Bill Pritchett, a specialist in racial justice, communications,
and leadership development, and who guided
CFT’s Racial Equity Task Force, began his workshop on
“Dismantling the Intersections of Male Supremacy Culture and
White Supremacy Culture in Our Workplaces” (whew, tall order) by
talking about how impressed he is with CFT’s commitment to racial
For Belinda Lum, sociology professor at Sacramento City College
and chief negotiator for the Los Rios College Federation of
Teachers, it was because she’s the granddaughter and
great-granddaughter of people who came over from China with fake
papers. For Leis Rodriguez, it was wanting to use her law school
degree for her passion and becoming an immigration attorney.
Implicit bias can lead to injustice in many areas of our lives,
including housing, education, employment, the courts, and
healthcare. We all have implicit biases — or preferences and
attitudes that subconsciously can affect how we interact with
others, said Bethany Gizzi, and Lena Ackerman, trainers in the
“Understanding Implicit Bias and Stereotypes” workshop at the CFT
Leadership Conference held March 17-18.
About 200 CFT members from around the state converged at San
Francisco’s Hyatt Regency for a Leadership Conference — the first
time they’d been able to join together for such an event since
the state shut down for COVID on March 13, 2020.
Seeming excited to see one another in person, attendees went to
workshops, many dealing with racial and social justice issues,
and heard from speakers including JEDI (Justice, Equity,
Diversity and Inclusion) Organizer Cynthia Eaton, State
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, and AFT
President Randi Weingarten.
How does a new PG&E worker like Nilda Garcia become an
organizer traveling the nation to fight for social justice?
Garcia is one of a group of “organizing stewards” that has
ignited passion in her union, the International Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers, Local 1245.
Making schools community hubs is key to the union’s campaign for
quality public education, CFT President Joshua Pechthalt told
participants at the Leadership Conference. Connections with
community members comprise the CFT’s greatest strength and he
encouraged educators to mine those ties.