In her keynote address to the 2019 National Education Association Representative Assembly on Thursday, NEA President Lily Eskelsen García told the almost 7,000 delegates that the stakes in 2020 are too high for any educator to disengage from the political process.
Eskelsen García delivered her speech on July 4, usually a day to celebrate freedom and independence. Now, she said, everyone must stand up for something that is endangered.
“I’ve taken it for granted that in an open, democratic society, the moral arc of the universe would always bend towards justice,” she said. “That our country would keep finding ways to be more inclusive of folks who had been excluded; that we’d be looking for ways to give opportunities to folks who had so little; that we’d see more ways to appreciate our diversity of cultures and languages and races and our LGBT communities.”
Now more than ever, the nation needs its educators to take up the call. “The moral arc of the universe needs us now to put our backs into education justice,” Eskelsen García told delegates.
It’s already happening. In early 2018, West Virginia educators staged a historic walk-out sparking the national #RedforEd movement that quickly spread to states whose schools had buckled under a decade of extreme budget cuts.
Suddenly, politicians everywhere were listening. Click here to continue reading