2019 NEA Leadership Summit Closing General Session

I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to go to church this morning so I'm gonna bring the church here okay Jeremiah said it's like fire shut up in my bones my name is Devante Johnson and I am the youth organizer at good jobs now Detroit and a leader in Europe the youth organizing collective within the Center for popular democracy Network good jobs now is also a part of a citywide education organizing group of parents and students called 42 forward I am also unapologetically a proud senior at East English village Preparatory Academy where I serve as the class president today today I bring you word from students across the country and most importantly my hometown Detroit you see I've been in overcrowded classrooms for the entirety of my k12 experience and being in this environment has made it really challenging for me to actively participate in classroom discussions and understand clearly what my instructor is saying to me and the rest of the class I don't believe that having 42 students in one classroom with only one teacher provides me the opportunity to be successful while my school is so underfunded that I am in hugely overcrowded classrooms the district spends millions of dollars on police in my classmates and myself it's hard to explain the irrepressible sadness feeling the feeling of sadness that I feel when the very first thing I see walking into my school is not a greeting counselor or well command staff but it's three matter detectors three security guards and a mini police station right on the first floor of my school while Detroit has funny to militarize our schools we only have four counselors that services our school about 1,500 students the way our school system spends money shows where policy makers priorities and investments far as dr. King said a nation that continues year after year to spend money more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift as approaching spiritual death you see year after year in school districts across the country we spend more money on criminalizing students of color than on programs of uplift and support that ain't right I recently found out that the Detroit Public Schools community district will need five hundred million dollars to fix our schools infrastructure our buildings are falling apart and we can't drink the water because it's so full of live in that same week I learned that my County wants to build a new jail right down the street from my school with the plans of filling 160 youth beds and guess how much that is guess how much that's gonna cost just shoot out some numbers five hundred and thirty three million that ain't right you know what that money should be going that money should be going to educating and supporting young people the United States Department of Education released a report that said between 1979 and 2013 Michigan increases spending on schools by 18 percent and spending off by own Corrections by two hundred and nineteen percent while shocking to some this is no trend and this is not unique to Detroiters and inner-city youth what does this say to students what does this say to your children what did you say to myself is our education not worth it would they rather see us in jails rather than in schools do you really want to see me thrive we say I say put your money where your mouth is young people have come together to share our dreams for safe and supportive and inclusive schools schools in which everyone in the school teachers parents and students alike are supported we have brought these demands to the school safety commission to Congress and to our local elected officials and we hope that you will join us in this vision see there's a vision that when teachers and students and parents work together we could create a schools that are truly equitable conversations about school safety and the Ford vision of schools must include us teachers parents students administrators the ones who are mostly impacted by the policies must be the ones at the table no one can define what safety is for me besides me at a bare minimum we must first dismantle the dehumanizing school to Prison Pipeline and to do so we demand the following divestment from school policing comprehensive mental and emotional health services more guidance counselors and social workers expansion of restorative justice practices culturally responsive education programs and investments in schools and teachers so as I look around the room I have a question as teachers do you want more money to be spent on police security guards and sending students to the criminal legal system okay or do you want better pain but you want your students to have the support services that they need and your schools the schools that you work in that you strive in to have the resources that you need because that's what we the youth won and that's what we demand in the West Wow yes Thank You Devante it's good to hear the voice of our student leaders we do what we do because of Devante and all of our students and it is so important that we embrace the leadership competencies because of all of our students would you join me in giving Devante another I am princess Moss your your in the 8th secretary treasurer now as you can hear I'm a little hoarse but I couldn't miss the opportunity to be with you today and just like all educators we hate being absent from school like Devante many of our young student leaders first discover their voice of leadership in protesting the unfair circumstances of their learning conditions other students may find their voice of leadership and student council or in sports sometimes leaders find their voice in the most unlikely places I first discovered my voice of leadership in middle school in the band I played the clarinet and I was section leader of the clarinets at John Jay Wright Middle School in Virginia it was the first time that I was identified as a leader its water not what you think I'll take another step and getting to the van wasn't easy my parents that made it clear that we could not afford