Netroots Nation: Speaker/Trainer Profile

The below profile is for an individual who spoke at a Netroots Nation event. Their views are their own and may not represent the view of the Netroots Nation organization or its staff, volunteers or board members. Note: Speakers cannot be contacted through Netroots Nation. Please contact the individual directly through their website, email or social media.

Erica Newsome

English Teacher

After earning my Masters Degree in Secondary Education at West Virginia University in 2009, I was blessed with the opportunity to teach in three nations over the past 9 years, including Canada and South Korea. These experiences taught me that school can and should be different for American teachers and students. I returned to my home area of Southern West Virginia in 2014 and was saddened at the state of our schools...the money that always disappears, the lack of support for teachers and students, and the erosion of our already meager benefits. I am a direct descendant of Sid Hatfield, who defended his town of Matewan from anti union thugs in the 1920s. He died for that cause, but the miners still rose up, donned red bandanas (and thus became "rednecks") and fought for the right to organize. Our own government massacred these men on Blair Mountain. The union is in my blood, and I will always have a stomach for the fight, because my people deserve better. That's why I jumped at the opportunity to start organizing quietly, just waiting for the time to be ripe. I couldn't have done anything without the love and support of my husband Chris, our two kitties, and my family and friends.