June 18, 2007

Talking Points and Other "Pass the Hat for Paul" Insider Information

Talking Points for the "Pass the Hat for Paul Campaign"
Who was Paul Mann and how is he being honored at the 2008 RA?

Paul Mann was an active member of the Iowa Education Association and a leader in the NEA Peace and Justice Caucus. For many years before his unexpected death in 2006, Paul was a strong advocate for democracy, dignity and peace in his community and his union. He was particularly supportive of the autonomous, indigenous schools of Chiapas, Mexico.

What did Paul Mann do to win the Applegate-Dorris Peace and International Understanding Award?

Paul’s entire life was dedicated to building international understanding and working for peace. Paul’s ability to reach out to the Zapatista schoolchildren and teachers of Chiapas, Mexico is indicative of his dreams for social justice.

Where did Paul Mann do his work for peace and international understanding?

Paul spoke out at NEA Representative Assemblies and in his local and state unions urging respect and honesty; Paul could always tell a joke or reach out to someone who was excluded or forgotten; and Paul always insisted that peace and justice knows no borders.

Why support the Paul Mann Memorial School in Chiapas, Mexico?

For over ten years, the Representative Assembly of the NEA has repeatedly supported the autonomous, Mayan schools in Chiapas, Mexico. Delegates have dug deep donating to school construction, NEA members have traveled to Chiapas to build school, and NEA presidents have written moving letters defending the right of these children to their community run schools. By supporting the Paul Mann Memorial School we have a chance to make a real difference in the lives of indigenous children of Chiapas, Mexico.

When should the “Passing the Hat for Paul” collections happen?

We are suggesting that the physical collection take place within state caucuses soon after distribution of literature to every state caucus member and after someone has made a brief but moving appeal for donations. Our prefereed time for this collection is 8am on July 3, 2008.

How will the “Passing the Hat for Paul” collection happen?

We need your help – and the help of everyone at the RA. This grassroots collection sponsored by the NEA Peace and Justice Caucus will require the participation of RA delegates in all 50 states. These supporters must speak with their state presidents to win approval for “Passing the Hat for Paul” during the state caucus meeting. We also need approval from presidents to distribute literature about the Paul Mann Memorial School. Finally, one supporter of Paul’s school must stand up during the caucus meeting, ask their fellow delegates to donate, and then work with others to pass a collection plate in front of everyone in the state caucus.

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