NEA promotes BLM At School Week of Action
NEA's NC affiliate has promoted and conducted past BLM At School events
One of the country’s largest teachers’ unions is again promoting “Black Lives Matter at School’s Week of Action” which will take place this year in February.
The National Educators Association (NEA) website states, “We’re amplifying National Black Lives Matter at School’s call for a Year of Purpose. Take one action a day between February 6-10 to join the movement.”
Schools in North Carolina listed as supporting BLM at School’s Week of Action in the past include Peck Elementary (Greensboro), The Experiential School of Greensboro, an unidentified school in Efland, Durham Public Schools Board of Education, Rogers-Herr Year-Round Middle School (Durham), Northside Elementary School (Chapel Hill), Carrboro High School (Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools), and the Wake County NCAE.
The website for Black Lives Matter At School has a list of activities that will occur each day during the Week of Action:
MONDAY - Write Night with Free Minds Book Club
Writing workshop exploring the poetry of incarcerated youth, as part of our commitment to attend to systems and networks of care to make the domination, erasure, and dehumanization of Black life obsolete.
TUESDAY - Celebrating Globalism and Collective Value Panel
Speakers from different countries will talk about the importance of valuing Black life and how it relates to us collectively, building authentic partnerships with all who support creating equitable school communities across the nation and around the globe.
WEDNESDAY - HBCU Fair Youth Support
Learn a bit about the unapologetically Black history of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and currently what they offer from students.
THURSDAY - Imagination Lab Listening Project
A collective imagination exercise in which we open-heartedly dream up safe schools, communities, and futures.
FRIDAY -Black Joy Party Connection Space
A space to be your authentic self, celebrate, and be in community! To collectively love and care for one another as extended intergenerational families.
Each event has a registration link included.
Thursday’s event included “Optional Pre-Reading: A Grassroots-Driven Quality of Life Platform.” The document is actually titled “Equity or Else” and includes a list of demands across a range of topics including healthcare, environment, public safety, and education. A 2-page summary document is also linked to for this optional reading.
Under the education demands in the optional reading is an education version of “Defund the Police” using the terminology “policing -free schooling” and another pushing for “restorative justice” practices.
More To The Story
The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) has a history of promoting the Week of Action.
During the pandemic, NCAE President Tamika Walker Kelly promoted a petition for educators to pledge to participate in that year’s “Year of Purpose.”
A 2022 tweet from the NCAE official account directed its followers to a resource from their parent organization, the NEA.
Wake County, of the larger chapters of the NCAE, also tweeted a Black History Month calendar with a graphic including a protest fist and text reading “Educators Organizing 4 Black Lives.”
The current president of the Wake NCAE is Christina Spears.
Spears had worked in the Wake County Public Schools Office of Equity Affairs for a number of years and while there was involved in conducting teacher professional development infused with Critical Race Theory.
Spears is also a co-founder of RISE DEI, a Critical Race Theory and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outfit in the Raleigh area.
In 2021, she led a group presentation “unpacking” BLM At School curriculum.
Some of the curriculum referenced above likely came from an active website called Are.na. On that site, there is a dedicated space that appears to be where Black Lives Matter At School’s contributors and other educators deposit BLM graphics, lessons, and other curriculum materials.
The above-mentioned group led by Spears was part of the Wake NCAE workgroup called “Educators organizing for Black Lives.” That workgroup created a Black History Month calendar with a series of activities by day which resides on a Google drive. Another copy can be viewed here.
Words of the day on the calendar included “Ally (noun) - someone who commits to helping those who experience oppression,” and “Anti-Racist (noun) - someone who commits to helping those who experience oppression.”
As of Jan. 28, the NCAE has not publicized the upcoming BLM At School events.
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