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My School My Voice Mini Campaign Organizing Grants

 

Issues.

We’ve all got them. The important thing is to know what they are and what we’re going to do about them!

We also know that the biggest issues – or those that the many people prioritize – become the elephant (of issues) in the room. When this happens, t’s hard to pay attention to much else. Call it the elephant issues. 

  • Deeply & Widely. We consider these issues those that are both deeply felt and widely held by members.

However, we also know that there are other issues that a group of members may strongly care about that others do not know about, because everyone is different and walks in different shoes. Call it the baby elephant issues.

  • Just Deeply. These are issues that are deeply felt but a group of members but may not yet be widely held by members.

We know that being uninformed about an issue doesn’t mean that someone is ill-informed. It just means that we need to take the time to have a one-on-one conversation with them, to get them engaged on the issue and act to be part of the solution.

What is NEA’s Center for Organizing My School My Voice Mini Campaign Grants?

Mini-Campaign Grants are grants of up to $5,000 that support local affiliates that have authentically identified an organizing issue develop and implement a mini-campaign in their school districts on an issue that may just be deeply felt by a small group of members, but not widely held by broadly by a preponderance of the local’s membership.

What must a local affiliate do with a My School My Voice Mini Campaign Grant?

Grant Application & Reporting Requirements

Interested locals will be asked to submit a grant application that includes an outline of a campaign timeline that leads up to their proposed campaign win(s).

Grantees will be required to submit a mid-term and final report.

Mini Campaign Issues

Not sure what is eligible for funding? We’re open to hearing from you, but below are issues that we are would consider funding:

  • LGBTQ rights
  • Student debt
  • Census 2020
  • Immigration justice

More Information? Questions?
Contact Michael Schoettle, NEA Field Manager, at mschoettle@nea.org.


The Jefferson County Education Association (JCEA) My School My Voice Mini-Campaign Story

Personal Story. Joel Zigman was a transgender music teacher working in the Jefferson County School District. Unlike his other colleagues that could be open about their (cisgender) identity or their (hetero)sexuality, Joel knew that he would be risking employment if he openly came out to his colleagues and students as transgender.

Affiliate Support for Authentic Organizing & Issue Identification. The Jefferson County Education Association, a local affiliate of the Colorado Education Association, has deeply invested in internal association structures to support organic, issue-based organizing through their Growth, Leadership, and Union Engagement or GLUE program. Joel joined CEA’s GLUE program and began talking with other early career educators about issues they faced.

LGBTQ Fear. Joel (and others on JCEA’s GLUE team) noticed a pattern of fear in their conversations with LGBTQ educators, both veteran and new educators. Joel admitted that he also feared coming out to his students and their families.

LGBTQ Discrimination. Joel was unsure of how his own principal or the district would react, and he began researching policy. Through Joel’s research, he learned there were few protections for LGBTQ educators interested in coming out at work. While there have been national efforts to pass policies and resolutions protecting and supporting transgender students, these protections have not been extended to transgender educators and other school employees.

Here’s what Joel and the JCEA GLUE team did with their $5,000 My School My Voice organizing grant:


NEA Center for Organizing - Affiliate Zone Map: Identify the NEA Center for Organizing Associate Director for Affiliate Relations and Growth responsible for affiliate support in your state.