According to the 2018 Oregon Educator Equity Report, 37.6 percent of Oregon students are ethnically diverse, while only 9.9 percent of Oregon employed teachers are of color. OEA staff and membership also reflect this sociological imbalance. The social, organizational and individual culture in our state, our schools and our organization has long been centered and framed around practices and systems that reflect a dominant culture mindset that does not meet the needs of a diverse society. In fact, this dominant culture institutionalizes exclusive rights and disparities and will continue to perpetuate itself unless interrupted by persistent transformative work around racial justice.
To that end, OEA is in the midst of an intentional journey to address equity and racial justice, with an eye toward transformative reflection, systems change, culturally responsive growth and inclusion, authentic community partner coalition-building and social activism. OEA leaders have recommitted to applying an equity lens to every action we take as an organization.
Our equity efforts are not only comprehensive but scaffolded to include every aspect of our work and every level of our organization. Our design and intentionality is meant to operationalize our commitment to equity and continually move us forward, so that we are no longer operating without a strong equity lens and social justice heartbeat. The Center for Equity and Inclusion, an organization designed to advance equity and inclusion through holistic and structural supports, has assisted OEA in launching our efforts in cultural change.
OEA’s goal is to redesign ourselves and the way that we work with each other and our community partners so that we can be an authentic part of the transformative change needed in our professions, state and society. Oregon Communities of Color are independently engaged in several education initiatives and are uniquely close to the impact of education disparities in our classrooms and schools.
Through this important ongoing work, OEA members have an opportunity to engage in authentic conversations that center their perspectives, so that we can become credible partners in creating solutions. The OEA Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee, the OEA Human and Civil Rights Committee and OEA Ethnic Minority Affairs Director will be central in this transformation and, along with early career members and members of color, will be supported to grow as equity champions and thought partners.
We are eager to hear your feedback as we continue this journey as an organization — reach out to us: firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts, questions, or interest