Statement on Black Lives Matter
Updated: Aug 11, 2020
As we watch, a multiracial working class movement against police brutality has risen across the United States. Before our eyes, the repressive power of the state is being turned on Black and Brown community members fighting for their lives, and on the White allies who stand beside them.
We stand unequivocally with our brothers and sisters in this fight against White supremacy and racial terror. As educators we understand the power of our teaching, love, and community. We understand the crucial importance of using our power in the classroom to interrupt the reproduction of White supremacy through our instructional practices, discipline policies, and school norms.
As unionists, we understand the power of our collective action to reshape and reform the world. We understand the critical importance of using our power beyond the classroom - in our streets and communities, city halls and state capitols, ballot boxes and mass actions - to change American social life for the better.
As human beings, we understand that human life is sacred. We understand that an injury to one is an injury to all, and that all lives can’t matter until Black lives matter.
Our liberation is bound to the liberation of others. We are committed to the task at hand: to confront White supremacy at every level of our work; to explicitly situate our work as educators and unionists as a part of the struggle for racial and social justice in America; to remake our schools, and ourselves in the image of love and solidarity; to stand on the right side of history in this moment in which the brutality and fragility of American life is laid bare.
Only labor can remake America for all people. As Dr King explained, “The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress.” We must take up Dr King’s challenge anew, putting our shoulders to the wheel for the liberation of all.
Because no one is free until we’re all free.
And Black Lives Matter.