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PSEA’s Task Force on Racial Justice and Equity

The protests that erupted across the nation this past summer following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor put the issues of racial justice and equity into sharp relief. PSEA responded with numerous actions to ensure our Association is operating with the ut­most respect for these principles.

In July 2020, President Rich Askey asked the Mi­nority Affairs and Educa­tional Justice committees to review and update a 2010 report on increasing minority involvement in PSEA. At the same time, PSEA’s Board of Directors had a conversation about racial justice that led to the creation of the Task Force on Racial Justice and Equity in September 2020.

The task force in­cludes 12 members who represent the full spectrum of the Associ­ation’s membership. The task force’s charge is to consult with rank-and-file members on relevant PSEA commit­tees. Its focus will be on PSEA’s internal culture, documents, and activities and will make recommen­dations for the PSEA Board of Directors to consider.

“This is not only about providing opportunities for members of color in our organization,” said PSEA Vice Pres­ident Aaron Chapin, who chairs the task force. “This is about trying to fix a lot of the inequities that exist not just in PSEA but in our commonwealth. We want this to be something our members are going to adopt and buy into. That’s why we’re looking for input from all sectors of our organization.”

PSEA’s commitment to the ideals of racial justice and equity are embodied in the Association’s values statement, cre­ated as part of the mission, vision, val­ues, and goals process, and approved by the House of Delegates in May 2016.

The task force has been meeting to discuss how to best project racial justice and equity in all of PSEA’s operations and how to facilitate racial and ethnic diversity and equity within our locals and statewide Association. The task force expects to pro­duce a report and rec­ommendations that will guide PSEA activ­ities over the coming years to ensure our eq­uity goals are being met.

“Social and racial justice are principles that PSEA has always embraced,” Chapin said. “While our goal has always been to get people of color in­volved in their local, state, and national as­sociations, we also know that bringing people of color into the profession is good for students. We are now actively working on a written com­mitment to diversity, equity, and inclu­sion, an effort which strengthens the collective voice of our Association.”


PSEA’s values
• Integrity in words, actions, and data
• Professional growth and expertise
• Student-centered teaching and learning
• Unionism and collective action: working together based on
core union principles
• Equitable resources and equal opportunities for all
• Our members’ voices in the union and as leaders in our
• Respect and diversity in our Association and workplaces
• Partnerships with our communities