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AB 101 passes CA Appropriations Committee

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SENT EMAILS TO THE ASSEMBLY APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE! Over 350 emails were sent to the members of the committee in the lead up to their vote today. Now AB 101 goes before the entire CA Assembly!

 


Ethnic Studies Now Coalition Prepared to Defend Ethnic Studies Initiative in LAUSD

Los Angeles, CA—The Ethnic Studies Now Coalition is prepared to defend the ethnic studies initiative and is mobilizing its community base to the June 9th LAUSD Board Meeting at 2:00 p.m. The Ethnic Studies Now Coalition is the grassroots organization that is responsible for organizing the campaign to make ethnic studies a graduation requirement in LAUSD. The historic initiative was passed last November 18, 2014 at a packed school board meeting that included hundreds of students and community members who strongly voiced their enthusiasm and support for the ethnic studies graduation requirement. The school board responded with a 6-1 vote and a newly seated Superintendent Cortines voiced his readiness by enthusiastically stating that he, “accepted the challenge!” On May 8, 2015, in an email addressed to school board members and executive staff, Cortines relinquished the challenge and stated, “ I do not support the recommendation to make Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement. Ethnic Studies is not a requirement to gain acceptance nor is it a requirement to graduate from any college institution.”
 
Ethnic Studies Committee Woes
One of the first challenges to realizing the initiative was putting together a capable Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee. This responsibility fell primarily to the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Angel Barrett. Surprisingly, the Committee was formed to the exclusion of members of the Ethnic Studies Now Coalition and was heavily packed with District administrative staff, a majority of whom had little to no experience with ethnic studies matters. Only after petitioning school board members to include representation from the Ethnic Studies Now Coalition did the Coalition get 2 seats at the table. The Coalition added tremendous value to the Committee by bringing in the only ethnic studies scholar to sit on the Committee, Professor and Chair of Pan African Studies at CSULA, activist/scholar Dr. Melina Abdullah. The Coalition also brought in current teachers and students of ethnic studies who were able to articulate the social and academic value that teaching and learning in ethnic studies provides. These voices were critical in steering the District members of the Committee away from a diversity class and moving the implementation plan to a model where an intercultural ethnic studies course and an array of classes in the field of ethnic studies would satisfy the graduation requirement.
 
Sticker Shock
The Ethnic Studies Coalition rejects as factually inaccurate the assumption that the Ethnic Studies Committee as a whole provided any budget estimates or projections. The 5 Committee meetings consisted of developing consensus on an implementation model and a timeline, at no time did the Committee discuss budget in detail. Members of the Ethnic Studies Committee did not receive a budget projection until Monday, May 25, 2015 -- by chance where a budget document was publicly available at the entrance to the Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Committee meeting. Early analysis by independent budget experts reveal that this budget is highly speculative and inflated in the areas of textbook and teacher costs. It appears that the budget is designed to induce sticker shock to provide fodder for a pre-emptive media blitz aimed at shutting down ethnic studies.

We mourn the loss of the life of Monique Rivera

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that we have been made aware of the passing of Monique Rivera, who was an active member of the Ethnic Studies Now Coalition. Our most sincere condolences to her family and friends. You may recall the flyer we distributed last year to promote the rally before the historic vote by the LAUSD Board last November and which featured a photo of her in a graphic design by Mayra Rangel.  Here are the details of the vigil to remember Monique, as posted on Facebook:

WHEN: Today (April 9, 2015) 3:20-4:10pm

LOCATION: Free Speech Zone in front of Cal State LA University Bookstore

"A beloved daughter, a brilliant classmate, and an amazing friend. Monique Rivera was a fellow Cal State-Los Angeles student. She was majoring in Psychology with a minor in Pan African Studies and had less than one year left before graduation. Her body was found on Monday (4/6) in her Alhambra home, where she resided with her mother and grandmother. She was 25 years of age. Monique was a believer in the need for social justice and was an organizer and advocate for social change. She had a bright and promising future ahead of her. Out love and condolences go to her family. We love her and will miss her dearly, rest in power Monique!" via https://www.facebook.com/events/781671405279851/

¡¡¡MONIQUE RIVERA PRESENTE!!!

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100th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide - UCLA Commemorates

via Society for Armenian Studies website

LOS ANGELES—From April 10-11, 2015. The Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History at UCLA [established by the Armenian Educational Foundation] will hold a conference to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. (click on image to enlarge).

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The event is co-sponsored by the Gustave Von Grunebaum Center for Near East Studies (UCLA), the UCLA Center for European and Eurasian Studies,as well as the UCLA Department of History. It will involve two days of panels featuring an international cast of world-renowned scholars as well as an evening of keynote speakers on Friday (April 10) and a small concert at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall.

Professors Richard G. Hovannisian, Ronald Grigor Suny, and Istanbul-based public intellectual and academic Murat Belge will each provide their reflections with musical interludes by the Armenian Music Ensemble of UCLA under the direction of Movses Poghossian.

One of the concerns that threads together the different academic panels on the genocide is to embed the Armenian-Ottoman tragedy within the larger contexts of world or global history, emphasizing the comparative and connective aspects of this defining event in the historical trajectories of Armenians, Turks, and others in the course of a “century of genocides.”

Participating scholars include Norman Naimark, Donald Bloxham, Jay Winter, Dirk Moses, Richard Hovannisian, Gary Bass, Gerard Libaridian, Donald Miller, Bülent Bilmez, Bedross Der Matossian, Uğur Ümit Üngör, Janet Klein, Ruken Şengul, Murat Yildiz, Sossie Kasbarian, Dzovinar Derderian, and others.

