Take the pledge
We are students; we are educators; we are school board members; we are caregivers.
We are H.E.A.L. (Honest Education Action & Leadership) Together.
We are united in our belief that an honest, accurate, and fully funded public education is fundamental to building a just, multiracial, democracy – a society in which everyone can thrive.
We believe that public education, at its best, prepares students to become citizens. At its best, public education prepares students for democracy by creating a space where students of all backgrounds engage with one another and work towards common goals. At its best, public education creates connected communities that are united in their purpose to provide the next generation with the knowledge and skills to shape a better future.
We recognize how the far-right is using mis- and disinformation to reverse the progress we’ve made to create more equitable and inclusive public schools and a more just, multiracial democracy. They seek to divide us by using the spectre of “wokeness” to attack our teachers, our students, and the people that care about them. They incite moral panic over issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation and they scapegoat communities who have fought for equity and racial justice by casting them as “threats.”
We’ve been here before. We recognize that these “anti-woke” culture war tactics are part of a 50+ year strategy by the far-right to undermine democracy and ensure “minority rule” after the triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement. Schools have always been a prime target for these culture wars. Under the guise of “protecting children,” they incite these culture wars to distract and divide us so that a powerful, wealthy few can 1) privatize public schools; 2) gain more power and wealth for themselves; and 3) ultimately, stifle education that enables learners from all walks of life to understand, question, and change the world.
Building a bigger “we:” We recognize that public systems, like public schools, are what connect us all. And we recognize that since the triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement, which called for integration of public goods and spaces, there’s been an ongoing strategy to privatize those goods and spaces instead of sharing them. As such, we recognize the fight to strengthen our public schools by making them more equitable and inclusive, is also a fight to reclaim all of our public goods and spaces, as the catalysts for all of us to thrive. We insist on building a bigger “we” - which centers belonging and equity and we reclaim equitable and inclusive public systems that create opportunity for all.
We refuse to slow down our work of strengthening public education in light of far-right attacks on our schools. In the face of these attacks:
- We choose solidarity over division.
- We choose truth, no matter how hard — even in the face of those who attempt to rob us of our history — in order to heal and unite to address our biggest challenges.
- We choose each other over the politics of division that seek to cleave us by race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or other identities in order to empower and enrich the wealthy few at the expense of us all.
- And, we choose action by doing our part to address systemic inequities in our society starting in our own communities because we know it benefits us all in the long run.
We commit to:
- Advocating for an honest, accurate, and fully funded public education in my community and across this country;
- Deepening my own learning about equity and racial justice;
- Fighting back against those who would deploy divisive narratives for their own political gain–whether they are harmful narratives about people of color (Black and Indigenous people in particular), immigrants, LGBTQ people, people who are disabled, and other marginalized people; or false narratives about the work of equity, inclusion, and justice;
- Working to build a just, multiracial, pluralistic democracy so that every person has the freedom to thrive.