In the words of James Baldwin, "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."
Due to the current and ongoing events surrounding the tragic murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA) and the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) joined other organizations around the nation in speaking out against racism. As NCSLA members, we are sharing NSELA's statement with our membership.
As science educators and science leaders, we assume responsibility for the students, teachers and leaders that we serve throughout our state of North Carolina. These murders add importance to our responsibilities as educators and human beings to right wrongs and be an active participant to change. Real change. It is our charge as science educators and science leaders to confront the inequities in our nation by coming together and becoming the change agents needed to address the institutionalized inequities that fuel the disparities in our district(s), state and this country. These enduring and systemic inequities have a direct impact on science education and the students and teachers we are committed to serving.
Your NCSLA family firmly supports diversity and inclusion for all. We implore your school, your district, your informal science setting, your STEM education organizations to continually support equity and diversity through progressive actions. NSTA recently released a Social Justice and Science Education statement, and they have a committed action plan. If you are a member in search of resources to promote equitable science practices, our national partner organization, NSELA has additionally provided several resources in their position statement below that we choose to share with all of you. NCSLA will provide additional resources and actions in the near future as we plan forward for change. As an organization, we are dedicated to progressive actions, and not just in words, but in purpose. We charge our membership to use the resources to implement changes in their classrooms, their districts and their workplace, and keep moving forward when confronted with challenges and obstacles.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl. but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward."
Your Equity and Diversity Ad Hoc Committee,
Ryann Battle - Committee Member
Carla Billups - President Elect
Sebastian Byers - Committee Member
Michelle Ellis - NSTA Liason
Dennis Kubasko - President
Beverly Lyons - Past President
Christi Whitworth - Executive Director
NSELA Statement of Anti-Racist Support
Posted: June 4, 2020
Unfortunately racial unrest and injustice has once again arisen in our country and daily lives with the tragic passing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. As a result, our nation has expressed shame, guilt, pain, hope and found inspiration in the commitment to change from all races and age groups in America. NSELA stands in solidarity with disenfranchised populations in the rightful demand for justice and equality. We believe all educators have a responsibility to engage in teaching tolerance and making science available for all students. We must teach, lead and listen with empathy in an effort to fully support all students and educators in this challenging moment in our country’s history.
Our NSELA President, Larry Plank, has already made a commitment to ensure that our most vulnerable learners have access to science educational opportunities both in and out of school. We know that science leaders are essential to ensuring equity in science, early learning in science, and policy advancements in science at all levels. We recognize that our organizational leadership does not reflect the diversity of our educational stakeholders and strive to grow a more diverse leadership corps while providing professional learning and resources in support of district leaders. We envision a future where science education is accessible for all students and our leadership is connected not only by appreciation and excitement for science but also through lived experiences with learners
Our mission can be summarized by three words: Advocate, Collaborate, and Educate. We are unfortunately reminded of the need to rise above the fog of injustice in our country, and NSELA will fully leverage our resources to stand against racism in all forms. We will advocate for equitable access to science education, science leadership, and STEM careers. We will collaborate with organizations such as the Association for Multicultural Science Education and National Association for Bilingual Education to learn about successful strategies and approaches for social justice and equity in science education. We will educate our members about leading for change, especially when that change addresses barriers caused by existing privileges of one group over another.
-The Staff and Leadership of the National Science Education Leadership Association
NSELA Conferences/Webinars promoting equitable science practices
The NSELA Virtual Leadership Summit (June 15th - 18th from 11am - 1:30 pm CST each day) includes a session on Thursday, June 18, where Phil Bell will address equity and inclusive practices for all students.
Three past webinars have a specific focus on supporting equity and diversity in science teaching:
- "Reimagining the Possibilities" May 5, 2020 How can we reimagine science learning in a way that that makes sense during the pandemic? How can we help teachers and families keep learning going in a meaningful way? This webinar examines some tools that do just that.
- "Is Science Enough?" Oct. 29, 2019 Dr. Carolyn Landel, Managing Director, Charles A. Dana Center, University of Texas at Austin; Shelly LeDoux, Ed.D., Professional Learning Facilitator, K-12 Services, The University of Texas at Austin | Charles A. Dana Center and Nicole Martin discuss how districts around the country are desperately seeking high-quality instructional materials that translate the NGSS into a coherent set of learning experiences to support student learning of the content.
- "STEM For All Students" Feb. 14, 2019 NSELA and Okhee Lee are pleased to present STEM For All Students. This webinar focused on science instruction using the Framework and NGSS.