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Transformational Journey for Racial Justice Co-Conspirators

Join us in building and strengthening your capacity and accountability to engage in anti-racist work, to apply these learnings to your racial justice journey, and to catalyze action to advance racial justice.
student diversity

NEA has a vision for great public schools for every student. We know that institutional and structural racism are barriers to achieving our vision. We will leverage the power and collective voice or our members to end the systemic patterns of racial inequity and injustice that affect our Association, schools, students and education communities.

As an organization, we continue to strategize more impactful ways to build member capacity to intentionally engage in racial justice in education work and to embed racial justice foundational learnings into their everyday practice.

Essential to advancing racial justice throughout our Association is building a network of co-conspirator members who are inspired to embark on a transformational journey to build and strengthen their capacity and accountability to engage in anti-racist work; to apply these learnings to their racial justice journey; and to catalyze action to advance racial justice throughout NEA.

Applications are currently closed.

Co-Conspirator Defined

NEA delegates with signs
NEA delegates gather for a Human Rights Rally outside the convention center during Day 2 of the 2019 Conference on Racial and Social Justice. Credit: NEA

A co-conspirator is someone who is compelled to take action against racism and oppression regardless of the consequences. A co-conspirator is unapologetically anti-racist and committed to dismantling the system of White supremacy culture and the benefits they receive from it.

Co-conspirators:

  • commit to listening and learning;
  • make daily choices and takes steps to eliminate racism and oppression;
  • sacrifice their own privilege and power in the daily battle against racism and oppression;
  • cede power while using privilege to invite others to lead;
  • work alongside the communities they support;
  • willingly take political risks to advance the needs of others;
  • ensure actions are impactful and lead to actionable change;
  • are uncompromising in providing high-quality education for black and brown children;
  • serve as active agents of change who realize their own stake in eradicating White supremacy;

Watch Bettina Love explain the difference between allies and co-conspirators in the fight for justice.

The Transformation Journey for Racial Justice Co-Conspirators consists of both the Transformational Journey (the How) and the Learning Pathway (the What).

Transformation Journey for Racial Justice Co-Conspirators Goals

  • Equip and prepare members to engage in the necessary self-reflective work to apply the concepts of racial justice in education to their everyday lived experiences.
  • Equip members with the skills, tools, strategies, resources, and relationships to be effective leaders and advocates in the fight for racial justice in education.
  • Develop tools and resources to support organizational and cultural change through policy, practice, and behavior changes.

The Transformational Journey

Two women at human rights rally

The Transformational Journey is centered on establishing communities of practice for our members to engage in affinity group work for White and Native People, Asian, Black, Latin(o/a/x), Middle Eastern and North African, Multiracial, and Pacific Islander members. Within the affinity group work, each participating member will engage in facilitated small group discussions and reflections with a small group facilitator/coach. These small group facilitators/members will assist in the discernment, application, and reflection of the content in the Learning Pathway while also supporting the mirror work necessary to build capacity. There will also be opportunities for affinity groups to embark on a cross journey engagement, as both affinity groups learn and engage together.

Additionally, each participating member will engage in culturally responsive mentorship from trusted member leaders who will guide participants as they begin to catalyze their own action towards advancing racial justice, as a co-conspirator.

The Learning Pathway

The Learning Pathway is the content and curriculum that Co-Conspirators will engage in during their journey.

It is built on NEA’s Framework for Change:

  • Building Awareness – Setting the Foundation
  • Building Capacity – Engaging in Individual Mirror Work
  • Taking Action – Catalyzing Action to Confront Systemic Inequity

Part 1: Building Awareness

In this foundational component of Building Awareness, our primary aim is to establish the curricular foundation necessary for our members to develop and strengthen their collective awareness and understanding of the causes and impacts of systemic (institutional and structural) racism in education and the necessity for racial justice and the centrality of racial justice in achieving NEA’s mission.

Building Awareness Goals:

  • Build racial equity awareness and analytical capacity across our Association.
  • Fostering understanding of key concepts such as systemic (institutional and structural) racism, implicit bias, racial equity and multiracial systemic solutions.
  • Develop shared knowledge and conceptual clarity that supports normalizing explicit and constructive conversations about race.

Part 2: Building Capacity

In this foundational component of Building Capacity, our primary aim is to engage in the critical and personal mirror work that inspires our member leaders to actively apply understandings, skills, and strategies to advance their own individual journey towards racial justice.

Building Capacity Goals:

  • Equip members, leaders, staff and partners with the skills, tools, strategies, resources and relationships to be effective leaders and advocates in the fight for racial justice in education.
  • Develop tools and resources to support organizational and cultural change through policy, practice, and behavior changes.

Part 3: Taking Action

Our Schools Our Solutions posters
NEA allies have been crucial to winning support for education and racial and social justice across the country.

In this foundational component of Taking Action, our primary aim is to equip and catalyze members to take action in advancing racial justice through their advocacy, organizing, mobilizing, and mobilizing in the Association, their schools, and their community.

Taking Actions Goals:

  • Engage and activate members, leaders, and stakeholders in on-the-ground efforts to combat systemic racism and inequity and to advance racial justice.
  • Support external organizing efforts to advance changes in our schools and communities.
  • Support internal opportunities to implement equitable practices that positively impact the Association’s work and promote culture change.
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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.