive to member needs.

The mission of NCUEA is to promote and advance quality public education in urban schools by empowering and supporting local associations, leaders, and members. In carrying out this mission, NCUEA focuses on the following areas:


  • United voice for urban education
  • Promotion of and advocacy for local associations
  • Partnership with NEA
  • Partnerships with education-focused organizations
  • Training for local urban leaders
  • Human and civil rights for all
  • Celebration of diversity
  • Communication among local associations
  • Staff/Leadership relationships
  • Quality working conditions


NCUEA's 2021 Virtual Summer Meeting, "Racism and Radicalization in the Digital Age: A Robust Response."

We're thrilled to invite you to join us as NCUEA's 2021 Virtual Summer Meeting, "Racism and Radicalization in the Digital Age: A Robust Response."

Racism and radicalization are nothing new. These two specters have long cast their shadows across the United States. Frequently, they act in concert resulting in racialized radicalization of individuals, communities, and political actors. We then see the results of this racialized radicalization in our legislatures and public policies.

On January 6, 2021, we saw the latest iteration – but not the last – expression of this racialized radicalization with primarily white seditionists storming the U.S. Capitol armed not only with weapons, but with racialized radical ideology and conspiracies, willing to prevent the peaceful transition to a democratically elected new Biden and Harris administration. Why, how, and where does racialized, radicalization occur? Common explanations point to political polarization and media echo chambers, but these explanations may elide the troubling and dangerous digital algorithms that govern our interactions with online information and shape our political views, ideologies and inform our (mis)actions. 

Before we can propose and apply solutions, we need to better understand the rules of the information age that we are living in. Join us as we learn the digital codes and blueprints of this digital era that have led to an increasingly racialized and radicalized America and importantly, the educational tools that we can use as to address these challenges. 

Click here to register

Keynote Speakers Include

Gerardo Munoz
2021 Colorado Teacher of the Year  

Gerardo A. Muñoz is a teacher of high school and middle school Social Studies at the Denver Center for International Studies at Baker (DCIS) in the Denver Public Schools (DPS) in Denver, Colorado. He has taught in DPS for over twenty years and has worked in both classroom and leadership capacities. Mr. Muñoz has been involved in a number of programs, initiatives, campaigns, and organizations to promote equity and anti-racism, including EduColor, Choose, the National Education Association’s Racial and Social Justice Conference, and the University of Colorado’s Teachers of Color and Allies Summit. He is the producer and co-host of the national education podcast Too Dope Teachers and a Mic. Muñoz holds A Bachelor of Arts Degree in history and Latin American Studies from the University of Colorado (1999), as well as a Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction from the University of Denver (2009).

For more information on Gerardo Munoz click here.

Amra Sabic-El-Rayess 
Professor, Columbia University's Teacher College 

Amra Sabic-El-Rayess grew up in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina. After surviving ethnic cleansing and more than 1,100 days under the Serbs’ military siege, she emigrated to the United States in 1996. By December 1999, she earned a BA in Economics from Brown University. Later, she obtained two Masters degrees and a Doctorate from Columbia University.  Currently she is a professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College working on understanding how and why societies fall apart and what role education can play in rebuilding decimated countries.

For more information on Amra Sabic-El-Rayess click here.

Rebecca Lewis
Graduate Fellow, Stanford University

Rebecca Lewis is a PhD candidate and Stanford Graduate Fellow at the Stanford University Department of Communication. She is considered a leading expert on internet radicalization and online far-right movements. In 2017, she co-authored Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online, a flagship report examining far-right online subcultures’ use of social media to spread disinformation. In 2018, she published Alternative Influence: Broadcasting the Reactionary Right on YouTube, a report that set the standard for research on YouTube radicalization. Her writing has also appeared in outlets such as The Guardian, Business Insider, and FFWD. She is a graduate research affiliate at the University of North Carolina Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life and a research affiliate at the Data & Society Research Institute, and she holds an MSc in Social Science from the Oxford Internet Institute.

For more information on Rebecca Lewis click here.

Click here to register


NCUEA has always prioritized creating physical spaces for union leaders and members to collaborate, to share best practices, and learnings with one another – and from experts from outside the NEA ecosystem. Our previous conferences have featured speakers from gun control advocates like Brady, to policy wonks from the Economic Policy Institute, and authors like Nancy MacLean and Kiese Laymon. 

NCUEA, like all our members, has replaced the physical spaces we’ve traditionally valued, with the digital space. And we are filling up that space with our virtual NCUEA Seminar Series. Join us as we continue this virtual series and move from summer into fall.

