Manitoba Educators for Social Justice
MESJ is a group of educators who share a commitment to creating a better society. We recognize that progressive teachers, educational assistants and other school staff can often feel isolated within our schools. MESJ aims to unite educators so that they may support each other, share resources, develop better teaching practices, and advocate for a more just and inclusive school system.
What We Believe
1. We teach to empower. We believe that education has the power to help people change the world through the sharing of ideas, the development of analysis, the growth of skills, and the application of learning to matters of social concern. We recognize the limitations of the current educational system and work to move it in a more participatory and egalitarian direction, while protecting its place in the public sphere.
2. We are committed to our own growth. We recognize the value of teachers collaborating and sharing ideas. We endeavor to raise the level of analysis and consciousness of educators through meaningful professional development. We believe that educators can also benefit and learn from their students.
3. We are radical. We believe that in order to collectively address the problems that face us, we need analysis and action that focus on root causes. We are not content with cosmetic reforms or piecemeal changes. We support taking action to re-make society into something more democratic, sustainable, and equal.
4. We reject all forms of oppression. We believe that racism, patriarchy, and homophobia divide us today in ways that serve the interests of those with power and wealth. As Canadians, we specifically reject the ongoing projects of colonialism and support the self-determination of Aboriginal peoples. We affirm the principle of human equality and the value of diversity.
5. We are anti-capitalist. We believe capitalism creates inequality and rewards greed. It is an economic system that exploits and alienates people while destroying the life support systems of our earth.
6. We oppose militarism and imperialist wars. We believe that the purpose of the military build-up and war in the United States and Canada is to create a world safe for the accumulation of capital, at the expense of the freedom and security of the vast majority of the world’s people. As such, we oppose war against, and the foreign occupation of, countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. We do not see these as “humanitarian” efforts.