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WNYNET Statement on Black Lives Matter and Social Justice
National Council of Teachers of English (2018). Qualities of an Anti-Racist ELA Curricula. Retrieved from http://ncte.org/app/uploads
The Western New York Network of English Teachers (WNYNET) reaffirms our commitment to supporting the just treatment of Black teachers, Black families, and Black students, especially in Western New York.
We support the Black Lives Matter Movement and social justice philosophically and pedagogically.
WNYNET supports the tenant of the United States Constitution that enshrines in law equal protection and representation for all citizens. For far too long many institutions of this country, such as police departments, local, state, and federal elected officials, and the criminal justice system have failed to live up to the standards and laws they’ve pledged to uphold and embody, but they have failed all citizens--irrespective of race--of this country.
The education system has historically and frequently failed to consistently live up the standards of a just and equitable education for all, especially concerning Black students. WNYNET recognizes this issue and works through philosophy and practice to combat it.
We are proponents for anti-racist pedagogy as proposed by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). For the purposes of this document, WNYNET refers the definition of anti-racist teaching provided by NCTE: “Racism can be enacted through English Language Arts curricula. Anti-racist ELA curricula must celebrate and sustain diversity as part of educational justice in a changing world. These curricula must dismantle systems of oppression through the means and the materials that are enacted by educators and leaders” (2018).
We support the Black Lives Matter Movement and Social Justice through specific actions.
As an organization not only will we continue to offer programming, conferences, and teacher trainings aimed at addressing societal inequalities. These events will help train teachers to address societal inequalities of the unequal application of justice and law enforcement prevalent throughout Western New York, especially those concerning the treatment of Black people.
We pledge to continue to stand on the right side of justice and the right side of history by demanding equal and fair treatment of all citizens--irrespective of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic class, immigration status and age. We pledge to support English language arts educators in the creation of classrooms that help transform our communities, advocate for racial justice, and work to dismantle pervasive educational inequities.We pledge to continue to foster active, civic, civil engagement through inquiry based classroom instruction that encourages students to identify, address, and act on inequalities they see in their everyday lives.
WNYNET pledges to:
A more just, fair, and loving society can be achieved only when equal and fair social justice is practiced and received by all members of our society. We all will live more fully and be more fully human once this goal is achieved. WNYNET will continue to listen, learn, and work to help achieve this goal.