the rental fees for the monthly rental of the instrument I wouldn't let it go I continued to talk about it for a whole year for my sister who's 10 years older than I am said that she would pay the monthly rental fees for the clarinet out of her first year teacher salary I was thrilled I was going to be in the band now I have to tell you that all of my friends have moved on so it was very lonely because I was in the seventh grade and I was with the sixth graders because I had to follow the band schedule so I had made a lot of social sacrifices and because of that I gave it my all I did my homework I practice hard and I earned the role of section leader the bandleader was Kenny Lipscomb and he knew that I Wed by example I led by teaching others now being section leader was stressful it was competitive it meant that I have a responsibility to my section to the band to the band director and to the music that was my agenda even though we didn't call it an agenda then that's what it was it was my agenda if somebody in the section wasn't getting it I had to sit with them and teach them I would say to them let's do it together I love you guys I'd say just stay with me just stay with me I love it and then they got it they got it those are my first experiences of teaching for people who don't have a child in the arts it might be hard to understand the impact that the arts have on a student's life it might be hard to understand the profound difference that the arts make being a section leader and seventh grade gave me a goal to work towards it helps me to build my confidence just carrying around that instrument made me feel important and I was very quiet and very shy in middle school being in the band was a way to show that I was smart and it helped me discover my voice of leadership music in the arts expand a child's worldview expands the realms of possibility for students I'll never forget that in high school we had an exchange program with a band from Hoboken New Jersey I'm from Virginia the exchange program was with a school in Hoboken New Jersey and it was the first time that I had traveled anywhere out of state in fact it was the first time that I had ever stayed with a family other than my own one day in high school sitting in the clarinet section I looked across the band room on the other side of the room I saw this long tall instrument standing up over all of the other instruments that was the day that I discovered the bassoon the students who played the bassoon was max Saunders he was a senior and he was gonna graduate that year so I saw him across the room I saw the bassoon and I heard him play and I said ooh that's kind of freaky and I liked it and I was talking about the bassoon not Matt even though mr. Lipscomb presented it that's a punishment because my parents would I had to drop out of marching band because my parents weren't gonna drive the 45 minutes on a Friday night to pick me up after in a way football game with Mack left mr. Lipscomb said you're gonna play the bassoon I don't know if he really knew that I wanted to play it maybe somehow you know I think it's educators we know sometimes but I'll never forget the day that he said to me I'll give you some books but you're gonna have to pretty much learn on your own and he turned his back on me and he walked away well the truth of the matter is that mr. Lipscomb didn't know how to play it himself so I said all right I've got this I'm handling this challenge and I took those books and I taught myself to play I learned from mr. Lipscomb that once you identify a leader sometimes you have to give them assignments that aren't necessarily comfortable you have to give them assignments that will stretch them and help them to grow in their role as a leader so I studied I practice and again I earned the role of section leader do you recognize this piece of music it's march of the villains from the movie Superman yeah that was my first bassoon solo the bassoon is the reason that I majored in music in college and I wanted to be a concert bassoon as as a matter of fact my sister and my parents told me that I needed a back-up plan in case that didn't work out because they didn't want to support me right into my adult life as a leader yeah you first have to lead yourself and good and right decisions and sometimes you have to ask yourself the hard questions and make the hard disk is decisions that require you to have a very hard conversation with yourself I had to make a hard career decision at my senior recital which was the public performance with the Mary Washington college and community Orchestra yay I know that is I realized that I had an issue with breath control just important for any musician and I had to make a heart this decision fortunately music had afforded me the opportunity to teach I came full circle from my middle school days of teaching my section to teaching privately I came full circle teaching the bassoon and clarinet privately I absolutely love teaching so when I made the decision that I was going into teaching I was not conflicted at all as a new teacher I was at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Roe Louisa County Virginia and I would sometimes visit the teachers lounge or staff room and I would hear complaints about various things mostly about not having received salary increases over a number of years I'm sure that's from you know not unfamiliar to folks but I ask the question have you ever voiced your concerns outside of this room the answer was no I said well I'm working with the local Association and we're going to change that that issue became our agenda we gathered the data and discovered that school districts around us made more money we asked the question why we did our homework and we presented our findings to the school board and ultimately the Board of Supervisors some money appropriating bodies we presented it in a way that people could hear it and understand it and dr. David Andes who was a superintendent at the time said that you're helping me because he knew that it was the right thing to do but he knew