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Member & Activist Spotlight

Carlos Avila: Our Voices Ensure Our Students Get The Rights They Deserve

Carlos Avila, a middle school social studies educator in Las Cruces, New Mexico, believes that educators can build, shape, and transform public education through their union and that their voices will ensure students receive the care, the schooling, and the rights they deserve.
Carlos Avila
Published: September 28, 2020

"This summer I was a part of NEA’s Education Summer Program, where learned organizing tactics to help solve some of the problems we face within our profession. The experience was an amazing way to be able to connect with fellow educators from my district and across the region.  

As teachers, we know building relationships are critical. The calls, emails, and text conversations allowed me to build relationships with educators and share the power of our why. When having these conversations, it created a space to express not only concerns and anxieties about the upcoming school year, but an opportunity to share the joys and optimism that are needed during these unprecedented times.  

Some of the conversations were the usual concerns like class sizes, teacher pay, lack of resources, and the need for a culturally responsive and socially just education. But as we know 2020 has not been the usual year. Now the conversations focused on student and teacher safety, virtual learning equity gaps, and the uncertainty this year will bring.  

These situations although upsetting are a reminder as to why our organization is essential to our profession.

The National Education Association is my family and every time I have the privilege to speak to early career educators about the importance and power within our organization—I want to ensure that they know there is a space for them in this organization.  

Together, along with the 3 million NEA members who help build, shape, and transform public education, we will make our voices heard. Our voices will ensure our students receive the care, the schooling, and the rights they deserve. They will ensure our teachers receive the autonomy, the respect, and the resources they need, and that our communities will be centered in our mission and our initiatives."

Librarian leans over seated students at the library who are reading a book

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