Time for reflection can be hard to come by in the midst of a crisis, so let’s take a moment to think about all we have been through over the past year.
It’s hard to believe the tectonic shifts we experienced so rapidly throughout society, across the globe, right down to our communities and classrooms. We have been reminded of the fragility of our lives and the importance of our public schools, among other vital institutions.
And we have seen the power of our collective voice. In this historic storm of upheaval and unrest, we stood together and found in our solidarity both strength and solace.
Our work is never done, and the challenges are not over. You will see that in this issue of the Voice, but in reading we hope you also find something more intangible: Courage in the face of struggle. Resilience in the wake of adversity.
In these pages are stories of MEA members who continue to press
for change even if they didn’t win the first time. Stories of your union brothers and sisters who have struggled alongside you and refused to give up. Stories of educators helping out, supporting each other, being the change they wish to see.
As we approach the remaining weeks of this painful and exhausting year, we want to thank you.
Thank you for your membership and involvement at a time when nothing in life feels easy.
Thank you for putting your concern for colleagues and students into plans and action and hard work to keep people safe—together.
Thank you for doing your best to adapt to change and care for students as learners and humans.
Thank you for your phone calls and emails and endless Zoom meetings to stay updated on the latest developments. Your contacts keep us informed of conditions on the ground to help inform our state- level advocacy.
This year, perhaps more often than most years, we’ve heard the stale attempt to tear down our association from those aligned against organized labor: Oh, sure, educators are great, but it’s their UNION that is a problem.
The union is the educators. The educators are the union. Together we have a collective voice that is louder and more powerful than what we could each accomplish on our own.
Because of that, the stories you will read on these pages also contain the seed of something that has felt elusive for so long: Hope.
We thank you for that, too.