The Ethnic Studies Now Student Summit on Saturday (February 21) was a huge success! We had over 20 schools and 6 school districts represented! Many thanks to Union del Barrio and MEChA de Santee for organizing this event in LA! We will be posting up the final student resolutions up on the ESN website. Here are some initial videos of student leaders who spoke at the Summit:
Check back soon for more videos and photos!
The Montebello Unified School District, which serves over 30,000 students, passed a resolution last night making Ethnic Studies a High School Graduation Requirement within the next two years! This resolution also requires implementation of Ethnic Studies pre-K -12 within the next 4 years. School board members passed the resolution unanimously! Shout out to parent leader and organizer Lucila Chavez for speaking out at school board meetings numerous times, organizing parents and community, and making this dream a reality. Lastly, a quick shout out to Montebello School board members Lani Cupchoy, Montebello School Board Member and Edgar Cisneros for Montebello School Board for their support and leadership on this issue on the school board. Montebello now joins Los Angeles, San Francisco, and El Rancho Unified implementing Ethnic Studies in their local districts across all campuses.
At Tuesday's (February 10) LAUSD meeting, Board Member Monica Ratliff inquired about the progress of the implementation of the Ethnic Studies resolution which passed last November 18, 2014. She asked Superintendent Cortines about the report that Dr. Angel Barrett has prepared, and also about the Ethnic Studies Committee/Taskforce. We thank Ms. Ratliff for her ongoing support! Here's the video:
Today marks the birthday of Rosa Parks...may she rest in Power! For Black History Month we'll be posting article we'd like to share with you on our Facebook Page: facebook.com/EthnicStudiesNow
There's an article on Huffington Post today about Rosa Parks with 10 things you might not know about her life:
1. Parks had been thrown off the bus a decade earlier by the same bus driver -- for refusing to pay in the front and go around to the back to board. She had avoided that driver's bus for twelve years because she knew well the risks of angering drivers, all of whom were white and carried guns. Her own mother had been threatened with physical violence by a bus driver, in front of Parks who was a child at the time. Parks' neighbor had been killed for his bus stand, and teenage protester Claudette Colvin, among others, had recently been badly manhandled by the police.
click here to read the other 9...
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante (713) 867-8943 AztecMuse@aol.com
Student Challenges Racist Law Banning Mexican American Studies.
photo credit: Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales
San Francisco, CA (January 12, 2015)-Arizona House Bill 2281 was used to prohibit the Mexican American Studies (MAS) Program at Tucson Unified School District. Today "Maya Arce v. Huppenthal" goes to trial today at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Huppenthal was a vehement opponent of MAS, running for an early office by saying he would "Stop La Raza." He was later caught making racist anonymous comments on blogs, including that Spanish media should be eliminated.
"When Arizona banned our history, we decided to make more," said Tony Diaz, El Libroraficante (Book Trafficker) "And when a 17 year old Latina high school student overturns one of the most racist laws in America, this will mark the launch of the Chicano Renaissance. The bill is vague enough that it can be applied to many other courses, too. Maya is fighting for every Americans' freedom of speech."
100's of activists, students, community members from all over Texas, Arizona, and California will descend on the court house to demand civil rights for Mexican Americans and to defend Ethnic Studies.
When asked why she was doing this, Maya Arce, the plantiff in the case said, 'The right to study my history, culture, literature, and art is a basic fundamental human right. My grandparents were punished for speaking Spanish and being "too Mexican" in schools. They were made to feel ashamed of who they were. For this reason I choose to continue the struggle of my ancestors and those who will come after me so we can honor, study, and celebrate our rich resistance to oppression and tremendous contributions to humanity."
Who: 100's of activists from California, Texas and Arizona descend on the court house.
What: The Arizona law used to ban Mexican American Studies will be argued in at 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
When: Monday, January 12, 2015, 10 am.
Where: 9th Circuit Court of Appeal, Court House Steps, 95 Seventh St., San Francisco, CA
Why: Every 40-50 years Democracy needs to be rebooted. This time the task has fallen on the broad shoulders and broader imaginations of Chicanos.
Links to more information about the court case:
The House on Mango Street Goes to Trial: #MayaVsAZ
Teaching Hip Hop Illegally Promotes Ethnic Solidarity, Arizona Official says, "Arizona banned our History. We decided to make more."
You can see the video recordings by Aztec TV that was live streamed during the summit:
Thank you to all of our Ethnic Studies Now Coalition members who responded to our text message to call the LAPD Chief's office to demand Dr. Melina Abdullah's immediate release. Dr. Abdullah, a key leader of the Ethnic Studies Now Coalition is also a leader in the Black Lives Matter LA movement. She was a part of the OccupyLAPD encampment at LAPD headquarters across from LA City Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. Today the LAPD decided to clear out the encampment and Dr. Abdullah and Sha Dixon were arrested while trying to simply deliver a letter to the LAPD. We sent a text blast to our network and many of you responded that you had called Chief Beck's office --Thank you! Black Lives Matter - LA confirmed via a tweet today at 4:30PM that both Dr. Abdullah and Sha Dixon have been released. BLACK LIVES MATTER! BROWN LIVES MATTER!
In case you missed it, you can watch the video of the historic December 9, 2014 SFUSD Board Meeting in which Ethnic Studies was institutionalized!