that he needed voice from the ranks of the educators to speak up the decision-makers needed to be taught in a time that didn't accuse the class of not wanting to learn you know everybody on both sides of any issue wants to be heard and the facts stood up for themselves we had our agenda we did our homework we get at the data and we organized organized organized we presented the information in a way that everyone could hear it we drove our agenda for the win and then I'm reminded of last year as your secretary treasurer I'm also chair of the NEA Budget Committee yeah we do we have some budget folks in the house last year was the development of the two-year of our two-year budget I tell you that was a lot of homework it's a 350 million dollar budget and to understand it you really have to do your homework the Budget Committee had to make sure that everyone was heard so we had a lot of one-to-one conversations and we had to be steeped in the fast so that we could not be shaken off of our agenda we had to be steeped in the facts so that we could not be shaken off of our mission which was to bring forward a budget that grows and strengthens our organization now at the same time there was a Janis versus Aston case the decision was coming down the same that's the budget vote at the representative assembly it reminded me of when I played a solo a Hungarian mass p'tee in college I had been practicing for weeks about three to four days before the actual performance the orchestra conductor pointed out to me that I had perfected a mistake and you know how hard it is to unlearn a practice mistake but the orchestral conductor he was dr. Baker one of my favorite college professors he said to me if you don't get it right you keep going and I'll move the orchestra well that night came and I didn't get it right I knew as soon as I played it but I kept going and true to his word dr. Baker moved the orchestra and we've landed safely together now that was not my proudest moment as a soloist but it was a huge leadership learning sometimes you have to move the orchestra a good leader does not ignore contingencies or vulnerabilities you have to be prepared to go in a different direction while maintaining the same strategic priorities as a leader I have to firmly believe in the path that I am asking others to follow I have to be fully transparent and I'll tell ya when you're developing a multi-million dollar budget everybody's your friend and the hard part is saying no to your friends when you do your homework you're steeped in all of the historical data you're steeped in the mission so you get two yes or no quicker it is because you have more unbiased information and your agenda is focused so you don't waffle I believe that the decisions we made were the right decisions because they want for or against any one person or any one group they were the right decisions for the organization and that's what we were charged to do you know good leaders don't make unilateral decisions it is up to the leader however to pull all of those pieces together with discernment you know the we went to our MEA president Lilly we talked with her we went to our vice president Becky who is also vice chair of the Budget Committee who had served as chair before and we learned from her experiences we went to our chief financial officer who has over 30 years of experience with the NEA budget and has worked with five in a secretary treasurer's we talked to you we engaged as many people as many of our members as possible the method for decision-making was based on getting feedback we got input we gathered data from a lot of sources and then it's up to the leader to pull it together with the discern look that's the role of a leader and throughout that process which is a process that extends over over a year after all is said and done we know that sometimes there will be dissonance at other times there will be harmony there will be Christian doze and de Christian des at times you may have to work solo at other times you work as an ensemble the goal is always the same to drive the agenda and win together this is what we're talking about when we ask you to embrace the leadership competencies you've heard Lilly talk about the leadership competencies you've heard Becky talked about the leadership competencies you heard the executive committee talk about the competencies and some of our leaders who are sitting in the audience talked about have been on stage talking about our competencies they're that important we want you to take them back home and put them to use we want them to we want you to make it a part of your daily work what's at stake it's not only that young naive girl in middle school band in Virginia and Devante in Detroit it's all of our students what's at stake it's whether your leadership will give opportunity to all of our young leaders the ones who'll carry your leadership legacy forward the students in your classrooms and school buildings and communities today what do you want your leadership legacy to be thank you thank you thank you and now I'd like to introduce an educator who is going to challenge you to embrace your leadership she's going to inspire you to take all that you've learned this weekend to move forward and your purpose and with power would you join me in giving a warm PA welcome to dr. Daniel Walker hey hey hey how are you doing any a wait wait wait wait wait this is the National Education Association how are you doing today come on alright alright so my name is dr. Daniel Yves Walker and let me get to perfunctory shout outs out first alright so I am from the great state of California not just California but Southern California and not just Southern California but a special place called the Inland Empire's any ie people in the house there we go alright alright so you got it we got a few of us just a few so today is a very interesting day and this is a very interesting time that we are in right now it is 2019 and next year we'll be in the midst in the throes of an election cycle four years ago or I should say three years ago we were