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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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.
Ethnic Studies Now Summit Resolutions:
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:
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.
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: