In the wake of uprisings for racial justice that were sparked by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, NJEA recognizes our critical role in this collective struggle for human rights and dignity.
As educators, we bear a great responsibility for shaping society. We have the unique privilege of working with children and young people as they are forming their values and worldview. We also have the great responsibility of responding with compassion, courage and conviction as they witness history in real time.
If you feel ready to rise up together, then join NJEA’s REAL Movement, which stands for racial equity, affirmation, and literacy:
- Racial equity is our aspirational purpose in this work of transforming New Jersey’s public education system.
- Racial affirmation challenges the “colorblind” narrative with the power of diversity and visibility.
- Racial literacy connects NJEA members to their power as educators to be generational gamechangers.
- Movements elevate a collective vision for a better world by activating and organizing the power of the people.
By joining the REAL Movement, you will embark on a learning journey with a diverse community of colleagues who are connected through shared values. This community of will cultivate relationships, share resources, and sharpens skills to do the racial justice work that is critical for our classrooms, our union, and our communities to change the game.
In the first 100 days of launching our movement we have hosted a series of conversations with members discussing White Supremacy Culture in Schools, Black Liberation and Racial Equity, Decolonizing Curriculum from Indigenous, Hispanic, and Latinx Perspectives, and Debunking the Model Minority Myth with Asian and Pacific Island educators. The culmination of these conversations elevated NJEA’s first virtual conference called the Radical Imagination Summit for Educators (RISE) on July 16, which featured keynote speaker Dr. Bettina L. Love discussing Hip-Hop Civics and Abolitionist Teaching. Our Summer Leadership Conference (SLC) session continued the dialogue with over 300 registrants to prepare to organize for “Racial Justice: All Day, Every Day.” The wealth from the recordings of these remarkable discussions will be shared widely with our members to continue their learning journey.
Our REAL Member Advisory Council created a Racial Equity Action Playbook that will launch in the fall to support educators across the state create Racial Equity Committees in their locals, organize within their community, develop their skills with inclusive pedagogy, and more.
This is only the beginning of an ongoing learning journey to build an unstoppable movement for good within our public schools. Here is a glance at our REAL organizational compass that is a sample of one tool that will help us navigate transformational change.
We also launched our new website, real.njea.org, that includes a master calendar for all events offered by our Equity Alliance, Members of Color Initiative, Priority Schools Initiative, and more! Go there to learn more join the movement, attend special events, receive a wealth of resources, and connect with like-minded and like-hearted educator-activists!
Visit our new website, real.njea.org