Educators Acting on Earth Day


What is ecan?

The Labor Network for Sustainability has had the privilege of convening the monthly meetings of a newly formed Educators Climate Action Network (ECAN), formed by union educators across the United States in both the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA). This inspiring network has formed from the agitation of union teachers and professional staff. They believe that now is the time to go on offense and demand the dignity that educators, schools, and students deserve.

ECAN’s monthly meetings have thus far each been composed of ECAN members or outside experts coming to present on a primary topic of discussion chosen in advance. Monthly meetings have focused on topics such as climate justice demands in bargaining, climate justice curriculums and education standards in schools, and the building and retrofitting of green, healthy public schools. There have been richly informative presentations and discussions at each meeting and an impressive repository of resources has already been assembled on each meeting topic.

Time to fight back

While this space is extremely educational, and while the creation of space for solidarity and collective learning is a prerequisite for movement building, union educators also aim to organize.

ECAN members are acting in their schools and communities, organizing for action such as: channeling members and building power inside the newly formed AFT and NEA national Climate Caucuses (sign-up to join!); getting interdisciplinary school curriculum and cross-cutting educational standards on climate justice passed into law at local and State levels; turning their schools into solar powered “resilience hubs” capable of providing power and cooling to community members during climate emergencies and related weather events; and bringing community members into their contract bargaining committees while incorporating community-informed green retrofitting of schools as major contract bargaining demands, beyond exclusively their own demands as workers. LNS will continue to support the development of this exciting formation. If you wish to be involved, please visit to sign up, as well as share the link and our flier with your fellow union educators!


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