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Racial Justice in Education Framework

NEA's framework for Racial Justice in Education
Key elements of NEA's framework
Published: January 2021


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

Equity To Justice

Throughout our history, the NEA has joined in partnership to move policies that would address inequities in education, but we understand now that racial justice in education requires movement beyond racial equity. A lack of movement will keep us at the precipice of doing a lot with limited ability to sustain it.

It will require that:

  • We have a deep understanding of racial history and the trauma caused and are able to acknowledge its presence throughout systems, norms, practices and policies.
  • We focus on solutions that will build power (political, economic, civic, community) for the most sharply impacted communities and people.
  • We effectively use racial impact assessment tools & develop racial justice action plans.
  • We shift and share power, program, & resources.
  • We adopt anti-racist and racial justice protocols & practices.
  • We shift culture and narrative.
  • Data is used to drive results/impacts.

Racial Justice in Education Framework

The NEA Racial Justice in Education Framework was developed in conjunction with the principles and concepts embedded in the “Wheel of Change” model (adapted from the Rockwood Wheel of Change).

This framework centers and guides our systems change work, which includes our behaviors/practices, organizational culture and our strategies to impact the hearts and minds of the people. The framework also identifies the organizational “levers” that must be engaged to create transformational change to develop and build a more knowledgeable, more skilled racial analysis and a deeper commitment towards racial justice and equity.

Connecting Framework Elements

Wheel of Change

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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.