Educators can be agents for social justice. We can fight for what is best for our students. We can, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it, support students living in “the fierce urgency of now.”
Systemic inequalities make life more difficult for so many of the communities we serve. These inequalities exist in our schools as well, often codified into the rules and laws that govern how we teach.
NEA supports educators who are fighting for just and equitable schools in a number of ways:
- We support collective actions that challenge the chronic neglect of schools that underserved students of color and other marginalized young people.
- We champion education over incarceration and fight to keep families together.
- We advocate for English Language Learners and support their demands for culturally relevant instruction.
- We foster relationships with community organizations to support our work with and within communities of colors.
- We unite with social justice movements that seek transformative change in our society.
We also help members make schools supportive and affirming places for all students, including LGBTQ students. We do this through student-centered, research-focus, member-driven programs that prepare participants to:
- Prevent bullying
- Educate with cultural competence
- Promote and respond to diversity
- Understand and respond to LGBTQ rights and issues
- Implement social justice
- Create Welcoming Schools
Together, we can create equality of opportunity for all students no matter their zip code.
I believe justice comes from being in the community. Seeing each other, being together, struggling together. And it can’t be on just one person, one teacher. It’s all of us.