The VEA strongly supports and applauds Governor Northam’s designation of June 19 as a state holiday for commemoration and reflection.
On this day, we call on all Virginians to reflect on the importance of this date marking when the very last enslaved people learned that they were free, more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Further, we call on everyone to work toward a just society free of institutional racism and bias.
VEA’s 40,000 members and its staff, working in our public schools and in support roles, strive to help students better understand our shared history and bring about a better tomorrow. Social and racial justice work must be our priority, matched by our dedication, perseverance, and passion. We owe that to our students, to ourselves, and to all Virginians.
See below for information and resources centered around Juneteenth.
We are calling on our union brothers and sisters to join us in fighting for social and racial justice. We have provided a list of action items for you to take steps to dismantle institutional racism. We ask that you take action now!
Please share the checklist below and continue to unite with your union brother and sisters.
1. Share your why: Why do you fight for social and racial justice? Write your message on the frame and post on social media and use the hashtag #FitzTurnerVEA. Download the graphics here.
2. Advocate for Equity and Justice and mobilize around racial and social justice issues. Sign up here.
3. Urge school boards and localities to adopt anti-discrimination policies inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students and school employees. Complete the questionnaire here.
4. Attend the upcoming Virtual Summer Leadership Conference to hone advocacy skills that promote equity and inclusion, cultural awareness, and racial consciousness. Participants will also attend a follow-up breakout session to identify local community partners and steps to build a community organizing campaign. Register here.
5. Engage and Volunteer in the VEA Voter Registration Drive to ensure all educators are eligible to participate in the upcoming 2020 election. Sign up here.
6. Collect and maintain data on ethnic minorities in the Union membership, the statewide education workforce and Virginia demographics. (This is a specific action for VEA local leaders.) Visit this link.
7. Continue to build your knowledge and understanding. Download resources here.
8. Find a local community group to attend a meeting, join as a member, make a contribution.
In VEA, we work on Racial Justice because we are committed to the mission, values and promises we made to the members of (VTA) Virginia Teachers Association in 1967 to advocate for educational equity in Virginia. We are committed to improving our students’ and members’ lives as well as improving our communities. We will develop and implement a racial justice plan that will engage a diversity of member and student voices through courageous conversations, We will bring awareness about and advocate to destroy institutional racism in our public schools in Virginia. We will work hard to advocate for policy change at the school, local and state level; and we will remain committed to holding our politicians accountable on the issue in order to give every student a just public education.