NC ties to Project Veritas EdCamp reports
EdCamp Equity events have taken place in Wake County
Three recent reports by Project Veritas on “Edcamp” events have ties to North Carolina. Over the last four years, multiple “Edcamp Equity” events have been held in Wake County.
The videos investigate "EdCampLI," or "EdCamp Long Island," and show educators and administrators proudly pushing LGBT issues in their schools as well as "anti-racism" and "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)."
[NEW YORK – Mar. 8, 2023] Project Veritas released a new video today exposing a senior school administrator in Long Island, Dave Casamento, who admits to secretly indoctrinating young students with racial and gender politics.
[NEW YORK – Mar. 9, 2023] Project Veritas released a second video today exposing corruption in the New York education system, this time featuring two educators who attended the EdCamp Long Island teacher conference. Both individuals were recorded discussing how they promote transgender ideology to their students.
[NEW YORK – Mar. 13, 2023] Project Veritas released its third video today exposing the sexual indoctrination of young children taking place in schools across the state of New York.
The third installment looks at Elisa Waters, who is the founder of LGBTeach as well as a Middle School teacher in Long Island.
Waters was recorded “bragging about how she pushes gender ideology in the classroom.”
“The truth is that we know that kids are coming out at younger and younger ages…We have kids as early as two, three years of age,” Waters said.
Edcamps have been taking place in Wake County for years with one held this past February using a Wake County Public School property as a venue.
In the past, EdCamp Equity has featured sessions on "whiteness in Ed spaces," gender ideology, antiracist training, microaggressions, and getting around parent pushback.
The 2020 “Whiteness in Ed Spaces” session included a discussion about how not letting parents - specifically white parents - “deter the work” with a direct reference to Critical Race Theory.
2023’s event is described as “Helping to create and maintain anti-racist schools is more important than ever.”
“We are a coalition of teachers, school leaders, parents, and community members eager to shift the paradigm on what's possible in public education. Join K-12 educators from across NC for a day of connecting, learning, and growing our craft with a specific focus on interrupting injustice in our schools,” the 2023 EdCamp description reads.
The “coalition” mentioned in the description is “Equity4Wake,” which consists of Wake County teachers, members of the Wake County Office of Equity Affairs (OEA), and members of Wake County’s affiliate chapter of the N.C. Association of Educators (NCAE).
“We are #equity4wake, a grassroots collective of passionate interrupters committed to providing equitable experiences for all. We commit to elevating voices of marginalized communities, disrupting systemic racism, and providing ongoing learning,” the Equity4Wake site says.
The site includes a link to the OEA Racial Equity Resources, but the link is broken.
At this year’s EdCamp Equity, Dillard Drive's principal celebrated the "student helpers" who helped set up for this year’s camp.
The NCAE’s president was in attendance at the 2023 Edcamp Equity event.
One of the organizers, a teacher in Wake County named Terrance Hinnant, tweeted about pushing equity work forward to “disrupt systems.” Featured in the images accompanying the tweet is Christina Spears, former Wake County Office of Equity Affairs staffer and current president of the Wake NCAE.
One tweet included the schedule of sessions for the 2023 event.
The image of the sessions is a little difficult to read in the tweet, but they included “countering” Critical Race Theory “talk and legislation,” “racist and anti-gay legislation,” setting up “equity policy” at a school, “Difficult Convos with Adults,” and “equity convos - Elementary Focus.”
Discussions included “leveraging” elementary classes for social studies to “explicitly” teach “critical thinking skills” and “foster discussion around race” per a tweet by one attendee, who is a Wake County 5th Grade teacher. The link the tweet provides requires logging in to the Wake County Public Schools internet system and is inaccessible to the public.
Dr. Valeria Brown gave the keynote address at Edcamp Equity 2023. Her remarks centered on “Active Hope.”
According to her LinkedIn bio, Brown is a “Veteran educator who is passionate about racial, social and educational justice, adult learning, instructional practice, and leadership.”
Her current role says she is a freelance education consultant who designs and facilitates “professional learning sessions for K-12 and higher education institutions,” and consults “in the areas of racial, social and educational justice, equity, pedagogy, and adult learning.”
