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"Peel It Like an Onion": A Proactive Challenge to Racism Inside a Progressive Teachers Union

Sat, April 10, 12:20 to 1:20pm EDT (12:20 to 1:20pm EDT), Division K, Division K - Section 2 Roundtable Sessions


On July 1, 2020, Cecily Myart-Cruz became the first Woman of Color (WOC) elected to lead United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the second largest teachers union in the U.S. with a membership that is almost 80% female and is a majority People of Color. Myart-Cruz believes that an explicitly racial justice lens must be added to UTLA’s progressive anti-privatization agenda. Arguably, the powerful union has a reputation for moving a positive educational agenda, but teachers’ unions have not always been ‘friendly’ to communities of color.
But, what of the experiences of women activists of color? This research documents the journey of women of color union activist promoting racial justice in UTLA.