K-12 Educators on World Teachers’ Day 2020

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Photo by Stephane Mahe/Reuters for Business Insider

October 5 is World Teachers’ Day, which celebrates teachers worldwide. This day of recognition was created by UNESCO in 1994 and commemorates adoption of the 1996 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. The act set regulations for the rights of teachers regarding their education, recruitment, and standards for teaching and conditions for learning.

The theme for 2020 is “Teachers: Leading in Crisis, Reimagining the Future”. NACRJ recognizes and celebrates teachers for their many achievements and dedication to the wellbeing of students. This is particularly evident now as they struggle to meet the needs of their students and safely reopen schools under COVID-19 public health limitations. Their creativity and selfless dedication in these strange and dangerous conditions is awe-inspiring.

Every year, UNESCO hosts convenings and celebrations to promote teachers all over the world. This year’s virtual events will take place online from October 5 through October 12. There will be discussions of the lessons learned and successes in responding to school closures, transitioning to virtual classrooms, the challenges of reopening schools and retrospectives on crisis responses among educators all over the world.

Juneteenth - "Freedom Day"

Each year on June 19 we celebrate and remember the Emancipation of Slaves across the United States.  The significance of the date is that it was on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas that US Army General Gordon Granger read the federal order freeing all slaves held in the State of Texas.  At the time Texas was the most remote slave state and despite the Emancipation Proclamation being signed by President Lincoln two years earlier, news of the end of slavery had not yet reach Texas.  It was on that date that all slaves were finally freed. 

On Friday June 19, 2020 at 5 pm PT Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY) held a Juneteenth Community Conversation on-line.  The focus of the conversation will be on Bryan Stevenson's inspirationational work over the last 35 years fighting to correct injustices in the American criminal justice system  The recent movie "Just Mercy" told the story of one man's case - Walter McMillian - of wrongful conviction.

RJOY invites you to join them for a Freedom Day facilitated discussion of Bryan Stevenson's inspirational pursuit of justice.  It is important that we reflect on this moment of reckoning in the year 2020 and engage in a conversation acknowledging how far we've come and imagine where this cultural shift is challenging us to go. 

Visit Bryan Stevenson's website - Equal Justice Initiative.

Independence Day

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Happy 4th of July 2020

While the nation celebrates its independence from British colonial rule, it is important to remember that the meaning of this day is very different for people of color - particularly decendents of slaves.  Actor Daveed Diggs captures this difference in a dramatic reading of Frederick Douglass' words from a speech given over one hundred years ago.  Scenes of racial injustice today provide a powerful backdrop.  It simply asks -- When will America Live Up to Its Ideals for ALL people?