“Peace, Love, Solidarity, and Sisterhood” - These words are a part of the vision of the amazing women of NYSUT.  On November 2-3, 2018, the NYSUT Women’s Committee held their annual conference at NYSUT Headquarters in Latham, New York.  For a second year, I was fortunate enough to participate and serve with dynamic and inspiring women from all over New York State.  For two days, we worked together to discuss, formulate, and implement programs and policies on issues relating to women’s health, mentor and leadership training, sexual harassment awareness, and coalition building.

A Resolution Workshop, presented by Greg McCrea, provided guidance on how to craft solid and inclusive resolutions that can influence policy and promote causes of social justice.  We discussed the importance of collaborating with other locals in developing strategies to reach common goals, and how to ensure that the resolutions we propose accurately reflect the concerns and ideas of our members.  In addition, we received comprehensive instruction on how to effectively word a proposed resolution, increasing its chance of acceptance.

On Saturday, our members split up into working groups.  I participated in the group titled “Sexual Harassment Awareness”.  Some of the topics we delved into were how we define sexual harassment, how do we promote awareness among our members, and where we can go for help if needed.  Assisting locals develop contractual language that addresses sexual harassment and the importance of delegating a union advocate in each local was also discussed as important goals for the committee.  The development of a separate page on NYSUT’s website, providing guidance and resources is also under construction. Our message will include our objective to “Prevent, Support, Educate, and Empower.

Working with this group of incredible and inspiring women, who share a common belief that we are sisters who are here to lift each other up and advocate for those that need us, continues to be a valuable learning experience.  Only through the belief in sisterhood will we accomplish anything we put our minds to. I am incredibly proud to be a part of this wonderful group of women.