MTEA Equity Committee - Subcommittees 2020

1. Board Meetings - In short, this team pays close attention to board meetings: did anything come up and what was the response? Specifically, this team studies board meeting notes, watches recordings, and/or attends board meetings to gather information about how the district is progressing or not progressing in terms of social justice. The goal is to look for and note commentary, both positive and negative, made during the meetings by students, staff, and/or board members; noting the absence of comments may also be valuable. [This team is not responsible for making presentations at Board meetings.]

    1. Members are assigned to meetings and may be assigned to look for specific types of comments (e.g., gender, race, LGBTQ+). Members will share all findings with the liaison leaders.
    2. Liaisons will share observations and possible suggestions with the committee chair. Chair will then share this team’s notes with the MTEA President and plan a course of action. The entire Equity Committee will be updated as things progress.

 

2. Activism - This team will seek out opportunities for MTEA members to participate in activism at various levels: local (MTSD), regional (NJEA), national (NEA), etc. The plan is to build local activism first, including newly formed MTSD organizations and groups, including: supporting the MHS Monty for Justice student group, supporting the Black Parents Group, creating ongoing MTSD-wide or building-specific book groups/study groups/discussion groups. [This team is not responsible for creating, participating in, or rating every opportunity.]

    1. Members will place all information about opportunities in the subcommittee’s folder, and will inform the liaison leader of its presence.
    2. Liaisons will share information about opportunities with the committee chair. Chair will then share opportunities with the MTEA President to get approval; approved opportunities will be sent to our association’s Communications Chair to inform general membership.

 

3. Responses - This team will help MTEA members prepare to deal with a variety of possible negative statements or actions — including racist statements, racist actions, accusatory comments, resistance to equity efforts, and denial of the precepts of antiracism —  by providing suggested responses that MTEA members may say or write as needed. Note that this negativity may be internal (within the MTEA membership) or external (occurring in a building or communication with parents). Specific statements will be crafted to address situations related to equity especially for BIPOC,  LGBTQ+ members, and also for people with disabilities, women, people of age, and members of differing religious groups. [This team is not responsible for designing or leading professional development activities.]

    1. Members will collect examples of previous or possible comments, actions, and scenarios, as from the following sources: recorded Board meetings (especially from June 2020), notes from the Staff of Color Symposium, collecting experiences from Equity Committee members. Members will compose responses to these comments/scenarios; after placing all suggested responses in the subcommittee’s designated folder, they will inform the liaison leader of its presence. 
    2. Liaisons will share all new responses placed in the folder with the committee chair. (Presumably, these will be shared with the MTEA President to get approval before being shared with membership.)

 

4. Resources - This team will compile a wide variety of resources that will help our committee be more informed about the groups for whom we seek equity (i.e., BIPOC, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, women, people of age, and members of differing religious groups). The goal is to provide information about a wide breadth of learning (e.g., equity issues, rights issues, history, milestones, leaders, current events, and celebrations), thus enabling consumers of the information to deepen their understanding of various groups. Resources will be collected in various media formats, including books, articles, websites, documentaries, films, online museum offerings, etc. [This team is not responsible for reading/viewing and rating every resource.]

    1. Members will place all information about resources in the subcommittee’s designated folder, and will inform the liaison leader of its presence.
    2. (Presumably, liaisons will share all new material with the committee chair, who will share with the MTEA President to get approval before it is shared with membership.)

 

5. Workshop Opportunities - This team will compile an ongoing list of workshop opportunities (in-district, off-site, and virtual) that will teach us how to be effective antiracists. NJEA is developing many new quality programs that are offered free in virtual meeting-space, so that attending is easy; examples include July’s NJEA Radical Imagination Summit for Educators (RISE) and the developing NJEA REAL Movement at https://www.njea.org/realmovement/. Also, subcommittee members may consider developing their own PD opportunities for a building or for the district (e.g., In An Hour, Book Clubs). [This team is not responsible for creating, participating in, or rating every opportunity.]

    1. Members will place all information about opportunities in the subcommittee’s folder, and will inform the liaison leader of its presence.
    2. Liaisons will share information about opportunities with the committee chair. Chair will then share opportunities with the MTEA President to get approval; approved opportunities will be sent to our association’s Communications Chair to inform general membership.

 

6. Goals - This team will develop the general shared goals of the entire Equity Committee by setting specific long-term goals, breaking this work down into “benchmark” or short term goals, and providing a timeline for achievement. 

    1. Members will place all information about goals and timeline in the subcommittee’s folder, and will inform the liaison leader of its presence.
    2. Liaisons will share information about goals and timelines with the committee chair. Committee chair will inform MTEA leadership about the goals at the monthly exec meeting (generally held the first Wednesday of each month).

 

7. Communication - Group will collect stories, write newsletter and/or website articles on behalf of the committee. These items will be shared with the committee chair and then with the MTEA president. Once the president gives approval, the communications chair will be contacted to share with the rest of membership.

 

8. Accountability - This team will evaluate how well the Equity Committee is carrying out its functions.  As needed, members of this subcommittee will speak at board meetings, approach administration, contact MTEA leadership, and/or approach fellow union members. This subcommittee will communicate regularly with the chairperson.  

 

9. Policy - This team will analyze current board policy to examine whether or not it is equitable. Members will provide various perspectives and discussion on how we can improve or change current policy.