CFT believes that Black Lives Matter
June 17, 2020

Resolution

Whereas, CFT is a Union of Educators and Classified Professionals representing more than 120,000 employees working at every level of public and private education from Head Start to Universities of California, many of whom come from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, specifically Black racial and ethnic backgrounds; and

Whereas, CFT condemns those building blocks of racial oppression, anti-Black racism, and unconscious biases that provide the structural support for America’s historical foundation of systemic racism; and

Whereas, CFT maintains that America’s systemic racist ethos has not been sufficiently addressed in greater society, given that such racism has engendered far too many incidences of unjustified killings of unarmed Black lives, especially by law enforcement, the most recent being George Floyd; and

Whereas, Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on the neck of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man lying face down while handcuffed, for nearly 9 minutes while Mr. Floyd begged for his life saying, “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,” as three other officers prevented bystanders from intervening; and

Whereas, the senseless, dispassionate killing of George Floyd is just one in a long line of killings of Black lives who incessantly face police violence, prosecution, and incarceration in far greater — and disproportionate — numbers than other citizens in America, causing severe harm and heart-break, primarily to Black communities, but also to the collective society; and

Whereas, in 2016 CFT recognized the intense and overwhelmingly toxic effects of systemic racism at that time, partly as a result of the killing of a Black, male youth, Trayvon Martin, in 2012, adopted a resolution establishing its Racial Equity Task Force to educate itself and its members about America’s systemic racism against people of color, specifically Black men, its history of racial oppression, and to acknowledge, give space to, and confront the difficult topic of racial bias; and

Whereas, CFT is working toward cultivating its own consciousness regarding systemic racism via its Racial Equity Task Force, and has begun assisting Black lives in becoming more integral parts of an education system that can only be strongest when all students have an opportunity to be positively influenced by a racially diverse group of Educators and Classified Professionals; and

Whereas, the Executive Council of CFT adopted a Code of Conduct to acknowledge a need to correct its own actions related to racial discrimination to prevent and prohibit discriminatory, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior in the workplace at any CFT activity, event, or meeting, even if conduct does not rise to the level of legal violation; and

Whereas, the Code of Conduct adopted by the CFT strives to provide a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment, that is positive and respectful of an individual’s race, ethnicity, religious creed, color, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, gender identity or expression, ancestry, pregnancy, marital status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law; and

Whereas, although, CFT is doing its utmost to change its own consciousness with regard to systemic racial prejudice, CFT acknowledges that very little has changed with regard to America’s progress toward ensuring the protection of the rights, liberties, and overall value of Black lives; and

Whereas, America has far exceeded the time necessary to act decisively to end anti-Black sentiment, discrimination, macro- and micro-aggressions that are unconsciously engaged through white ethnocentric biases; and

Therefore, be it resolved, that CFT states emphatically its position against systemic racism in all of its forms and ardently state that Black Lives Matter; and

Be it further resolved, that CFT states emphatically that ALL Black Lives Matter —  men, women, all those along the gender spectrum, trans, queer, disabled, undocumented, lives with record; and

Be it further resolved, that CFT reaffirm its commitment and duty to eviscerate  systemic racism, which has been long known to erect barriers between the advancement and freedoms of Black lives, specifically our Black Educators and Classified Professionals, while simultaneously intensifying our efforts to seek out, listen to, and amplify the voices of our Black members and all who support them; and

Be it further resolved, that CFT reaffirm its effort to diversify its staff at all levels through the implementation of its affirmative action policy; and

Be it further resolved, that CFT actively and strategically engage locals and employers where we have affiliates to address systemic racism in their policies and implementation decisions that affect the education system we serve; and

Be it further resolved, that CFT continue to actively lobby against budget cuts that will result in massive layoffs of mostly classified jobs, which will disproportionately impact the Black community; and

Be it further resolved, that CFT partner with and support efforts of other organizations and/or groups aligned with the movement for defending Black lives against systemic racism, especially those organizations and/or groups that are Black-led, and 1) share the goal of gaining liberation, reparations, access, and equity for Black lives in California; 2) remain focused on addressing and ameliorating the economic issues facing Black communities; and 3) are  committed to reforming law enforcement and the criminal justice system at all levels (partner organizations or groups might include, but are not limited to: educational, labor, non-profit, civil rights, health, justice, religious, community, grassroots, local, state, national, and international, etcetera); and

Be it further resolved, that CFT champion efforts ensuring economic and democratic liberties for Black lives by achieving such ends as the 1) reinvestment in social services and education; 2) access to living wages and family-supporting jobs; 3) access to universal healthcare; 4) right to vote safely without barriers; 5) right to home ownership in neighborhoods they may have been formerly denied access to; and 6) right to a safe and secure livelihood free of fear from unnecessary violence from law enforcement; and

Be it further resolved that CFT advocate for efforts at all levels, including our local, state, and national Labor Councils and Coalitions, for example: The King County Labor Coalition, which demands that law enforcement unions immediately enact policies that actively address racism in law enforcement and hold officers and agencies accountable for policy violations against citizens and that they are removed from the Labor movement for such violations; and

Be it further resolved, that CFT advocate for efforts of the labor movement that further the cause of racial and economic justice; and

Be it further resolved, that CFT refrain from working with or supporting law enforcement departments, organizations, and labor organizations that support anti-Black policies and/or engage in activities that bolster the implicit racial bias known to exist; and

Be it further resolved, that CFT refrain from working with or supporting law enforcement departments that utilize: 1) the choke hold and carotid artery hold; 2) racial profiling; and 3) the use of the stop-and-frisk style programs; and

Be it further resolved, that CFT advocate for efforts to reform police policy, which may include the following: 

  • Eliminate all uniformed police officers from school and college campuses;
  • Redirect these funds to social services, mental health services, health care, and other school and community building programs;
  • Drastically reduce the funds for city and county police forces;
  • Defund the militarization of the police force at the federal level in order to end the discrimination of military equipment and tactics to state and local police departments;
  • Implement mandatory training on de-escalation and implicit race bias;
  • Create civilian review boards with power to implement real accountability measures for law enforcement officers and departments that violate their oath to protect and serve;
  • Create a national law enforcement database to record and track behavioral misconduct;
  • Join in discussions regarding bail and drug law reforms; and

Be it further resolved, that CFT commence action on this resolution immediately upon its passage by identifying and appointing leaders who will make significant strides forward with regard to the issues mentioned herein; and

Be it further resolved, that CFT hold a press conference with partner organizations and leaders informing the public of our commitment laid out in this resolution to actively engage the dismantling of systemic racism that affects primarily ethnic minorities, but specifically Black lives; and

Be it finally resolved, that CFT fully engage all of its resources to achieve the goals as laid out in this resolution.
 

  • Passed by CFT Executive Council on June 17, 2020