To nominate someone for NEA’s Social Justice Activist of the Year Award, please read this page in its entirety before submitting the nomination form.

To facilitate our verification, please be sure to include the membership ID or last four digits of the Social Security Number of the nominee.


  • NEA accepts nominations without regard to race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or national or
  • All NEA members, regardless of member or job classification, of an NEA state/local affiliate or bargaining unit who have been members for 2 years as of January 15, 2017 are eligible. Nominees must be an “active” member at the time of nomination
  • Association staff (National, state or local) are not eligible for nomination.


Nomination Criteria – Nominations that do not meet these criteria may  not be considered

  • Nominations will be accepted from NEA members, state or local affiliates, or recognized cauc
  • Any NEA member, state or local affiliate can nominate an individual member or team of up to three members for the award.
  • Nominees should be the principle organizer(s) of a campaign or social and/or racial justice action
  • Nominees should demonstrate engagement in social and/or racial justice activism with members, parents, community and/or community stakeholders and partners on issues such as:
    • Immigration Justice
    • School Discipline/School to Prison Pipeline
    • Equity & Opportunity in Education
    • Racial Justice
    • Positive School Climate

Selection and Voting

  • The Selection Committee will review all nominations to ensure that eligibility and submission requirements are met.
  • The Selection Committee will identify the top nominations (up to five). The top nominations will be announced as finalists and posted online at which time online voting begins.
  • Educators and public education allies and partners are permitted to vote.
  • The finalist with the most votes by the deadline will be announced as the award winner at the Joint Conference.

Submit your nomination here!

  • Bully-Free

    Student bullying occurs once every seven minutes. In schools across America, one in three students report being bullied weekly.
  • English Language Learners

    Over 400 languages are spoken by students who are English Language Learners nationwide . These ELL students bring a rich cultural diversity to our student populations.
  • Immigration

    A pragmatic approach to immigration is critical for our students –the center of our communities. All students should have the opportunity to learn without the fear and distress that result from unfair immigration policies.

    LGTBQ students face unique challenges in our schools. They are more likely to face bullying and harassment leading to poor grades, higher dropout rates and homelessness. Safe and affirming schools are a core element of student success.
  • Voting Rights

    States across the country have passed measures to make it harder for Americans—particularly people of color, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities—to exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot.
  • Opportunity

    A student’s chances for success should not depend on living in the right zip code, winning a charter lottery, or affording private school. Our schools belong to all of us.
  • Racial Justice

    Our education system while intended to uphold equal opportunity, often also entrenches disparities by its sheer design.
  • Ending the School to Prison Pipeline

    Zero tolerance and other school discipline policies designed to push kids out of the classroom often lead students into the criminal justice system at unprecedented rates. Too many students are lost to our communities this way.