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Washington Education Association: Strengthening Washington's Public Schools

Out and about is a monthly e-newsletter and a link to the efforts, activities and reflections of what our leaders are doing in their day-to-day work on behalf of you -- our WEA members.

ESP Leadership Institute (ESPLI)
I am so proud of the six WEA ESP leaders who joined me, this month in Los Angeles, at NEA's ESP Leadership Institute, where we trained ESP members from around the country in advocacy, communication, governance and leadership, leading our professions and, of course, organizing. The aim of the year-long program is to build effective leadership skills and Washington's ESPs did a tremendous job sharing their own experiences and encouraging others.

Super Week was super packed
Part of my job, as vice president and trustee, is having a comprehensive understanding of our WEA finances. While Larry and I were in Washington, D.C., this month, I got to spend some time delving deeper at a training for vice presidents and treasurers. I'm learning and it's both challenging and fun.

Highline EA pushes out
If you've seen the documentary, Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, you'll understand why I was honored to be a part of the Highline EA's panel discussion last week. The panel included students and parents and it allowed space for some meaningful conversations about the fears people have and about how education is disrupted for some of our students.

Meetings, conferences, webinars
Larry and I represent WEA members at a lot of meetings each month. We constantly reach out to build partnerships with others. A couple of interesting meetings I attended this month include one with the Washington State Labor Council and one with the World Affairs Council to meet some head teachers from the Country of Georgia. When we were asked how we deal with non-union members trying to attend union activities, I told them and the translator said something like, "we don't allow scabs to ride on the backs of paying union members." It wasn't exactly what I said, but it made me smile the way he translated it.

I enjoyed participating in my home council's Rainier Educators of Color Network Equity Leadership Conference because it is always inspiring. I also spent time leading my first webinar through NEA about engaging ESP members to consider running for state affiliate offices such as board director or other higher office positions. Finally, Larry and I attended a Wine and Wisdom evening with Lake Washington EA members.

Unite for the WEA Children's Fund
So many WEA members' students benefit from the WEA Children's Fund. I encourage you to consider donating and remind you that you may designate the fund in United Way campaigns this spring.

WEA Board minutes
Here are highlights from our January meeting and minutes from the November meeting.

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