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ISTA Member Greylor Walston selected as an NEA organizing fellow

Greylor Walston is transitioning from a member leader to a National Education Association (NEA) organizing fellow. The former Brownsburg Classroom Teachers Association member and social studies teacher is one of 12 educators in the country who was awarded the NEA Organizing Fellowship. He will spend one year embedded as ISTA staff and learn more about organizing to strengthen the Association.

The NEA Organizing Fellowship trains member leaders in the skills of organizing and advocating for members. The fellows participate in the NEA Organizing Fellowship Academy to learn how to identify and develop leaders, apply data to organizing, build coalitions and partnerships, develop skills in recruitment tactics and more.

Walston was already doing some organizing work as a member leader. As the Minority Affairs Committee co-chair, an Indiana Political Action Committee for Education board member and local political action committee member, he had done a lot of work statewide and locally to learn how to advocate for the issues important to members as well as how to drive them to action.

In the summer of 2021, Walston participated in an ISTA outreach campaign to Black and Indigenous members and members of color to engage and connect them to the work of ISTA. While working on the outreach campaign, he also completed the Pre-UniServ Organizing Academy, which gave him a primer in organizing.

“I have a lot of experiences, but I didn’t realize it was organizing,” said Walston. “The [Pre-UniServ Organizing] academy outlined what I’ve done and what I can do with organizing, which led me to apply.”

Based on his previous work and areas of interest in racial and social justice, Walston aims to work with not only ISTA members, but community stakeholders and other groups to build on racial and social justice initiatives.

“I really felt like this was the next step for me,” shared Walston. “When I got into education, I went into it because I believed that education was the way to pave the path forward for more racial justice and equity. That has always been the guiding principle leading me through my career. This [fellowship] was the next step.”

“I’m immersing myself 100% into this work to see what it’s like to be an organizer,” said Walston. He officially stepped into his new role on Sept. 23.

Learn more about the NEA Organizing Fellowship. If you want more information on the pre-UniServ academy opportunities, contact your UniServ Director or Organizer.