Belleville Federation of Teachers Local 434 stands against racism and is committed to ensuring that every student and educator can live, grow, and thrive with support, love, and joy. We were all born into a society built by racist systems and policies, many of which are functioning to this day. Though it is not our fault, racism is all of our problem and dismantling it is all of our responsibility – both those who are victimized by systemic racism and especially those who have benefited from the purposeful exclusion and marginalization of people of color. To do this, we must have honest conversations about racist policies that affect our students and schools, and then take action against those policies.
The Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Belleville Federation of Teachers have seen how collective activism has worked to shift agendas to advance the interests of working people. We have the capacity to break down the barriers that exclude, isolate and dehumanize – but it will take continuous effort, commitment, and struggle. Luckily, we are the labor movement and fighting back is what we do.
The Belleville Federation of Teachers Local 434 has joined the movement for racial justice, and we are actively engaged in carving out a new path forward and to fight for the future we all deserve.
Proud alumnus, union member, and educator in District #201 since 2006.
Dr. Hentze is the author of High Finance with Hentze, a monthly blog that provides news about District 201's current financial state.