WEAC leaders, members help set policy at 2019 NEA Representative Assembly

Wisconsin State Delegation at the 2019 NEA Representative Assembly in Houston, Texas

Dozens of WEAC members (pictured above) helped set policy and direction for the NEA last week as delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly in Houston. Click here for larger picture.

Among the highlights were the presentation of 12 Human and Civil Rights Awards, including WEAC members Lorie and Rick Erickson of Bayfield and the GSAFE organization of Madison, which was nominated by WEAC. The Ericksons received the Leo Reano Memorial Award “for their tireless efforts to enrich the lives of children in the Native community, in particular the Anishinaabe Nation in the Great Lakes region.” Watch video honoring their work. GSAFE received the the Virginia Uribe Award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights “for its work to create just schools for LGBTQ+ youth.” Watch video honoring GSAFE’s work.

Another highlight was the #StrongPublicSchools presidential forum in which NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcìa moderated the one-on-one discussions with 10 Democratic candidates for president. Educators from across the country asked questions on a variety of topics important to their students and public schools, including educator pay, class size, school infrastructure, school funding, the privatization of public education, school and gun safety, the student debt crisis, health care, and more.

Members of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association were instrumental in organizing and hosting an “art build” where artists from the Milwaukee-based Art Build Workers helped hundreds of delegates create and contribute to graphic depictions of collective action. Read about the Art Build activity.

WEAC members also participated in a “die-in” outside the Houston Conference on Racial and Social Justice to call attention to the names of victims of Trump’s abhorrent policy of child and family detention. MTEA’s Joe Brusky posted dozens of photos of the event, including the one below.

Also, the WEAC delegation honored retiring NEA Executive Director John Stocks, who served for many years as WEAC’s Director of Governmental Relations. See photos from that event.

Read the NEA’s summary of actions, speeches, awards and activities at the 2019 Representative Assembly.