The NJEA Members-of-Color Network (MOC) is an intentional organizing effort to connect and engage with an underrepresented affinity group within our association.
Our goal is to elevate the advocacy, engagement, and ownership that all members have in their union. Through targeted conversations and continual advocacy and educational opportunities, we believe we will grow a stronger association reflecting our rich diversity of membership.
For more information contact Eric Jones, Field Representative, Organizational Development.
Sign up to receive MOC email updates.
The MOC Book Club provides virtual opportunities for members statewide to discuss relevant topics connected with the goals and values of the association.
As an African American woman, mother, and educator of 24 plus years, I can attest to the powerful, life-changing impact the NJEA Members of Color Network, affectionately known as MOC, has had on my life. The empowering zoom calls, the check-ins, the therapy sessions, and the genuine friendships created. All this coupled with the life connections about your reality, because as a person of color you may sometimes feel alone. Being in MOC pushes you outside of your comfort zone. The feedback and the rejuvenation you receive on the days when you are just sick and tired of being sick and tired is priceless. MOC is refreshing during a time when educators need a place to just "be."
- Tyeisha Jefferies, M.Ed., Winslow Township Education Association (WTEA)
Since joining MOC, my attitude towards the union has changed. Being a speech therapist I didn't believe that the union locally or otherwise truly was interested in hearing my voice. MOC has challenged me to be the change that I want to see. My complaints have quieted, and I have become more inquisitive. I participate in and attend workshops. This was my second year attending the NJEA Convention. I am an RA on the local level for the second year, and plan to run again. I am on the Legislation Committee on the county level. I have participated in thought/action provoking book discussions and participated in the 200K conversations initiative in 2021. I look forward to finding another committee that best suits my gifts. I am very thankful for MOC, because we are challenged to do. We also have fun building relationships.
- Linda Miller, Jersey City EA
I am a Colombian-German-American, but I was raised in Pereira, Colombia and have always been closer to that side of the family. I also grew up and lived in Miami, Florida for about 16 years, which is the city I call "Latin America Part II." Since I moved to New Jersey, it's been challenging to fit in in this state, because the climate here is not what I have been used to in Miami or Colombia. I have also faced challenges getting hired as an educator because of my differences. It would be hard to think otherwise when the "differences" have been pointed out to you. Yet, when I vocalized my concerns, they weren't taken seriously, nor did I feel understood. Luckily those challenges in my career have come to an end, but if NJEA MOC had existed during those times, I feel like it would have helped me get through those times with more support. Since I joined NJEA MOC, even with its diversity and cultural differences, they have been respectful of my experiences and challenges. It's also a place where we can embrace each other’s cultural differences and support each other’s experiences.