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Member Spotlight

Nedra Miller

"My stance on equity starts with the famous quote from Brandon Odums, 'We are our ancestors' wildest dreams, but we don't know that unless we know what our ancestors went through.'"
Published: June 2023
Headshot of OEA member Nedra Miller

District/College: Portland Public Schools
Job Assignment/Position: 2nd Grade Teacher
Local Association: Portland Association of Teachers
Years of Educator Experience: 15+ years of teaching/ 5 years as a licensed teacher

What are three ways you have actively elevated equity?

  • Participated in the push to get PPS BLM Week of Action Resolution passed in2019
  • As a Racial Equity committee member at Lee, we adopted BARWE (Building Anti-Racist White Educators) as a monthly Inquiry series 3 years ago
  • Black Brilliance Committee Member at Lee
  • PAT Racial Equity Committee Co-chair
  • OEA’s Equity SPARKS Retreat Facilitator for BIPOC educators across Oregon
  • OEA NEON member (5th and last year)

What is your equity stance?

My stance on equity starts with the famous quote from Brandon Odums, “We are our ancestors' wildest dreams, but we don't know that unless we know what our ancestors went through,” as cliché as it sounds. I am aware of what those before us went through to get to where I am now. I acknowledge the sacrifice and struggles related to the work that is currently being done and the history that continues to be made. I also celebrate the fact that there is a generation coming up that will do things differently than even I could imagine. My fight is and will always be for justice, fairness, equal rights and treatment and value for black lives. In my opinion, that has not been accomplished and we all have work to do. This is where I encourage our allies to move from thinking and learning to uncomfortable conversations and actions. I call our accomplices to use your platforms and privilege toward equity for those of us that identify as BIPOC. And lastly, to our co-conspirators, thank you for showing up, listening, being on the front lines with us, being proactive and your willingness to put your unearned privilege aside. As adults, we know what has been done to Black Indigenous People of Color for centuries, so for “equity” sake, what are you willing to do about it?

What is your favorite social justice quote?

Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better. -Maya Angelou

Can you share one equity focused resource or student read that you recommend?

  • How to be an Anti-racist by Ibram Kendi
  • Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education

The Oregon Education Association (OEA) is a union committed to the cause of providing the basic right of great public education to every student. OEA represents about 41,000 educators working in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public schools and community colleges. OEA’s membership includes licensed teachers and specialists, classified/education support professionals (ESPs), community college faculty, retired educators, and student members. OEA members also belong to the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA).