“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
As members of the SEA, we echo and affirm the words of NEA Today.
“Black lives matter.
Black youth matter.
Black culture matters.
To our black students, colleagues, parents and families: You matter. Your trauma matters. Your anger matters. Your voice matters. Your protest matters. Your dreams matter.
We mourn with you. We stand by you. We organize with you to dismantle all acts of discrimination and racism in all places and in all forms.”
As educators, it is imperative we prepare ourselves for the conversations we will have with our students, knowing they are the future of our society and this is their present reality. We need to use teachable moments to constructively and productively address race.
As IEA members, we are fortunate to be a part of an organization that works towards racial and social justice everyday. IEA is challenging us to look inside and be introspective. Each and every one of us needs to do our own internal work as individuals so we can dismantle the systems of oppression that we unknowingly replicate every day. How can we make change in our own community and in the schools we serve? What conversations can we start that will lead to reform, that will bring social justice? We must be proactive rather than reactive. We all need to be courageous and move beyond our comfort zones to speak out against these injustices as we come together to do this work. Beyond responding to acts of injustice, we must ask ourselves “What can I do to make sure that this doesn’t happen again? What practices, policies, and actions can we as educators enact to safeguard against future harm to our students and communities?” The time to act is now.
SEA is taking the summer to continue to move beyond our comfort zones and be the change our students and educators need.
As the Schaumburg Education Association, we commit to:
- Use our privilege to amplify the voices of our educators and students of color.
- Act on NEA’s call to examine how white supremacy culture impacts our biases, our practices, and the policies in our own schools and communities.
- Recognize and call out the subtle effects of racial bias in everyday interactions and environments.
- Expand the discussions and training on cultural competency in our local union.
- Provide our members the resources and discourse necessary to have age-appropriate anti-racist conversations with our students.
- Continue discussions with other stakeholders in the District 54 Promise to center this work on our mission to educate the whole child.
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
– Maya Angelou
Schaumburg Education Association President
Cell: (847) 344-5249
Office @IKE: (847) 357-5450