in the midst of throes of an election cycle things didn't turn out as good as educators would have planned it didn't turn out the way we figured didn't the strategy didn't necessarily accomplish what we thought it should or would but there's a new day dawning right it's a new opportunity coming and today is a very special day here at the Leadership Summit because we've got to figure out a way to take all of this stuff and make it real in your daily life make it real in your local make it real and you community you know NEA has a very special agenda and mandate every year I take educators on a tour of the Underground Railroad we start in Kentucky we go from Kentucky to Ohio from Ohio to Michigan into Canada and we end at the gravesite of the great Frederick Douglas in Rochester New York and and you may say why would educate errs need this and I'm not just talking history social science educators but we take everybody we do parents even board members going this because what we're trying to do is find some lessons from the Underground Railroad that can teach us things like a respect for diversity and also the notion of people of different groups of different faiths of different races working together to change a thing that seemed intractable slavery something that had been here for years and had had an essence a grip on the society easily if I was around in the 1600 or 1700 or early 1800s people would have said well that won't change because that's just the way it is you hear those conversations today about other issues right and the interesting thing about this this this tour is is is that every year I do the tour with a friend of mine his name is kenneth morris and kenneth morris is a very interesting dude because he happens to be the great-great-great grandson of frederick douglass and the great great grandson of Booker T washed they all in one dude all right I'm saying yeah so the first time I've been doing the tour for about 10 years and then the individual who organized the tour name is Miss Cheryl brown she had organized a tour because a teacher in my hometown of Fontana had been teaching that slavery was good for black people because they had a home they had health care I'm just you guys know there all kinds of interesting things that people teach so see then took it upon herself as a local person to push just create this tour and then she ends up taking that leadership model and becoming the Assemblywoman in the state but but she told me a few years ago said I'm gonna bring somebody else on the tour his name is Kenneth Morris and she told me his background great-great-great-great Fredrick Douglass great-great Booker T Washington I figure to do this full of crap right because I'm like wetting this cousin is Martin Luther King I figured what is this doing right and I thought to myself I'm gonna have to be roommates with this dude and he's gonna be in the bed every night thinking and talking i'ma have to deal with him like if I ask him you know where we goin he's gonna say cash down your buckets right there cash down your buckets it right I'm thinking if I ask him what day is it a day that reveals to the slave more than any other the gross injustice to which we are the constant victims that every night I'm gonna have to hear spirituals every day I might the fight to get in the mirror cuz he's gonna be combing his fro you know with that part and getting that grease just I don't know many Frederick Douglass was known for this this quaffed which was off the chain right so I'm thinking to myself that I got to deal with this every night hey I'm dr. Daniel Walker didn't have to deal with that and anyway me and Kenny become best friends we're great friends today but there's a quote that he does use when he goes and talked is the quote from frederick douglass if you guys know Frederick Douglas was a person who a self-educated had to get his own education had to get it you guys get one come on get hit I'm an african-american and it's crazy to me and this is why NEA has a special burden and a responsibility that that for 250 years laws were passed in the United States of America that said it was against the law for a whole group of people to learn to read and write this is not Bubba who's upset this is the nation and you look at something like the the the the the the laws of the statutes of the state of Virginia in 1850 it punished whites who assisted blacks in learning first we'll define second with floggings and third with jail time meaning that even when good people wanted to stand up and do right not just some spirit of some individual but a system was in place to keep that change from happening I want you to concentrate on that notion system but he talks about this quote you know Frederick Douglass had been uh uh his his enslavers wife had accidentally started to teach him how to read and write and then her husband Frederick Douglass enslaver took her by the side and said you can't do that he said this because if you educate a person it will unfit them to be a slave listen to that if you educate a person it will unfit them to be a slave I'm talking 1800s but you could see how in the 1900s you could see how today that if we educate folks who come here when they were children but their parents brought them from Guatemala and El Salvador and Honduras and Mexico that if we educate them that it unfits them to do low-wage menial jobs that nobody else wants to do in the fields of Delano at Central California if we educate them huh if we educate women then it unfits them Oh somebody to ask for equality because it will keep them mentally bound to an enslaved status so NEA has a special place because you fight the fight of education but you also fight the fight of organized labor you are the largest labor union and the United States of America and understand that that is a historic struggle not a 19th century or 20th century or a 21st century struggle but since the beginning of mankind humans have sought to exploit labor since the beginning of mankind I don't care what religious texts you read I don't care what