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.
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.
NYSUT's Social Justice Initiatives
Many Threads, One Fabric - A series of virtual town halls run jointly by NYSUT and AFT to explore and discuss racial justice, diversity and equity issues.
Celebrating Diversity - NYSUT pays tribute to the diversity of its membership.
- Hispanic Heritage Month - NYSUT celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with an annual poster and a variety of programming to highlight the contributions of Hispanic individuals.
- Black History Month - NYSUT celebrates Black History Month with an annual poster and a variety of programming to highlight the contributions of Black individuals.
Civil and Human Rights Committee - NYSUT's Standing Committee on Civil and Human Rights advances the union’s efforts to promote equity and social justice.
Women's Committee - the 82-member NYSUT Women’s Committee encourages locals to develop in-house women’s committee chapters; educates female members about the work of the union; highlights women-specific issues, including inequities in pay, health care and education; and seeks to involve more union women in leadership roles.
LGBTQ Committee - NYSUT's LGBTQ Committee educates peers and advocates for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning/Queer members.
WHY IN FIVE - The "Why in 5" campaign for social justice is a way for NYSUT members to use a short set of talking points to educate others about significant social justice.
What you can do
Remember, social justice begins with you.
- Educate yourself and others about the issues. It's hard to fix a problem if you don't know it exists.
- Use the resources 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!