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Implementing Racial Justice

Implementing racial justice in our schools means engaging educators, students, co-conspirators and allies to foster real dialogue, examine policies and practices, and mobilize and take action.

As educators and allies, we must work to address the inequalities that result from institutionally racist policies and practices in our schools and the communities in which our students live. 

We choose not to accept these conditions as they exist, and to accept the responsibility for changing them.

Social action is who we are. We have to stand up for ourselves, because if not, we're going to help perpetuate the systems that oppress our students. And that's not okay. –Gladys Márquez, IEA

All over the country, we are taking actions to address access and opportunity for all students, by highlighting inequities and increasing awareness, organizing for change, and growing the movement.

Creating the space to talk about race in your school

Racism is complex and contentious. Many of us are afraid to even broach the subject. It often feels easier and safer to avoid the topic altogether.

But silence and inaction reinforce the status quo. And avoidance speaks volumes — it communicates to students of color that racism doesn’t matter enough to warrant attention and, by omission, invalidates their experiences, perspectives, identities and lives. White students, on the other hand, often see racism being accepted and normalized, without acknowledgement or accountability.

To advance real solutions, we need to address real problems. As teachers, we have “teachable moments,” or opportunities to constructively and productively address race. But these opportunities need to be thoughtfully created, seized, planned and managed.

    Tamika Walker Kelly
    What we’re seeing right now is another boiling point in America: the effects of systemic and institutionalized racism coming to a head. Black Americans and their allies are coming together to stand up to injustices.
    Quote by: Tamika Walker Kelly, Elementary Music Specialist, Fayetteville, NC
    Young activist with megaphone

    Education Justice

    Visit neaedjustice.org to find ways you can take action and fight for racial, social, and economic justice in public education.
    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.