historical body you were from whatever there's always so be always been a case with those in power have sought to get the most amount of work out of people for the least amount of pay and to give them the scraps of the profits to literally literally try to buying them by debt or by their simple need for food shelter and clothing to be able to work for their lives for nothing that's the nature of the system I'm the engine I don't care feudalism I don't care for the slavery I don't care if it's the system that's the nature of the system so you as any a this ultimate burden one on the side education education education education still liberating people and giving them the tools to become free and equal and the other part organized labor now I wish I could stand here today and tell you that that the NEA has been free from gender bias racial bias the fact that there was an ata and an inny eight means that the NEA had some other issues and while we celebrate today fifty oh come on go since 1966 have been together and watching I call them the today's get eres the the leadership of this organization right now to be three women and women of color is a historic accomplishment in that labor has been a bastion of men it has used its power to to protect the workplace and push others out it is made sure that other individuals didn't get in pipe fitters unions and electricals Union know this still stuff goes on today so once again the NEA has the opportunity to be not only a leader in education but a force about the issue of labor and collective bargaining in this nation you got I'm just sometimes you got to be reminded of where you come from you gotta be remind always tell people that historical movements happen when people are concerned about either the here and now the yesterday or the future and this is what is what was or what shall be what is what was or what shall be I think some people see what is today like the polar vortex you know it's this ultimate cold relationship this ultimate cold spell if we talk about politics and public policy and everything else that we hope will just pass and will come on to the bright and shiny day that we know of that that has been there before but that doesn't happen without struggle that doesn't happen without fight you guys that doesn't happen without people joining together across oh but I grew up in a place called Fontana California don't don't don't clap for it because it's not a place what I'm trying to tell you is not about clapping I grew up in a place called Fontana California where I went to school the young man right here talked about going to a school and never having a teacher except for one mr. lism who looked like you right well I went to a school where I didn't see other students who looked like me I was the only african-american in my class and there were only two african-americans of school me and my brother matter of fact people say the black people all stick together yeah yeah we know that's why we go to school together we leave together black people what we eat let's together at the same and I lived in a that was known nationally for two things number one a huge steel mill so I understand what it means to grow up in one of those Rust Belt kind of spaces now Fontana is only 60 miles east of Los Angeles but a thousand miles away in terms of lots of things so we have this big huge steel mill in our or our identity for our city was steel wheel and and working hard and being dirty and coming home and your dad having a truck and work boots and all these kinds of things that was as a matter of fact our high school mascot wasn't a Wolverine or an eagle but it's a guy with a hard hat on that's where the Fontana Steelers just a guy with a hard hat and so we was the other thing we were known for was football so we had the number one team in the United States in 1986 national champions and we won every game by never passing the ball always running over people because that was our meant that we were from a steel town that's what we do but the other thing that we were known for my city if there's anybody here from Southern California there are two names for my city Fontana it's real name this is another name they call it which is fine tucky because my city was the headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan throughout the 1960s 70s 80s and early 1990s this is 60 miles east of Los Angeles this is in a blue state a la la-la land this is the Klan my my girlfriend's backyard and the head of the Klan George pepper they shared a fence together I grew up with Klan rallies I grew up with friends of mine talking about their father their uncle their brother all this stuff in the Klan I went to school I told you there's only two black people but I'm in a town that is characterized by the Ku Klux Klan so every time there was a fight I heard a fight a fight a nigger and a white there was a TV show out it was called a Daniel Boone and they used to always sing this song and said Daniel Boone was a man he was a big man but the bear was bigger so he ran like a nigger up a tree there was a TV show that came out in 1977 called roots and roots was this amazing a miniseries that finally showed african-americans as multi-layered and multifaceted characters with backstories that people could empathize with and essence so people could see them as more than just yes sir boss but see them as people but there was this ultimate kind of episode in roots where the guy who's the protagonist his name is Kunta Kinte he comes to America and his master as always trying to change his name and wants to call him Toby correct and these guys remember on the second episode the last two minutes the master was finally fed up with his insistence of not taking his new name and he goes out there to begin to whip him and ask him what's your name and he's time he hits this young man he tells him Kunta hits him again Kunta but in the last thirty seconds of that show he hits him with one lash and you can feel it from the television it's and you knew that he had broken his spirit and he says Toby well in the