FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 7, 2021
Boston Teachers Union elects most diverse board in 76-year history
First Black field representative, first Latinx person on the Executive Board and three newly elected paraprofessionals round out a leadership board more representative of the students and members it serves.
BOSTON – The Boston Teachers Union (BTU) made history Wednesday night when the membership elected the most diverse council in the union’s 76-year history. Nearly 3,000 members of the union mailed in ballots and voted in-person for this year’s election, a 15% increase in votes since the last election in 2019.
Lea Serena is the first Black person and Black woman to be elected as a field representative. Serena, who is Cape Verdean, won 51.93% of the vote in the race for Elementary Field Rep. Rosalinda Midence is the first Latina to be elected to the Executive Board. CasSandra Samuel, A. Vanessa LaRocque – both black women – and Midence are also three new paraprofessionals who are joining the Board as well. The Executive Board is now both over 50% women and people of color. (The union membership is 76% women and 48% people of color.)
“As educators in the city of Boston, we serve predominantly Black, Latinx, and AAPI students. The board that leads our union should reflect both the educators we represent and the community we teach, and the results of this election show that our membership agrees,” said BTU President Jessica Tang, who made history in 2017 when she was elected President as the first person of color to hold the position. “We are excited for this new chapter in our union history as we welcome our most diverse board yet.”
“As a union, we will continue to build trust and build communities by breaking down walls of inequities for our students, families and members,” said Midence.
“The Boston Teachers Union has a complex history on how we have handled racial issues,” echoed Serena. “This win is not just a win for me; it’s a win for all, and was made possible by dedicated members who have paved the way through their own leadership in and out the classroom.”
The full results of Wednesday’s election are available on BTU’s website.
About the Boston Teachers Union:
The Boston Teachers Union proudly represents more than 10,000 teachers and other professionals, including school nurses, psychologists, guidance counselors, paraprofessionals, and substitute teachers. Together, we advocate for the interests of students, parents, and education professionals throughout the Boston Public Schools. We support investment in public education to ensure a stronger future for our students and our city. As a union of educators, we are part of a movement that seeks to improve all working people’s quality of life. We are united against all forms of prejudice and bigotry that would seek to devalue our students, families, or colleagues’ lives or liberties.