Union resolutions

Resolution in support of racial and economic justice in New York City public schools

WHEREAS, the United Federation of Teachers has always been committed to racial and economic justice and recognizes that racism manifests itself beyond simple personal animosity through structural barriers in society that we are working to remove; and

WHEREAS, as educators, we are well positioned to explore the presence of those barriers in the lives of our members and students — as well as in society at large — resulting from intolerance, bullying, discrimination, and numerous other issues of local and national concern; and

WHEREAS, the principles described above are aligned with the UFT’s core beliefs of celebrating diversity and creating safe, collaborative school cultures; and

WHEREAS, the UFT has designed initiatives such as the Community Learning Schools, which facilitate partnerships between schools, non-profits, businesses, and government to connect vital services to public school buildings, improve student achievement, and meet the health, safety, and social service needs of students and communities by working collaboratively with school leaders and staff to ensure resources and programs reach our students, parents, and the community; and the Positive Learning Collaborative which, through the use of therapeutic crisis intervention, social-emotional learning, and restorative practices, has reduced student suspensions and reported behavior incidents in participating schools; and

WHEREAS, the UFT has supported policy changes that affect students’ educational experiences including the Specialized High Schools Task Force, a committee comprised of UFT members who are committed to ensuring that student enrollment is fair and representative; NYC Men Teach, which has exceeded it goals by employing nearly 2000 male teachers of color as of September 2018; and Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Teachers, which by identifying high school students who want to teach and assisting them through the certification process, has produced over 150 graduates who are now educators; and Young Men’s Initiative in New York, which has as its mission to increase representation in the teaching population; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the UFT reaffirms its support of initiatives from organizations — including the Anti-Defamation League, Latino Justice, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Pride at Work, APALA, LCLAA, the NAACP and Black Lives Matter — that has as its goal the pursuit and preservation of social justice in our classrooms and society and urges its members to take every opportunity to promote respect and inclusion and use culturally responsive practices and instructional activities that foster equity and empower students to become conscientious citizens of the world; and be it further

RESOLVED, the UFT will encourage other unions that have employees who serve the public to also use culturally responsive practices; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT urges its members to continue this work by supporting activities in the schools throughout the year and those sponsored by various groups during Black History Month and other similar celebrations; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT encourages its members to use tools such as the AFT “Share My Lesson” website with titles like Teaching About Bias, Diversity and Social Justice, Anti-Semitism and Hate, Me Too and other AFT resources to exchange lesson ideas, instructional materials and resources about these socially relevant topics.

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