Social Justice is a Union Value

Monday, April 15, 2019
Happy April union brothers and sisters! This month is my personal favorite month of the year. I could tell you that it's because spring is attempting to get 'sprung' but truthfully it's because it's my birthday month :-). Earlier this month I had to opportunity to travel to Albany for the NYSUT Committee on Civil and Human Rights. I have always felt that as teachers we need to be conscious of not just our own communities where we live and work but be open to understanding what justice really means for all people.  
Social Justice is a huge union value in NYSUT, but you have to want to act. We all chose a profession that aims to make a difference in people's lives. More than ever we need to work to strengthen our school and local communities by building relationships. Relationship building can mean we can use our privilege of being educators, that communities look up to and respect, to share with others how important it is to respect and support others. What kind of people do you want to teach your students to be? What kind of communities do you want them growing up in? We always say 'we can't raise them' so what kind of influence do you choose to be while you are in contact with them?  Social Justice can come in many different forms and I think most obvious to people is showing up at rallies, but at times we can't always physically be at those events. We can play a part in many actions by just participating in efforts locally. We can work to combat poverty, support racial and ethnic acceptance, support gender equality, disability rights, religious rights, and LGBTQ rights. I'm asking you as the Union to think about what we can do to lead or support social justice issues. What events can we do for the community? What programs can we start? What can we support? Feel free to share with me or your elected union representatives. Here is one quick thing you can start with if you are interested. The National Educators Association does have a pledge that you can take to try to start facing down bias and hate in the classroom. This can be found here. What will our state, our schools, our communities look like after we have achieved real social justice!
Finally, as we look forward to April break this year there I can definitely sense  educator exhaustion. Please take time to do as much relaxation and self care.
Just some reminders:
1.Please support the joint Nassau Suffolk Correct the Tests event on April 30th at Centereach H.S @ 6:30p-8:00p See the flyer:  Correct the Test 
2.Remember our NYSTRS presentation with Ron Gross will be on May 14th, 2019 at Woodward Parkway.
3.Also we are asking for your help to pass our local district budget, please sign up with a building rep to contact our NYSUT members who are local residents to get them out to support the budget.