city I grew up in that you know everything else was great this was a show everybody was talking about but the kids then came to school the next day seeking to act out that scene on the tetherball Court with me and them with jump ropes so I go into college I go into my adulthood with crazy ideas about race because of things that have happened to me distrust of people who don't look like me questions all kinds of stuff but I got to college and I met an educator I mean an educator I'm not talking a teacher I'm talking an educator someone who understands that education is about life not about test scores that education is about hope come on someone who understood about breathing into human beings the capacity to fight his name was dr. Danny Scarborough and he was an English professor in Africana Studies and I needed to meet him because he was a person who was steeped in his culture enough to give to me what I needed but not yet burned enough to see beyond it so he opened my mind to this concept called my aunt and my aunt said this to speak truth do justice and walk in the way of righteousness is an Egyptian concept it's this guy this deed it says when you die that you're going to be judged in your life in EA by these three concepts did you speak truth do justice walk in righteousness speak truth do justice walk in righteousness understand first off speak truth amplifying your voices extending your voices speaking truths I think it's or neale hurston who said that if you were silent about your pain they will kill you and say you liked it so you have to speak your truth in season out of season speak your truth it also means in your meetings listen to others as they speak their truth many times we don't take this the wrong way but many times is right males we silence the voices of women and people of color changing the conversation before the conversation even starts but at the same time understand as people of color and as women that sometimes we don't allow white males the voice either because we say you haven't been through what I've been through you've never done what I've done and then you have a person who's in your ranks but they've been through the foster care system nobody looked out for them when they say they did it on their own they're not looking at the long term historical whatever you say they're looking at I got out of school at 15 and raised myself now you don't want to listen to me I can't join hands with you on this campus or any way for cuz you won't even listen to my story lastly about speaking truth speak truth in the meeting not in the parking lot somebody somebody somebody somebody some some somebody somebody help me on that one meetings over you'll stay in the parking lot for five more hours you citizen in the meeting next do justice justice is a verb not a noun you do justice you do justice you do justice you do justice understand that the history of social movements in America have been multi-racial multi-gender Malta I don't keep the n-double-a-cp started not by african-americans but by a group of apt former abolitionists well thinking white folk and black people who came together after a massacre in Springfield Illinois and the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth they said we got to do more and do better understand that in the seminal case of Mendez versus Westminster it is a Latina girl Sylvia Mendez living in a house that is only vacant because a Japanese family has been moved out because of executive order 906 six who then decides to call a white Jewish lawyer David Moore to come in and fight the fight with him they lose in the California Supreme Court but then Fred Thurgood Marshall from the n-double-a-cp steps in and then we get to one Mendez versus Westminster in California and then we get to brown versus the Board of Education I don't care what movement it is historically speaking the only change we've had is when we stick together lastly walk in righteousness walk in righteousness what is righteousness it is not a religious concept but it's the righteousness of the struggle of the people you serve of the mandate that you've been called of the price you owe that you owe that you owe that they did you owe that every one of us owes to the history of folk who couldn't get where we've gotten to to the history of folk who couldn't walk in the doors that you frequent every day to the to the history of people whose voices have been silenced historically over hundreds of years we owe so we walk in the righteousness and beauty of this news trouble lastly as you move forward and as you do what you do as you move this is a story time period in year you got to do it you got to do it somebody here sit in this room you got to be the one who raised your hand says me it's me somebody's got to raise their hand and say it's now somebody's got to raise their hand today I thank you NEA for being who you are but remember your legacy speak truth justise walking away of righteousness I'm out Oh can't you willpower someone is [Applause] dr. rocker thank you you've been to church all right and I'm supposed to think of something to send you back home with so don't go away anyway because you know Sabrina is going to come back and send you back with money yeah she's so popular I'm gonna do that from now on but I brought my sister's out here miss Becky miss princess because they're amazing and I want my wonderful executive committee to stand up Hannah van during was able to to get here in the snow and everything but please this you you get to know them a little bit more now yay and I'm just so moved I am just so moved at the little stories that some of you have been telling me you heard our stories and we're out in the hall and everybody wants a selfie and I and I love that by the way because it makes and you've told me stories that made me laugh and you've told me stories of some of your pain and you made me cry right up until the that's just before you went on princess sitting here talking with my friends from Missouri and I have been shakin turning on the six o'clock news well it's not