In this Issue: Juneteenth-It’s official!
1. RECN (Rainier Educators of Color Network) Summer Dates
2. Candidate Endorsement Interviews
3. Congratulations SeaTac CC Candidate Iris Guzman!
4. ESSER = Extra
5. Apply to Mentor Student Teachers or ESA Interns
6. California Casualty Music and Art Grant
June 21, 2021
What a special moment to have been able to commemorate the first federally recognized Juneteenth. President Biden signed this federal holiday into law last week as did Governor Inslee for WA. It went into effect immediately. Juneteenth or Emancipation Day formally recognizes that on June 19, 1865, the enslaved people of Galveston Texas learned of the Emancipation Proclamation which had been signed two years earlier. This was just a few months before the 13th Amendment was ratified. This action “solidified emancipation in the United States and made way for 250,000 people still enslaved to finally gain their freedom. June 19, 1865 offered a first to African Americans—a definitive date when freedom was gained.” You can read more about the historical event here.
Reading and reflecting on this event in our history generated unexpected and complex emotions for me and possibly you as well. That we celebrate Emancipation Day with other federal holidays such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veteran’s Day signifies the responsibility we bear as a nation. It bears witness to the sacrifices enslaved people made. As more of us come to understand the underpinnings of prosperity, and related connections to racism and slavery, these commemorations of struggle and sacrifice build momentum for restitution both to the descendants of enslaved people and Native Americans, whose land was encroached upon and stolen.
In our role as educators, we must fight against all movements to silence the truth and limit our academic freedoms. We must be able to explore freely the impact of racist systems on the lives of our students, families, and colleagues. Work being done at the NEA is helping us push back on falsehoods and new state laws that prohibit the teaching of how systemic racism affects our society now and in the past. I encourage you to follow the important work that will come out of this year’s NEA Representative Assembly and support resistance efforts.
1. Rainier Educators of Color Network.
Check out the new RECN website.
While kickin’ back this summer consider steppin’ out to join fellow members at one of their summer meetings. Third Thursdays are a wonderful place to listen, learn, and laugh. Summer dates are July 15 and August 19 from 4:30-6:00 PM. Summer information will be posted soon.
2. Candidate Endorsement Interviews. Many thanks to Leslie Sokolik, our extraordinary WEAPAC chair, as well as MLK Labor delegate Joey Thomas, and Executive Board members Brandice Tranholt and Christian Tautua. During their busy end-of-year duties and events, they took the time to interview candidates for our local city council races and help shepherd through those candidates who we believe will support the needs of our families and students in the cities of Burien, Des Moines, and SeaTac.
3. Congratulation Iris Guzman! This Friday, HEA official endorsements will be shared in the EFocus and on Facebook. Please share them widely. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating Iris Guzman, an HEA social worker, who is running for SeaTac City Council and received a MLK King County Labor Council endorsement. Her campaign is working on a major turnout for Saturday, June 26 (12-3PM) to canvas of behalf of the three progressive candidates running in the SeaTac races. Please arrive just before noon at the Tabarak Minimarket and Halal located at 15213 Military Road So., SeaTac, 98188. This is an amazing opportunity to lift up an HEA member who lives and works in our community.
4. ESSER = EXTRA!
We are beginning to reap the benefits of electing pro-education, pro-labor progressive candidates. Extra funding to offset the impact of the pandemic has been authorized by the government and can be spent on a wide range of needs outlined in this ARP Fund Use Checklist.
Follow this link
if you would like more information and a summary of each ESSER fund, the amount of funding provided, and the period of availability. Joint negotiations with HPS got underway on Thursday morning with the focus on setting a calendar that reflects lessons learned from this past year.
5. Mentor Student Teachers or ESA Interns in SY 21-22. In preparation for the upcoming school year, the HPS HR Department is reaching out to those educators who wish to be considered for a Cooperative Student Teacher/ESA Intern Mentorship role.
They are asking you to take a few minutes to complete the following Teacher/ESA Mentor Application Form
and email your building supervisor to let them know you are interested in supporting an Intern. HR will follow-up with you during the summer with an update and next steps. ESA Intern/ Cooperative Education teacher mentor compensation can be found in the CBA
Appendix D (Letter S. Page 156).
6. California Casualty Music & Arts Grant due June 30
. This easy to complete grant provides support for K-12 public schools negatively affected by reduced budgets. California Casualty has partnered with education associations for many years and believe in the importance of music and arts education for children. As a member of one of their partnering education associations, HEA members can apply for a grant award of $250 to meet a music or art need at your school. Click on this link to get access to the CalCas Music and Arts Grant
. Applications must be submitted by June 30th.