Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ethnic Studies Solidarity Summit at Mission HS in SF

Celebrating Ethnic Studies in San Francisco, California Before Tucson MAS goes on trial.

Today I went to the Ethnic Studies Solidarity Event/Summit at Mission High School in San Francisco, organized alongside Tucson High School's former Mexican American Studies program going on trial Monday (Huff Post story). Below are from the notes I took from the different panel participants from Tucson, So Cal, Nor Cal and Bay Area.

From Tucson, former TUSD MAS teacher Curtis Acosta was on a panel with Ricahrd Martinez, the lawyer for the former MAS teachers and students.

(Richard Martinez, MAS attorney)

Martinez made the points that MAS was a product of many scholars & history--transformative process, turning students into scholars--flipping switches on hearts & minds.
He used the poem/framework of Luis Valdez's poem "In Lak'ech" to the counter notion of 'promoting resentment against a
race or class' as alleged in HB 2281.

(Acosta, former student & MAS lawyer Martinez)

Acosta teacher perspective: call ourselves Ethnic Studies because law can be used as precedent on all of us; common humanity present in all schools--HB 2281 made students loving themselves illegal, as well as their history and culture.

 And then Allison T Cubalis introduced the Bay Area panel. She began saying that "Ethnic Studies saved my life." A Chicano Studies changed her life during college--along with the Third World Liberation front--she realized she was Filipino and part of something powerful and beautiful. She introduced Roger Alvarado and Daniel Gonzalez.

(Allison Cuablis)

Gonzalez gave a Bay area history of labor strikes in the 30s during the Depression. The Longshoreman made an agreement with Black laborers and brought them into union because they didn't cross strike, which closed city for a couple days. 
(Serna as Che Castro)

Academia de Cruz blog contributor Elias Serna was present with his Xikano Pop up books and performed as a part of the Chicano Secret Service, along with Tomas Carrasco.

(Xikano Pop Up!)

 The Southern California panel included a doctoral candidate at Columbia named Cati de los Rios who did work in Pomona, Ca  with day laborers, an adjunct professor named Susie at Occidental College, who worked with her husband in South Central to pass an Ethnic Studies requirement. For a complete description, see .
They showed this video:

Streaming on Aztlan TV
 In addition a documentary was being filmed at the summit about Dolores Huerta because the attack on the TUSD MAS program came following her questioning of conservative attacks on Latinos in Arizona.
(Me and Serna)

From the Ethnic Studies Summit on Facebook
"ETHNIC STUDIES NOW!!! Summit & Teach-In.

Please join students, teachers, and advocates from Tucson, Texas, the Bay Area, and Southern California. 

Following a hard-fought victory to bring Ethnic Studies courses to High Schools across SFUSD and LAUSD, and two days before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit against Arizona officials who eliminated the Mexican-American Studies curriculum from public schools in Tucson.

Event: The summit will be a vital moment to discuss past and future efforts for solidarity in the struggle for Ethnic Studies with teachers and community organizers from California, and Arizona; it will be an opportunity to hear student voices and connect to historical and contemporary Ethnic Studies movements, and; it is an occasion to learn more about events planned for the day of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Build solidarity and raise awareness for Ethnic Studies and Mexican American Studies regionally and nationally!!"

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