NCUEA Fall Conference Inspires Members

By Isau Metes, Chair
NSEA Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee

The National Council of Urban Education Associations (NCUEA) is an advocacy organization of local affiliates of the National Education Association (NEA). NCUEA is dedicated to strengthening member advocacy and making the NEA more responsive to member needs.

Three EMAC members attended NCUEA’s Fall Conference in San Antonio in early December. The theme conference theme was Building Equity. The conference focused on work being done in local organizations around elements and topics related to equity.

The conference was the catalyst some needed to take action and organize. The state of public education in Nebraska is changing and some are apprehensive about what the future holds for urban school districts.

Lincoln Education Association member Ed Aken attended and said “listening to the leadership and passionate competence of highly experienced teachers from Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Juneau, Trenton and other urban cities throughout the United States made me feel part of a collective whole as an educator.

“The passion that we all seek for social justice, quality education, and continued dedication to accredited teachers and schools was at the heart of the NCUEA,” said Aken.

“As NEA President Lily Eskelsen said, ‘Let’s be honest...we need to respect and uphold this vision of high quality-education’ especially with the political climate that has been voted into office,” he said.

Omaha Education Association member Vincent Greggio said he was inspired “through my numerous discussions with my fellow members about the issues we face as urban schools.”

The conference was a great time to network with emerging and established leaders from across the nation, all facing similar. The struggle is everywhere, but it can look different from region to region. Workshops centered around the theme of building equity and members had opportunities to learn about how to take action in their state and local affiliations. It was nice to have a safe and nurturing environment to discuss issues that directly affect us as well as the students we serve.

NEA Minority/Women’s Leadership Training 2016-17

NSEA announced that four NEA-sponsored members will attended the Minority/Women’s Leadership Training Conference in San Diego Dec. 9-11.

Attending were Ed Aken and Liz Carranza-Rodriquez, Lincoln; Vincent Greggio, Omaha; and Evelyn Brown, Douglas County West.

The training prepares early career educators and emerging leaders to be powerful advocates for their students, their profession, and their association. The curriculum teaches participants foundational leadership skills, the logistics of running for elected office, and how to advocate for student-centered policies and social justice issues that affect schools and communities.