Special Interest Group:

Advocacy & Policy

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October 2019 Updates

A message from your SIG Leader, Sharon Umlor:

Welcome to a new season of MITESOL advocacy! Please join me and fellow members at the 2019 MITESOL conference November 1-2 in my hometown of Grand Rapids to participate in two sessions to learn more about how you can participate in EL and educator advocacy. First, come learn what is involved in attending the national TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit from a panel of MITESOL attendees from the last four years in the session: How to Advocate: Our Experiences at the TESOL Policy & Advocacy Summit (9:00 a.m. Saturday). Also, please join me at the Advocacy & Policy SIG Meeting to discuss how we can best organize specialized teams of member advocates to address the broad array of current advocacy issues affecting our local communities, state, and nation (11:00 a.m. Saturday). Please email me with your ideas and talking points of interest you have regarding topics of advocacy you feel are affecting you, your colleagues, and students. Your participation and voice are essential to creating a strong brand of advocacy for MITESOL – Thank you!

 -- Sharon Umlor, advocacy-sig@mitesol.org

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2019 TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit

in Washington D.C.

This past June, Clarissa Codrington and I attended the Advocacy and Policy Summit in Washington D.C., meeting with the offices of both Michigan Senators and four Representatives to bring awareness to TESOL policy issues. Before the summit, we solicited MITESOL member video-testimonials specific to their location and EL population that were affected by our current administration’s policies. During meetings with representatives and legislative assistants, we were able to show Heather, Emily, and Barbara’s videos to give a day-in-the-life representation of issues affecting EL educators and their students.

Thank you for lending your voices! Your advocacy makes a difference! For further information on the Summit, you can read a detailed breakdown of activities in the August issue of MITESOL Messages newsletter.

    Policy Support: Take Action!

    1. Seek out local and state leaders who are established advocates for ELs.

    2. Stay current – Keep up-to-date with TESOL’s letters and alerts on important government policies and legislation.

    3. Follow legislative action – Sign up for alerts from the State of Michigan Legislature and U.S. Congress.

    4. COMMUNICATE with your elected officials via all channels – emails, letters, phone calls – frequently! Use a template or script.    

                Explain which specific policy is causing you to reach out (support or suggested change).

    TESOL Advocacy Action Center

    Want to easily reach your federal legislators? TESOL’s Advocacy Action Center is a tool that gives you the opportunity to answer action alerts from TESOL by contacting your members of Congress on important issues TESOL is tracking. Current pertinent legislation – The Reaching English Learners Act; The Supporting Providers of English Language Learning (SPELL) Act; and The American Dream and Promise Act. There’s a mobile app for this too! Sign on!

    Also, please regularly check TESOL’s Advocacy Resources page for letters and alerts, position statements, and many other helpful resources.

    TESOL Affiliate Advocacy & Social Media 

    Ever wonder how our fellow TESOL affiliate members are advocating? Stay current by visiting their web sites and following their social media! We EL advocates are stronger in numbers. ☺

    Association News

    Featured Michigan Advocacy Resource:

    The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) is a legal resource center for Michigan's immigrant communities. MIRC works to build a thriving Michigan where immigrant communities are fully integrated and respected.

    Helpful EL Data Resources

    AND… more Advocacy Resources from TESOL International that offer English language educators the opportunity to get involved.

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