February Issue
January 23, 2015

Social Justice all year round

Source: NYSUT United
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February Focus — Social Justice

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.

Social justice — and the Feb. 20 World Day of Social Justice — is the February focus of NYSUT's Social Justice All Year Round campaign. This initiative highlights social justice issues facing NYSUT members and their communities. The goal is to take the statewide union's social justice mission to the next level — moving beyond simple fundraising to actions that make REAL community change.

What you can do

Wondering how you can highlight social justice issues in your local and community? Consider these ideas:

  • Teach about social justice in your classroom — a variety of resources and the social justice calendar are online at www.nysut.org/resources/special-resources-sites/social-justice.
  • Sponsor a social justice movie night and post-screening film discussion. Sell snacks and tickets to raise money for a social justice cause in your community.
  • Create a social justice committee within your local, or retiree chapter, to spur member engagement.
  • Start a social justice book club and invite local and community members to participate.
  • Host a community-wide social justice fair. Feature student projects and informational tables and workshops.
  • Write a social justice column for your local's newsletter.

Resources to get you started

NYSUT links to social justice curriculum resources: www.nysut.org/resources/special-resources-sites/social-justice/curriculum-resources.

Visit Share My Lesson online for a library of teacher-created social justice lesson plans, www.sharemylesson.com. The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights features several lesson plans at http://rfkcenter.org/speak-truth-to-power.

Films with social justice themes: http://billmoyers.com/content/10-documentaries-on-champions-of-social-justice/ or www.care2.com/news/member/887071505/2795519
Books with social justice themes: www.goodreads.com/list/tag/social-justice.

Let us know how you're raising awareness in your classroom or workplace, local or retiree council, or in your community. Send photos, lesson plan ideas and suggestions to sbasko@nysutmail.org.

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