Ahead of Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the end of enslavement in the United States, the American Federation of Teachers has announced the launch of the “Stamping Out Racism and Hate” campaign, centered around educators building culturally responsive and inclusive communities for our students, so every child has the educational opportunity to thrive.

The campaign is powered by partners including the NAACP and First Book, who join the AFT to extend the reach of valuable resources and tools to support educators in having those conversations.
 
The campaign will kick off with the distribution of free copies of the AFT’s special edition of the book “Stamped,” by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, to NAACP youth councils and advisers at their national convention in July, followed by free classroom collection giveaways and the distribution of First Book’s Empowering Educators resources during the AFT’s TEACH conference.
 
“Now more than ever, we’re reminded that racism and other forms of oppression —antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Asian hate, homophobia and other hatred based upon race, religion, sex, creed and color — are long-standing scourges in America, and that as educators, we have a key role in bringing people together and teaching tolerance, overcoming divisions and working toward justice and equality,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “The AFT special edition of Stamped provides an insightful look into the history of racism and what steps we can take to overcome racism so that we can become an anti-racist nation.

“But these are hard and sometimes uncomfortable conversations, which makes resources like these critical for educators as they navigate these topics with their students and help reconcile our country’s complicated history with a vision for America where everyone can access the opportunity to thrive, regardless of geography or demography. We’re thrilled to be working with First Book and the NAACP on this important campaign to help stamp out the injustices that are holding us back as a society.”
 
Share My Lesson’s new interactive Stamping Out Racism and Hate community page will feature resources and videos from First Book’s Empowering Educators toolkit, educator-created lesson plans to support teaching about key events like Juneteenth, videos made by students and youth groups hosting book parties and discussions using the AFT special edition of “Stamped” and much more.
 
The campaign will continue with events throughout the year — including a march on Washington, AFT back-to-school visits and the AFT’s Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Conference in October — to share resources with educators nationwide to help students and educators create and maintain schools and communities that are safe and welcoming for all.
 
First Book’s Empowering Educators toolkit was created in 2019, after First Book surveyed its network of more than 500,000 educators. Through the survey, 66 percent of educators stated that they wanted to proactively discuss race and racism in their classroom.

When 76 percent of educators requested resources to have effective, age-appropriate conversations with their students, the Empowering Educators series — free videos, discussion guides and one-pagers informed by leading anti-bias and anti-racist educators and experts — was created.
 
“At First Book, we believe that to achieve educational equity and truly educate our children, we must embrace a fact-based and thorough evaluation of our country’s history,” said Kyle Zimmer, president of First Book. “We are thrilled to work with this powerful group of organizations, led by the AFT, to extend the reach of the resources we have been developing over the last four years.

“At the heart of our work for 30 years is our commitment to helping educators have productive, inclusive and age-appropriate conversations about race with their students, and we are dedicated to continuing to support and expand this mission.”
 
“The ‘Stamping Out Racism and Hate’ campaign is commendable and creates a space for us to have a dialogue about the persistent chasm these long-standing epidemics create for our nation and its people,” said Wisdom Cole, interim national director of the NAACP Youth and College Division. “I am excited about joining forces with the AFT and other coalition partners to help students have informed conversations about how we can make the world around us a better place.”

The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.