MTI staff member Kerry Motoviloff helped organize the monthly Racial Justice Summit gatherings, which are part of the union’s equity focus. They began last year, and were in development a year earlier as MTI received a grant funded through national teachers’ union dues.
The sessions’ popularity amid the district’s Black Excellence push made it an easy decision to bring them back this year, Motoviloff said, with the added benefit of the National Education Association testing out its EdJustice curriculum and bringing in national trainers once per month.
Motoviloff, the MTI president-elect during the 2011 Act 10 protests, said it’s important for the union to make clear that it exists to do more than bargain with the school district over contracts. That bargaining is now relatively limited, given the maximum increase each year set by state law. Now, they’re trying to help teachers dive into a complex topic that can be tough to talk about with supervisors in the room.