Past Speakers

David Treuer, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee
Author and Professor of English at the University of Southern California (USC) 

Civic Academies: Parts I and II
Shanize Byrd and Paul Rohlfing
Organizational Specialists, NEA Center for Organizing

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Exposed
A Conversation with Lisa Graves, Co-Director of Documented & Former Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy and Nancy MacLean, Author of Democracy in Chains and Duke University Professor.

COVID Funding Federal Advocacy & Policy
Discussion with NEA's Government Relations and Education Policy & Practice departments on NEA's federal lobbying efforts to secure federal funding.

Education Support Professionals: Confronting COVID-19
Discussion with NEA's ESP Quality Department and the Center for Organizing on what COVID-19 means for education support professionals.


Group of educators attend Local President Training

The National Education Association’s (NEA) Local Presidents Training equips incoming local presidents with a set of fundamental skills aligned with NEA’s Leadership Competencies, including organizing, advocacy, communication, governance, and strategy & fiscal health. These fundamental skills provide local leaders with the tools to address both internal local issues, such as membership growth and representative structures, as well as to tackle pressing issues in their school districts and communities, such as student success, as well as social, racial, and economic justice. Find more information on NEA’s Leadership Competencies here.

NEA’s Center for Organizing and the National Council of Urban Education Associations (NCUEA) partner to conduct the national Local Presidents Training. NCUEA is an autonomous political body within NEA that represents and advocates for urban education associations and the students that they serve. Click here for more information on NCUEA, its work, and on how you can join and become a NCUEA member.

This training is led by current or former local presidents – all of whom have successfully completed NEA’s Local Presidents Training. Most, but not all trainers, are from NCUEA member locals. NEA’s Center for Organizing provides all other staffing, resources, and support for this program. Click here for a complete list of the LPT/NEA Training Cadre and their bios.


The Center for Organizing currently facilitates four (4) Local Presidents Training sessions per year. The program typically accepts 20-25 applicants per session. We have found that this is the optimal number to ensure robust participant discussion and enable understanding of training content.

The training lasts for 2-3 days, and is traditionally held at NEA’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. 2021-22 training dates and times will be released soon.

Costs. The Center for Organizing pays for accepted applicants to attend the national Local Presidents Training program, including covering travel and hotel accommodations. NEA also reimburses participants for meal costs.

Trainers. All local president training trainers are alums of the program itself. Most are still local presidents, but we also maintain a roster of talented cadre trainers who may no longer be local presidents. All trainers, regardless of elected position, are members of their state affiliate and the National Education Association.

Interested in learning more? Check out the sample training agenda below.


NCUEA member locals are given advance notification to apply and register for the Local Presidents Training. NCUEA’s president sends the email invitation directly to leadership at NCUEA’s member locals. Members of the Urban Directors Association are also notified at this time.

State presidents and state executive directors are also notified and invite to share the invitation with locals in their respective affiliates.


Due to the national Local Presidents Training program’s popularity and the limited number of slots available per year, we have received requests for the local presidents training team to facilitate in-state trainings. These are requests are handled on a case-by-case basis, as we try to our best to accommodate our state and local affiliate needs.

Please submit in-state training requests to Michael Schoettle, NEA Field Manager, at and Latoya Johnson, NEA Organizational Specialist, at


Selection of painted parachutes

The parachute lending library at the NEA National Office in Washington D.C. is a new resource that lends banners to your local teachers’ union for upcoming marches, actions, or other activities planned by your local. The NEA has teamed up with national artists from the Art Build Workers to paint numerous different 24’ wide nylon parachute banners.

These parachutes are the "play parachutes" that one might recall from elementary school days. The blank versions of the play parachute are the perfect material for painting powerful graphics and slogans onto. They are light and have handles for upwards of twenty people to hold the image upwards towards the sky.

These banners are key visual elements for marches and actions. They are routinely photographed by the media allowing the messages of the movement to be easily communicated. Due to their large scale these circular banners are easily read by news helicopters when they are photographing the size of the march or by photojournalists situated on buildings as a march goes through a downtown area. The parachute banners also communicate to those in the march: they bring joy and celebration to the march when the parachutes are lifted upwards and people – especially kids – run under the parachutes. 

The Parachute Lending Library is easy to use. Email Phillip Zanders and explain which parachute design you would like to feature in your action and the date needed for the parachute banner to arrive by mail. The parachute – if not already out on loan - will be mailed to your local. After the march or action, your local would be responsible to mail the parachute back to the NEA national office in D.C.

See examples of the parachute banners in action by UTLA in a Los Angeles march here!

Educator working with a group of students.

Take your local to the next level

The best way you can support your local and advocate for students and educators across your district is to get involved with the National Council of Urban Education Associations.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.