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January 16, 2023

VIDEO: Rep. Pressley Joins Lt. Gov. Driscoll, Educators for MLK Day Panel on Education & Social Justice

Pressley Highlights Need for Trauma-Informed Learning Environments, Living Wages and Mental Health Supports for Educators, and More

“I don’t want to romanticize resilience, that our teachers are dipping into their own pockets to resource their classrooms or feed their students… That is a moral outrage.”

Video (YouTube)

BOSTON – Today, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast in Boston, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) joined Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll and educators for a panel discussion on the significance of education in the pursuit of social justice. In the discussion, Rep. Pressley highlighted the need for trauma-informed learning environments, living wages and mental health supports for educators, and more.

“Dr. King understood the intersectionality of the fight for Black liberation and the critical role that education plays in it,” said Rep Pressley in a statement. “Our educators are experts in their craft and community-builders in their own right. Centering educators’ voices is essential. I am grateful for the opportunity to discuss how our public schools are central to our democracy and how we can work together to build community and advance policies that center the humanity of our students, families, and educators.”

Joining Rep. Pressley and Lt. Governor Driscoll at the discussion were Rebecca Grainger, Senior Advisor for Youth and Schools at the City of Boston⁠; Kathy Lopes, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Newton Public Schools⁠ ; Gavin Smith, Head of School at Boston Latin Academy⁠ ; and Kevin Dua, Government and Civics Teacher at Dearborn STEM Academy.

Full video of their discussion is available here.

Throughout her time in Congress, Rep. Pressley has consistently championed policies and investments that support safe and nurturing school environments for all students, especially girls of color.

Rep. Pressley is the lead sponsor of the Ending PUSHOUT Act, bold legislation to end the punitive pushout of girls of color from schools and disrupt the school-to-confinement pathway. She is also a lead co-sponsor of the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act, legislation to invest in safe and nurturing school climates that support all students and bring an end to the over-policing of our nation’s K-12 schools. Both bills are informed by Rep. Pressley’s People’s Justice Guarantee and are a continuation of her longstanding history of working to address issues of criminalization during her tenure on the Boston City Council.

In June 2021, Rep. Pressley reintroduced the STRONG Support for Children Act, her landmark legislation that takes a holistic and community-based approach to addressing the growing crisis of childhood trauma.

Rep. Pressley is also a co-sponsor of the American Teacher Act, legislation led by Reps. Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) and Frederica Wilson (FL-24) to raise the minimum teacher salary to $60,000 nationwide.

On Friday, Rep. Pressley delivered remarks at the historic unveiling of The Embrace, a tribute honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. In her address, Rep. Pressley underscored Dr. King’s radical love, the critical role Coretta Scott King played in the movement, and the impact of the Embrace to the City of Boston.