Friday, August 1, 2008

Courage, Activism, and Doing What's Right

At the 2008 NEA convention, during a Teacher Quality forum, John Wilson, the NEA Executive Director spoke of the need for educators to display both “courage and activism.” More specifically, he said, “Courage, activism, and doing what’s right...that’s what we [at the NEA] need to be about.” He went on to say that “We need to seize this opportunity—as our nation faces a critical choice that will not only impact us for the next eight years but will impact us well into the foreseeable future—to connect the “promise of policy with the practice of politics.”

As the newly elected President of the Virginia Education Association, I plan to remind our members that we are--our association is--in fact, all about courage, activism, and doing what’s right. I absolutely agree with Mr. Wilson that the time for connecting the promise of policy with the practice of politics has come.

As a result, when I visit local associations and regional events that are coming up around the state this fall, members and nonmembers alike will hear my call to have courage; to stand up for what is right; and to become activists not just for public education but for social justice on behalf of their students and their profession. By doing so, I believe that we can collectively change the course of history in our country for the better. The time has come; the time is here; and the time is now.