Washington, D.C. — The Center for American Progress and EduColor launched #WeBuildEDU—a new campaign to elevate the voices of educators who are Black, Indigenous, and other non-Black people of color (BIPOC) in the national dialogue about what must be done to rebuild the U.S. public education system in light of COVID-19 so that it can withstand other mass disruptions to traditional schooling and work for students from all backgrounds. The project will focus on elevating voices in high-poverty districts and feature a broad array of educators, from digital technician assistants helping families stay connected through at-home learning, to counselors helping students navigate the trauma this year has surfaced, to teachers and administrators helping keep students on track.
The campaign will feature a variety of initiatives, including a robust video and written online storybook, a five-figure paid media campaign to recruit new educators from all 50 states and U.S. territories, tools to engage in effective grassroots lobbying, and opportunities for educators to engage one another as they navigate the upcoming school year. Insights gleaned from this initiative will also inform CAP and EduColor’s policy work in the months and years ahead.
“Educators help students learn, support their social-emotional development, and offer safety, but educators of color are often expected to fulfill all of these responsibilities with fewer resources and while facing more obstacles. As the pandemic exacerbates these challenges and makes their jobs ever more difficult, #WeBuildEDU will play a critical role in informing policymakers about what must be done to fortify public education for years to come,” said Khalilah Harris, managing director of K-12 Education Policy at CAP.
“It has become more important than ever for children-facing adults to have their voices heard and experiences felt in the education conversation. Educators of color sit at the confluence of racial injustice, economic inequality, the devaluation of public schools, and a global pandemic. Hearing us is a crucial part of repairing these breaches of our social contract,” said Jose Vilson, executive director of EduColor.
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