Arizona Education Association


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AROUND AEA SPRING 2022 | ADVOCATE 7 Every year, NEA's Read Across America brings the joys of reading to students of all ages and makes children feel valued and welcomed by celebrating diverse readers and books. e centerpiece of the popular year-round program is the nationwide reading extravaganza that occurs annually on or around March 2. An estimated 45 million people participated in NEA's Read Across America on March 2, including educators, students, librarians, lawmakers, actors, athletes, grandparents, fi st-responders, caretakers, and many others! Th s year Read Across America showcases diverse books for all readers with a special emphasis on titles for older grades. For the fi st time, NEA hosted a special Read Across America event focused on older readers. In a YA Author Chat, four young adult authors—J. Elle (Wings of Ebony), Margarita Engle (With a Star in My Hand), Loan Le (A Phở Love Story), and Britteny Morris (e Cost of Knowing)—discussed why diverse books matter for all students as part of a moderated conversation led by educator Tanya Johnson Martin. e panel covered how providing book choices that represent the richness of students' lives can make a difference in high school classrooms. Th s past February, Randy Parraz started as the new executive director for the Arizona Education Association (AEA). He will be responsible for managing and executing the vision and strategies laid out by the Association. Randy has spent the past 26 years engaged in the work of building power and moving people into action. "Randy is a proven organizer and we are excited to have him join our team as AEA continues the great work we are doing in our school communities," says AEA President Joe omas. "Now, more than ever, we need educators and parents to stand together to ensure a quality public education for every child in Arizona." From church-based organizing in East Dallas, to national coalition building on behalf of 20,000 strawberry workers in the fi lds of California, to working as a national fi ld representative of the AFL-CIO—Randy has experience with many methods of social change. Randy's introduction to social justice began when he observed his father, Deputy Sheriff John Parraz, organize the Latino Peace Offic s Association in the 1970s to combat discrimination in the recruitment, hiring, and retention of Latino offic s. Randy's understanding of organizing and framework for building power has been heavily influenced by Ernie Cortes of the Industrial Areas Foundation and Marshall Ganz, a former UFW organizer who worked closely with Cesar Chavez for 16 years. "e importance of providing a public education system that meets the needs of every child, while maintaining a workplace that allows educators to excel at every level is essential to Arizona's success. I look forward to working with AEA members, leaders, and staff in rowing the organization so we can positively impact the lives of Arizona's educators and the future of our state," says Randy Parraz. Previously, Randy served as senior advisor and organizing director for League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), governance and organizational leadership development coordinator for the National AFL-CIO, and led the Making Change at Walmart campaign for United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). Th s past summer, Randy completed writing Dignity by Fire: Dismantling Arizona's Anti-Immigrant Machine, which tells the story of the historic recall of Senate President Russell Pearce in 2011. Randy co-founded Citizens for a Better Arizona and spearheaded a grassroots campaign to recall the most powerful politician in the state of Arizona, Senate President Russell Pearce—author of SB 1070, the "show me your papers" anti- immigrant legislation. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Randy earned a Juris Doctorate from Berkeley Law and Master's in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. As an Echoing Green recipient, Randy and his co-founder, Scott Sherman, established the Transformative Action Institute to inspire, train, and develop a new generation of visionaries on college campuses. He is a member of the State Bar of California and has taught courses on social change at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Irvine, Arizona State University, and California State University Fullerton. AEA Welcomes Randy Parraz as New Executive Director AEA Treasurer Angela Philpot reads to her sixth-grade Language Arts students to celebrate Read Across America day. NEA's Read Across America Celebrates Reading— and Books!

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