Jahana Hayes may be a Congresswoman now but she still considers herself first and foremost a teacher. The former Waterbury teacher and 2016 National Teacher of the Year met with CEA members from Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District recently in Danbury and shared her journey to becoming a U.S. Representative as well as her priorities in Washington.
CEA President Jeff Leake, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, NEA-Danbury EMAC Chair Luanelly Iglesias, CEA Organizer Herman Whitter, NEA-Danbury President Erin Daly, and NEA-Danbury Vice President Thomas Ross.
Running for Congress had never been in Hayes’ plans, she told the more than 70 teachers gathered at Anthony’s Lake Club in Danbury, until the opportunity suddenly presented itself and she realized the potential the position had to serve educators and further their interests. It was the connections she had with fellow teachers, here in Connecticut and around the nation, that led to her Congressional victory.
Once in Congress Hayes realized that, despite her many years as a teacher, the odds were stacked against her when it came to getting a seat on the House Committee on Education and Labor. As a first-year Congresswoman, she found those with more seniority had priority when it came to committee appointments. Read more
Studies show that students of all backgrounds, but especially students of color, benefit from learning from teachers of color. CEA has several ongoing initiatives to support diversifying the teaching profession and the union, and a recent event gave CEA members the chance to make inroads on both fronts.
CEA EMAC members Bridgeport teacher Mia Dimbo, Bloomfield teacher Glenn Spencer, and retired Hebron teacher Althea Carr talked with educators at a networking session at a recent conference.
Members of CEA’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Commission (EMAC) staffed a table during the networking portion of a conference on diversity, inclusion, and equity in the school workforce in order to have conversations with active and aspiring educators about CEA and EMAC. The conference, organized by the Connecticut Alliance of Regional Educational Service Centers, was open to all members of Connecticut’s education community. Read more
Nearly 40 educators met and mingled at the first-ever Hartford Regional Ethnic Minority Teacher Social hosted by CEA on Monday. The event was an opportunity for teachers of color to network, discuss ways of diversifying a predominantly white teaching force in Connecticut, and explore avenues for becoming more involved at all levels of the union—from their local and state associations to NEA.
“This was a great event,” said CREC teacher Anjanee Wright. “I got to meet other educators I wouldn’t necessarily have a chance to meet because we work in different districts. It was a good opportunity to talk to each other.” Read more
Connecticut Teacher of the Year Sheena Graham listens in on a discussion about teachers’ roles in addressing the racial imbalance in our juvenile and criminal justice system. Seated with Graham are CEA Vice President Tom Nicholas and Bridgeport Education Association Vice President Ana Batista.
Despite the tremendous progress Connecticut has made in reducing the number of incarcerated youth over the past 10 years, a troubling trend continues: Black and brown children continue to come in contact with the juvenile and criminal justice system in disproportionate numbers compared to their white peers. Studies have confirmed that bias is one factor—meaning that white children are less likely to be referred to the juvenile or criminal justice system than their nonwhite peers, even for the same behaviors.
To address this continued racial imbalance, CEA’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Commission (EMAC) hosted a film screening of CPTV’s Color of Justice Revisited, followed by a discussion—led by experts in their fields—about how educators can help end the school-to-prison pipeline. More than 60 educators attended the event at Testo’s Ristorante in Bridgeport on April 25. Read more
How are attitudes, experiences, and stereotypes impacting young people of color in Connecticut today? Join your fellow CEA members April 25 in Bridgeport for a film screening and an engaging discussion with experts on cultural responsiveness and juvenile justice.
This workshop, sponsored by the CEA Ethnic Minority Affairs Commission, is free to CEA members and will include a viewing of the CPTV film Color of Justice Revisited. It will also feature a discussion with the following guest speakers on how educators can help combat the school-to-prison pipeline.
Register now. Read more