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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



CONFERENCE THEME: Dissent & Disagreement: Overcoming the Politics of Discord to Build a Stronger Local Union

Progressives and conservatives agree on little today, but perhaps they would share a belief in the importance of localism or the idea that politics and policies are best decided by local actors and informed by local contexts. As the voice of urban and suburban local affiliates, the National Council of Urban Education Associations (NCUEA) understands better than most the importance of ensuring educators that are members of local affiliates have not only a voice, but also authentic decision-making power to shape the local policy regimes that will affect them in their own schools and in their homes.

Of course, we know that localism as a political framework alone cannot solve the partisanship and polarization we are experiencing as a nation and in individual states. However, by focusing on the actions we can take on a local level with one another – our neighbors, our families, and our fellow union-member and educators – we are reminded that political partisans are people, not just members of a political tribe.

Importantly, by narrowing our focus on localism and individuals at the local level, we can emphasize the importance of forging relationships with individuals who may not share all of our political views but may share some commonly held beliefs that are actionable through a shared vehicle, their local association. Through our local work, we learn to challenge views that may be antithetical to our own set of values but doing so in a manner that does not belittle the belief holder, allowing us to build bridges not walls between ourselves and others.

This summer, we invite affiliate leaders and members to join NCUEA’s Summer Meeting to learn more about how we can overcome what seem to be entrenched politics of discord to build bridges in our communities, in our local union, and contribute to a stronger national Union.

Register Today

NCUEA's 2022 Summer Meeting featured speakers include:

Ian Haney López is a law professor at UC Berkeley who studies racism. His focus for the last decade has been on the use of racism as a class weapon in electoral politics, and how to respond. In Dog Whistle Politics (2014), he detailed the fifty-year history of coded racism in American politics. Ian has since actively promoted the idea of a race-class fusion as the basis for a multi-racial progressive majority. His most recent book, Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America (2019), explains how the political manipulation of coded racism has evolved in the Trump era, while also offering an evidence-based approach to neutralizing political racism and building cross-racial solidarity.

He co-chaired the AFL-CIO’s Advisory Council on Racial and Economic Justice, along with Dorian Warren and Ana Avendaño, and founded the Race-Class Narrative Project, along with Anat Shenker-Osorio and Heather McGhee.

Robert Putnam is the Malkin Research Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, having retired from active teaching in May 2018. The author of Bowling Alone and Our Kids, Putnam's most recent book, The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again, is a study of broad 20th century American economic, social, political, and cultural trends.

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.