NA For Change.
Learn more about who we are and who we aren’t!
NA For Change is a coalition of North Allegheny students, alumni, parents, educators, and community members working to place the issues of diversity, inclusion, and antiracism at the forefront of the community’s attention while advocating for the implementation of a set of immediate and tangible solutions to positively benefit the community and its students.
NA For Change was formed in Western Pennsylvania to address the gaps in the North Allegheny School District’s (NASD) approach to diversity and inclusion. According to NICHE, NASD is the 8th best public school system in Pennsylvania and ranks as one of the best in the country. NASD employs 1,171 people, of which 690 are teachers, to build a learning environment for its 8, 559 K-12 students — 22% of whom are students of color.
The school district states that its goals are:
1.) for each student to reach their highest academic potential,
2.) to ensure everyone feels safe and supportive,
3.) to always improve and innovate,
4.) to provide high-quality education, and
5.) to encourage community engagement.
However, many students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and students with disabilities do not feel that their educational experience honors these claims. We asked ourselves: How can we ensure an inclusive, supportive, anti-racist learning environment for our students to make the district’s goals a reality?
The events that have unfolded throughout 2020 have inspired us to forge necessary change–starting with our own community–by educating, researching solutions, and publicizing our demands to the school board and our board of education. Education is a crucial tool in realizing an anti-racist and equitable society, and, for us, this tool has been wielded through direct action. The response we have received from thousands of students and community members has been extremely encouraging. After gaining traction, we published a letter and an addendum that detailed our demands, each point’s rationale, how the district could accomplish the task, and a timeline for implementing change. We also publicized every document shared with the school board and created outlets for community involvement, such as school-board meeting call-ins and virtual events. As we continue to become the change we wish to see, we encourage others to join us in the fight for a better educational experience!