NJEA Focusing on Education and Social Justice in 2018

Steve Adubato goes on-lcoation to the NJEA Convention in Atlantic City to and speaks with the NJEA's Director of Communications, Steve Baker. Baker explains how they are bringing education and social justice to light through various programs and workshops for educators.

2/13/18 #2111






"A big theme here at the NJEA Convention, the 164th Annual Convention, is communication. And the guy who knows more about communication than just about anyone I know is Steve Baker, Director of Communications at the New Jersey Education Association. We've been here many many years doing this convention. I don't think I've ever seen... I mean there's always energy here. Yes. But there's a lot of energy this year because? Tremendous energy here Steve. Our members, they're excited to be here. This is a keystone event for them each year. This is where they come together, they meet their colleagues, they network, they learn, they see what's the latest and the greatest in education. Our members love to be ahead of the game. And this is the place where they come to get that way. Yeah. We were just talking before we got on the air. There's a tour, there's an exhibit, if you will. It's called “The Awakening.” It's a walking tour. We're going to get some video of it. Sure. What is it? And why does it matter so much Steve? That's so important. We're so proud about this year. "The Awakening" is a walking tour that allows our members to see the world through the eyes of some of our students, whether they are students of color, whether they're LGBTQ, it helps us to see what they see in the world. It helps... How? ...us to think about the choices... Well, it poses some questions. How would you deal with a situation? How would you deal with a situation where a parent called and was concerned that they'd heard that a student in your class had two fathers? How would you deal with a student who came and said, "You've always known me as male, but I want to be called by female pronouns"? We believe that cultural competency, we believe that understanding the needs of our students is just critically important to the educational process. You have to meet students where they are, you have to understand where they are, and you have to educate the whole student. And so we believe that by exposing our members to that, by letting them see that, and forcing us all to think more deeply about those issues, we create stronger, more welcoming, more affirming schools that really do just a tremendous job of educating every student who walks through the doors. You know what's so interesting about that? I would say... I don't know how many years ago... five? Ten? I'm not sure. There... you may have had an exhibit like this. Yeah. But to do this now, to me... Yeah. ...and..."