Please see attached conference poster for a full listing of the program and venue.

Genocide and global history March 2 finalDirect any inquiries to conference organizer and holder of the Chair, Professor Sebouh D. Aslanian,ucla.armenianhistory.chair@gmail.com.

 


honoring California Indians - Student Art Show Reception

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via http://www.indianeducationlausd.com/calendar-backup/

"This annual exhibition demonstrates the strong collaborative spirit of two institutions devoted to promoting American Indian Arts and Cultural education through the Los Angles Unified School District. American Indian/Alaskan Native Title VII students  were thrilled to showcase their talents at the Autry National Center.

Each year, students focus their studies on tribes of a given region in the United States. Sandy Franks, the Title VII Cultural Advisor chooses the region each year and creates the lesson plans that encompass the art projects that are displayed. Young Indian artists tap into their creativity and express themselves through a variety of authentic art projects."

 


AB 101 passes CA Assembly Education Committee

On March 25, 2015 Assembly Bill 101 passed the California Assembly Education Committee, and now goes onto the CA Appropriations Committee. You can watch the entire video or scroll down to watch specific segments:

CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW TO SKIP TO THAT PART OF THE HEARING:

ASM Reginald Sawyer-Jones:

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CTA/UTLA Cecily Myart-Cruz:

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Mariela Pizarro Silva:

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Alex Shantz:

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PUBLIC COMMENTS:
 

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Asm. Young O. Kim - District 65, Fullerton (R):

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Asm. Shirley N. Weber - District 79, San Diego (D):

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Asm. Tony Thurmond - District 15, Richmond (D):

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Asm. Patrick O'Donnell, Committee Chair,

District 70, Long Beach (D):

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CLOSING REMARKS:

Asm. Alejo, District 30, Watsonville (D):

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VOTE by CA Assembly Education Committee:

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500+ emails sent to CA Assembly Education Committee -- THANK YOU!

UPDATE:  THANK YOU TO THE 500+ PEOPLE  WHO HAVE SENT EMAILS! 

HERE IS A PHOTO OF ASSEMBLY MEMBER ALEJO WITH ONE OF OUR ETHNIC STUDIES NOW COALITION T-SHIRTS.

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AB101 ACTION ALERT: Email members of Education Committee

On Wednesday, March 25, the AB101 (Ethnic Studies) bill goes before the CA Assembly Education Committee. Please click on the button below, add your name to the email, send, and share widely with your friends, colleagues and family:

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If the button doesn't work with your phone or computer, copy and paste the email below:

TO:

assemblymember.odonnell@assembly.ca.gov, assemblymember.chavez@assembly.ca.gov, assemblymember.kim@assembly.ca.gov, assemblymember.mccarty@assembly.ca.gov, assemblymember.santiago@assembly.ca.gov, assemblymember.thurmond@assembly.ca.gov, assemblymember.weber@assembly.ca.gov

CC:

info@ethnicstudiesnow.com, assemblymember.alejo@assembly.ca.gov

RE: AB 101 (Alejo): Ethnic Studies for California High Schools - SUPPORT

Dear Honorable Members of the Education Committee,

I write in support of AB 101, which instructs the Superintendent to establish an Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee beginning the school year of 2016-17. The advisory committee will make recommendations to the board on issues related to ethnic studies. The Superintendent will then submit a plan to the board to fully implement an ethnic studies curriculum for all California high schools.

California has one of the largest and most diverse student populations in the nation. Ethnic minorities account for over 71 percent of the student population, with more than 90 languages spoken in District schools.

Given California's annual increase in diversity, it is especially important that students build knowledge of the various racial and ethnic groups in our state. Incorporating ethnic studies courses into standard high school curriculum is a means to accomplish this. In doing so, students gain an encompassed outlook on other cultures while learning respect and tolerance. Additionally, it provides students with the opportunity to learn about their respective culture in the context of California's history.

Developing ethnic studies programs in public high schools is an integral part of cultivating a classroom environment that is accepting of diverse cultures. It is vital for young people to learn about their history, but also important for them to feel like they can change their communities in positive ways. This bill will help close the achievement gap by reducing student truancy, increasing student enrollment, reduce drop-out rates, and better prepare Californian youth to be college prepared and career ready.

Thank you for your consideration.


Student Resolutions from Feb 21 Ethnic Studies Summit

Ethnic Studies Now Summit Resolutions:

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1. Inform the community about the Ethnic Studies Now Campaign. Leaflet flyers in your neighborhoods, schools, etc.

2. Educators and Parents: Commit to creating a space for dialogue and learning about the Ethnic Studies Now Campaign.

3. Commit to circulate the Ethnic Studies Now petition and letter.

4. Connect with College and University for curriculum and resource support.

5. Wear the Ethnic Studies Now campaign red shirts to the UTLA Teacher Rally this Thursday, February 26 at Grand Park at 4pm. Click here for rally info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1388380564790436/

6. Utilize social media to spread the word about the Ethnic Studies Now Campaign and the state Assembly Bill 101. Support by doing the following:

- Sign the online petition, and or text AB101 to (213) 267-9031 or (916) 623-4866

- Post a selfie on the Ethnic Studies Now campaign Facebook page: https://facebook.com/EthnicStudiesNow

- Take a photo of the flyer and share. Click on image below to download PDF:

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7. Students/Youth commit to recruit family members to join the Ethnic Studies Now Campaign:

- Inform your parents or guardians on what the ESN Campaign is.

- Ask them to support the ESN Campaign.

- Take them to the next ESN Campaign event or action.

 


VIDEO: Student Speakers at Ethnic Studies Now Summit

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!

 



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