As students and educators pause to honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Executive Director Dr. Tina Kerr released the following statement to the MASA membership:

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” It is in the spirit of these words and honoring his legacy that should drive the work that we as educators do each and every day.

There’s really no way to sugar coat it – things are just a mess right now and the world is more complicated than ever before. But what gives me hope is that for all the negativity and pain we have seen over the past months, we have also seen many positives. Our classrooms, whether face-to-face or virtual, continue to be the safest spaces for our children. Spaces that allow them to learn and grow – cognitively, socially, and emotionally. We also know that educators at all levels are absolutely essential workers and are at the core of what makes our society function. As educators we should see these challenges facing our nation and state as teachable moments for all of us. We truly appreciate and support every effort being made by district administrators, building leaders, teachers, and families to educate Michigan’s students about what’s right and what’s wrong during this time of unrest in our country.

This week, hundreds of MASA members are following suit and coming together to learn to lead forward into challenge and change at our Midwinter Conference. Among many things, we’re focused on making social justice a reality in districts, educating children beyond the pandemic, and ensuring that the social and emotional well-being of students and staff remain paramount.

Like you, we have our eyes on brighter days ahead. We look forward to working with the presumed Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona, the incoming Biden/Harris administration, and new leadership in the Michigan Legislature. We are hopeful for the future of our nation and the education landscape, particularly here in Michigan.