Organize Your School! Organize Your District!
There have always been teachers who shut their doors and teach their students liberatory curriculum. That’s an incredibly important contribution to the emotional health of our students and to the struggle for racial and social justice. Many of us trace our own politics back to one of those teachers. Other teachers are interested in organizing on a schoolwide, districtwide, statewide or national level.
If you’re interested in broader organizing in your educational setting, it will be important to create a support system for this incredibly important collective work. Locate a space to be visible, encourage one another, strategize and be your authentic selves. Make sure you have a site of activism and healing on your school site, in your union and with the community.
Never take on this work alone; make time to meet with others on a regular basis to collectively strategize your plans for education and action. Many unions have racial justice and/or human rights committees already actively engaged in issues like Defunding the Police, Black Lives Matter, Immigrant Rights and other just causes. Connect with these union activists.
You may want to form a Palestine affinity caucus. Forming a caucus will help in educating union members and passing important initiatives in support of Palestine. However, if the existing racial justice or human rights committee is open to explicit support of Palestine, a separate caucus may not be necessary.
Either way, create a space inside your school and within the union to engage in this critical work. Remember, it is important to educate. Often even your most seasoned activists are not well-versed on the subject of Palestine or prepared for Zionist backlash. Build community, folks.
Inevitably, you will need to engage with activists outside of the union to support, co-sponsor, engage in mutually supportive projects and, also, to help one another negotiate the treacherous waters of white supremacy. The community can help you with resources, pedagogical tools, and help secure people to assist in your endeavors. Community is important, whether you are organizing in your classroom, your school site, in the union, or in the district. Community members engaged in this work are unafraid, experienced, knowledgeable and, the level of solidarity and unity from joining with community members is healing, spirit-uplifting and awesome. Always remember, you are not alone!