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Welcome back to Atlantic City for the 2021 NJEA Convention!

The NJEA Convention provides first-class professional experiences for educators of every job description, whether your work finds you in the classroom, the main office, the school bus, the cafeteria, the front door, the hallways and grounds, or anywhere else where NJEA members serve New Jersey’s 1.4 million students.

This year, there are two ways to attend the convention: in person at the Atlantic City Convention Center or virtually from home. As you peruse this program you’ll notice nearly 200 workshops are designed for in-person attendees and over 80 additional workshops are designed for virtual attendance.

The theme for the NJEA Convention is “Learning. Equity. Justice.” The theme reflects our role in the ongoing work of preparing our nation’s children, adolescents and young adults for a future we can only imagine and in the generational work of building a just and equitable society. You’ll see the theme reflected in the workshops—especially those gathered under the heading “Inclusive School Culture.” And you’ll find it in the lineup of keynote speakers.

The 2021 NJEA Convention features four exciting keynote speakers: Henry Louis Gates Jr., Bill Nye, Sonia Manzano and Eric Liu. You can attend their sessions in Atlantic City or watch them from home. In fact, Bill Nye will be presenting from a remote location when he beams into Hall A in the Convention Center or your computer screen at home. Gates, Manzano and Liu will present in person.

You’ll also find the theme expressed in the Real Storytellers Theater and the Equity Alliance Lounge that lifts up our joy in justice in the spirit of movement-building for equity and power.

And many old favorites will return to Atlantic City, such as Digital Boulevard, Main Street NJEA, and the vendors in the Exhibit Hall. The Celebration of Excellence also returns. The celebration will introduce the 2021-22 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year and members whose innovative programs have received grants from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education.

The convention also gives you the opportunity to speak truth to power. Acting Commissioner of Education Angelica Allen-McMillan and the State Board of Education have a direct impact on the work you do every day in your schools. On Friday, Nov. 5 they will hold a session where you can ask them your questions and share your perspective.

We are looking forward to seeing as many members as possible, as safely as possible. Guided by the standard of the New Jersey Department of Health and the CDC, the NJEA Convention Committee has worked closely with NJEA staff and with staff at the Atlantic City Convention Center to ensure a healthier and safer convention for everyone who attends. Should changes in pandemic conditions or public health guidance necessitate any changes to the planned program, we will communicate that to members as quickly as possible.

We look forward to seeing you, in person or virtually, on Nov. 4 and 5.