Steps Taken to Further Encourage Minority Participation in NSEA Activities
The NSEA Board of Directors has approved a plan designed to increase minority participation in Association activities.
The action, taken at the board’s November meeting, is to encourage minority Association members to attend NSEA functions and governance events; to seek leadership positions within the Association; and to attend the NSEA Delegate Assembly and the NEA Representative Assembly as elected delegates.
NSEA has had a Minority Involvement Plan for two decades, but the Association has struggled to meet NEA Bylaw language that sets a goal of matching the state’s minority population percentage within NSEA’s Representative Assembly delegation.
At the July 2013 Representative Assembly, 14 percent of NSEA’s RA delegation were of minority status, which fell just short of the 18 percent mark of minorities in the state population, according to the 2010 Census. NSEA’s 14 percent turnout was remarkable, considering that just 3.4 percent of Association members self-identify as minority members.
“We’ve done well in pushing for minority representation at RA and in other areas, but we can always do better,” said NSEA President Nancy Fulton. “That’s the goal of this plan.”
That said, the plan is viewed as a way to encourage voluntary compliance with NEA Bylaws, and “shall not be construed to be a quota.” Among other items, the plan:
- Recognizes the 2013 reorganization of NSEA’s standing Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee (EMAC) to reflect the Association’s on-going commitment to achieve the purposes of the committee. The purpose is “to promote respect and understanding of minority and ethnic groups and their involvement in all Association activities.”
- Provides for leadership training for minority members of the Association. In addition to general leadership training, leadership training of minorities will be conducted by EMAC and the NEA through the NEA’s Minority Leadership Training program and the NEA Joint Conference on Concerns of Minorities and Women.
The responsibility of implementing the plan rests with governance – the Association’s elected officials – at all levels, as well as with the NSEA executive director and such staff as the executive director shall assign to those duties. It will be the duty of the EMAC to submit annual recommendations for updating and improving the plan, and to report progress of the Association in meeting the plan goals.