Racial and social justice

TSTA’s Equity, Education and You project is our racial and social justice initiative. It is designed to address systemic racism and expand opportunities for students from historically disadvantaged communities. Our goal is to empower educators and their students to become change agents with a mission to dismantle patterns of racism and injustice in our schools and in the communities we live. 

We believe that the path to racial and social justice lies with education. As educators, it is our unique privilege and responsibility to model equity in our lesson plans, classrooms, behavior and communities. We understand that identifying and addressing our own biases is an ongoing and sometimes uncomfortable process and we are here to help. Below are resources you can use that amplify and celebrate racial and social equity in our schools, meaningful allyship, and restorative justice. Please contact us if you would like to receive more information about racial and social justice issues from TSTA.

Through our work in advocating for all Texas students and educators, we have used The Race Class Narrative — an empirically-tested narrative on race and class that neutralizes the use of dog-whistle racism to win on the issues we care about. It has been used across the United States and internationally to win policy and electoral victories.

Our opposition regularly uses racial fear as a tool to exploit economic anxieties and turn people against one another, even when their economic interests are aligned, and turn them against a government that works for all. In doing so, they regularly scapegoat communities of color for problems that have been created by self-interested politicians and their greedy corporate donors. The Race Class Narrative messaging architecture fights back at these attacks to build cross-racial solidarity and support for issues.

If you’re new to using RCN, work with peers who aren’t familiar with its principles, or just need a refresher, check out this new page dedicated to answering some of your most frequently asked questions.

Black Lives Matter @ School:

The National Education Association has a dedicated site for racial and social justice resources at NEA Ed Justice. This map shows where resolutions have passed to create police-free schools, as well as where there has been organizing by educators, students, or others mobilizing around this issue. Have information about your local resolution, petition or other organizing or mobilization efforts added to the map.

Learning for Justice: Racial and social justice classroom resources, professional development, and other resources for educators. Associated with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Oakland Unified School District guide to implementing restorative justice practices in the classroom, the University of Michigan’s guide to creating inclusive classrooms, and a series of films from The New York Times educators can use to explore race, bias and identity with their students.

There are many books available for those who would like to do their own research on these issues. Here is a list of 20 anti-racist titles to get you started, as well as seven books about race to read to your kids.

Racial Equity Tools, a site designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity, offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level — in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large.

If you are searching for an online community to connect with about these issues, you have many options. Groups like World Trust, Color of Change, Training for Change, Amplifier Art and many others are available to connect like-minded advocates to advance social justice and racial equity. Some of these organizations, including the Center for Racial Justice, Zinn Education Project, Teaching for Black Lives, Teaching for Change and the Abolitionist Teaching Network, are focused specifically on training and empowering educators to dismantle patterns of racism and injustice in schools.

Bored Teachers, the online educator forum, has their own list of more than 100+ free anti-racism resources for children and adults.

Creating Strong Narratives with Race Class Narrative (RCN)

Freedom to Learn Briefing Video (Access Passcode: b+500&?R) 

Messaging Guide & Digital Toolkit: Freedom to Learn