What is Social Justice All Year Round?
NYSUT's Social Justice All Year Round initiative draws attention to the many social justice issues our members and their communities face. A specific social justice issue will be highlighted in each issue of NYSUT United, with resources and ideas for the classroom and local action. Upcoming Social Justice All Year Round topics are:
- February: Social Justice (World Day of Social Justice, Feb. 20)
- March: Women's Rights (Women's History Month; International Women's Day, March 8)
- April: Children's Rights (Child Abuse Prevention Month; Global Youth Services Day, April 17-19; Bring your Sons and Daughters to Work Day, April 23)
- May: Immigrant Workers' (May Day/International Workers Day, May 1)
- June: Environmental Justice (World Environment Day, June 5)
- July/August: Labor; Wage Equality (Labor Day, Sept. 7)
Why is social justice important?
Social justice lies at the heart of unionism. As we fight to protect collective bargaining rights, strike back against education privatization and defend the rights of members, unions demonstrate the power of grassroots action and show how they can be vehicles for change within communities.
The goal of NYSUT's Social Justice All Year Round initiative is to take our social justice mission to the next level — moving beyond simple fundraising to actions that make REAL community change on issues important to members and the communities they live in.
These include issues we witness daily in the classroom and workplace — such as the impact of poverty, hunger and bullying — and concerns with wider social impact, including immigration reform, LGBTQ awareness, domestic violence intervention and increasing the minimum wage. We want members to become fulcrums of change within their communities, helping educate students and community members about important social justice issues.
What we will provide
Monthly Social Justice All Year Round features will provide ideas for member, student and community engagement. As part of the initiative, we'll also create an online archive of ideas and resources for member use at www.nysut.org. These include simple, inexpensive actions members can take to raise awareness, and links to lesson plans, activities and relevant books, websites and other resources to help educators teach students about social justice.
And, we want to hear from you! Let us know how you're raising social justice awareness in your classroom or workplace, in your local or retiree council and in your communities. Share your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What you can do
Remember, social justice begins with you. Here's how you can help make Social Justice All Year Round a success.
- Educate yourself and others about the issue of the month. It's hard to fix a problem if you don't know it exists.
- Use the materials provided to engage your local or retiree council members, students and individuals in your community.
- Make a pledge to host one or more social justice actions, events or activities, and ask others to do the same.
- Forward us your ideas for future actions and activities.
- Send us your lesson plan ideas so we can share them with others.
- Take pictures of, and let us know about, any social justice events your members, students or community participate in. Let's make social justice matter all year round!