six o'clock news god I mauled fifty people in New Zealand fifty-one how many more and I will tell you whenever we have talked about the core mission of this union it goes so far beyond making sure that every student has a great public school certainly that's what we want but we know that's not going to happen while there is so much hate so much injustice so much racism sexism homophobia now whose religion is going to be under attack and every time someone pulls aside a group to say they're the enemy they're the ones that are coming to hurt you they're the ones we have to build a wall to protect us somebody dies its life and it's death it's so much bigger than most of us thought we would still be fighting for and so to bring a summit like this together to talk about our leadership to talk about the people who do the most important work in the world and we get patted on the head you know one of the reasons we have the institution's that we have built around the institution's we've built them around women were supposed to be the teachers because you could pay them less there's so much wrong with the structure of our society and we're pushing against it and our voices are being lifted and the public is finally hearing us do you feel like something's happening I feel like something good is happening for one reason only it was so bad that all of a sudden people started listening to the people who do the world's most important work the people who know the names of the students that they love that's us and something good is happening because we are talking about things that make us so uncomfortable and yet the more we talk about it the more comfortable we come we become I fight every morning not to hate I turn on the news I hear a certain voice and I have to will myself not to become what I'm fighting against we will not win by destroying what we hate we will win by saving what we love and I so do love my team I love you guys we have cried together we have laughed together we have had we have had wine and cheese together wh IM e i love my team and i see you as the most important part of our any a team you are the people that are going to get on planes or in your cars and you're going to go back home and you are going to walk into your workplaces you're going to look at your colleagues you're gonna hug those kids whether they're preschoolers or graduate school students and you brought something into this into this summit and you shared it but you are going to take what someone shared with you as I know we are and you're gonna take it home and you're gonna say gosh I'm gonna do something with this my Union invested in me and I'm not gonna let them down I'm not gonna let my colleagues down I'm not gonna let my students down I'm not gonna let the community down you are the beloved community of this union you are everything to our mission and to what is going to change the face of America god bless you for what you do for the world around us I am so honored to be the smallest part of us mil gracias hermanos Y hermanas gracias de mi corazon now let's go let's go get some money here okay because the most popular person in the room is back and so Sabrina tides give it up for Sabrina she does she does so much for us okay listen up this is real important Lily told you I had a lot of money left around right so I have three $100 gifts for $500 gifts and two state affiliates which Lily's gonna bag I have on my arms so what here's what I need you to do first of all let me thank member benefits again for they are sponsors yeah give it up for member benefits once I call your name please immediately stand up and make your way towards me because if you are not present I am going to go to a second list of names that I have right so let's get this money all right let's go Karen Peterson are you in the house come on Marty fringing are you here no okay what about Tony Marty net from South Dakota you're in the room all right Joan right from New Jersey no all right Louis young Cod from New Jersey are you in the house all right Alan young from Kentucky give it up these are our three $100 winners let's give him a cup round of applause okay here we go 500 bucks Tiffany Howard from Alabama Dennis Carol no Cornelia levels from Missouri no kaidan black what about Michelle McBride all right Herbie Newports from nuke from Missouri are you annouce Patrick chambers are you here okay margarita Morphin all right this is my last name we're not looking for volunteers John Vincent a lot Oh are you in the house well I guess I'm not gonna be able to give up give it up for the winners away who made it they made it all right now we have Tuesday Affiliate Awards each state affiliate will receive $2,500 to use towards the Leadership Summit activities that they included in their state plans all right are we ready Madam President it begins with a w it's the great state of Washington [Applause] it's North Carolina before before we sign off you guys are out of control before we sign up this summit was amazing and didn't just happen we had an incredible planning committee and we want to thank our planning committee but we had staff that worked literally behind the scenes I want them all to come out here all the folks that are here wave your hands Teresa get up there and all the staff here get over here come on out come on out look at these little shy people look at these shy people go like that get out here get out here they are amazing these are the people who work for you tirelessly thank you thank you thank you to this incredible team staff and governance working like this and just to make you better leaders we want you to travel safe going home thank you for everything you brought and everything you're bringing back home god bless [Applause]

1 Comment

  1. Miss Moss, I am already a fierce fan of yours, but hearing your band experience has deepened my admiration for you. I’m a band director and I see students like you find their voice and leadership qualities everyday. Thank you for inspiring so many!

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