ETFO Voice Editor Izida Zorde
Photo by Christine Cousins
ARTICLE

From the Editor - Winter 2022

Izida Zorde

The winter issue of Voice focusses on the victories ETFO has achieved in solidarity with other education and public sector unions, as well as some of the incredible work our members are doing in the classroom to advance progressive conversations in Ontario and to support their students.

In her column in this issue, President Brown reflects on the victory against Bill 28. “Rather than negotiating in good faith with CUPE, the Ford government decided to impose a contract and trample over workers’ rights,” Brown writes. “ETFO and other public and private sector unions immediately rallied not only to defend CUPE members, but to defend the collective bargaining and democratic rights of all Ontarians. What would stop this government from using the notwithstanding clause again to undermine other rights protected by the Charter and the Human Rights Code. Faced with a united movement and the prospect of a general strike, Ford buckled and repealed the bill.” Heather Aggus and Carla Pereira provide a behind-the-scenes look into how ETFO geared up to fight Bill 28 in their article in this issue.

In The Power of Representation, Chad Mills reflects on why public schools need more Black educators, encouraging Black students to consider teaching as a career and reflecting on his own journey as a public school teacher. “Simply pulling aside a Black student in your class, school or community and suggesting education as a career they should consider, may put the wheels of possibility in motion,” he writes. Encouraging Black individuals to consider teaching was also the focus of the ground-breaking ETFO-lead symposium Generation Black: You’re Next, which marked the launch of ETFO’s Generation Black public campaign. Punita Bhardwaj lists the calls to action that arose from the symposium in her article.

Also in this issue, Jennifer Reid considers how educators can encourage their students to be climate justice activist in her article Girls, Activism and the Environment, and Gorden Nore reviews a collection of books that feature non-binary heroes, neurodiverse protagonists and healthy masculinity. Both of these articles offer great resources and inspiring approaches to educating students.

These features along with the columns, book reviews, and an excerpt from a new curriculum resource titled Niizh Manidoowag/Two-Spirit are sure to make great new year’s reading.

Wishing you a happy New Year.

– Izida Zorde