Brown spent two years as an employee of the Southern Poverty Law Center's education indoctrination group, Learning for Justice.
Brown’s Twitter account is locked down so that only approved followers can see her tweets, however, the profile links to "Clear The Air Education," which describes itself as “a group of educators who believe: community, learning and dialogue are essential to our personal and professional development we have the power and responsibility to lay the foundations necessary to create a more just and equitable society education is a vehicle for social change.”
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Clear the Air has affiliates, including #ClearTheAirRDU, led by Hinnant and Spears. According to the website, #ClearTheAirRDU became “the first affiliate leading face-to-face sessions in Wake Woke County, NC.”
In a video hosted on Clear the Air, Hinnant and Spears talk about their "home groups" where they use face-to-face small group or individual meetings as well as social media to promote a social or racial justice agenda item, a reading or other task while encouraging educators to continue "the work" but also as a way to recruit more teachers to "do the work."
"We always want folks to push this to practice. We are not just doing this on a Sunday afternoon at Starbucks. We're not just doing this on Twitter on a Wednesday. We're like, how are you really doing this work in your circle and how are we supporting each other with that?" Spears said.
Under Clear the Air's "discussions" tab are a series of graphics created in the Spring of 2020 by a woman named Sherril Knezel. The graphics represent #ClearTheAir Zoom discussions.
Below is just one of six such representations:
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Where did Edcamps come from?
The Edcamp Foundation, formed in December 2011, originally sought to "promote organic, participant-driven professional development for K-12 educators worldwide."
Edcamps used to involve teachers collaborating on core subject areas like science, math, and physics. Today, most are woke ideology focused.
The first Edcamp, or “unconference” was held in May 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. EdCamps then spread across the country, with well over 1,000 having been held both in the U.S. and in other countries.
The Edcamp Foundation has a few tax filings one can view to get an idea of its funding structure. Notable past donors to Edcamp Foundation were Bill and Melinda Gates (2015-2018) along with PayPal's foundation and Silicon Valley Foundation.
Between 2015 and 2018, Gates gave Edcamp Foundation over $4.8 million.
On July 1, 2020, the Edcamp Foundation was taken over by Digital Promise.
According to its website, “Digital Promise is a global nonprofit working to expand opportunity for each learner. We work with educators, researchers, technology leaders, and communities to design, investigate, and scale up innovations that empower learners, especially those who’ve been historically and systematically excluded.”
Digital Promise also offers digital and MICR-credentialing, including a micro-credential for Edcamp organizers.
There is no shortage of funding for Digital Promise, which boasts assets totaling well over $123 million in 2021 and over $135 million in 20202, according to a 2021 audit document.
Donations to Digital Promise Global have come from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, George Soros' Tides Foundation, Silicon Valley Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and The National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies, just to name a few.
Soros dropped $2 million into Digital Promise in 2020, the Gates Foundation gave over $3,34 million for K-12 projects in 2020.
The organization also posts some of its financials online, including 2021 gross receipts totaling $152,995,413. Nine board members listed on the 2021 form all make six figures over $178k; total compensation for the board was over $2.225M
The 2021 990 form does list individual donations, but the names of the donating party are blank. Several donations were in the millions and the largest amounts were $58,524,612 and $7,572,077.
That year’s 990 form also lists grant money and other funds to districts around the country. NC Districts receiving Global Digital Promise grant funds include:
GUILFORD COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
$64,000 grant, $25,043 in non-cash assistance for "tablets."
$125,000 grant and $188,635 in non-cash assistance for "tablets."
When it comes to Edcamps, Digital Promise says it “shapes the future of learning and advances equitable education systems by bringing together solutions across research, practice, and technology.”
An organizer handbook is one of the resources offered to those seeking to set up an Edcamp.
The appendix contains the "Edcamp Community’s Anti-Harassment Policy" which says in part that organizers should keep incidents at the camps quiet.
“As a general rule, Organizers should not make any public statements about any harassment, or any actual or potential responses to the same, during or after the Edcamp event,” the policy states.
What happens in Edcamp stays in Edcamp, apparently.
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