Education advocates have an ask for parents, community members, and teachers across the state this school year -- and that’s to wear red for ed.
The Red for Ed campaign began in Arizona, where a grassroots movement led to a raise in teacher pay and increased funding for public education.
“It was so inspiring to see teachers and parents and communities stand together,” recalls Sarah Pedersen.
Pedersen is a teacher in Richmond, and an organizer with Virginia Educators United. The group began this summer to help build the groundwork for a potentially similar movement in Virginia.
“We really have been working very hard to try to ensure that the General Assembly is aware that Virginia could be next,” says Pedersen.
Part of the campaign is encouraging people across the state to wear red each Wednesday -- then share their support for public education by using #redfored on social media.
“We want everyone to understand that education isn’t a sunk cost, it’s an investment,” Pedersen says. “And we’re asking our leaders - our electeds - to understand that just as stand together on Wednesdays, we will stand together at the ballot box.”
So far the movement is strongest in Richmond. But organizers in Shenandoah, Northern Virginia and Roanoke have also been on board.