Rights Not for Grabs. January 2017. Photo by Adelita Michelle Medina. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
By Adelita Michelle Medina
I had wanted to travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in the main Women’s March on January 21, 2017, but in many ways, I’m glad I attended the sister march in downtown Albuquerque instead. It was a spirited, diverse and energizing gathering of several thousand women, children and men of all ages, races, religions and backgrounds. Estimates of crowd size have ranged from 6,000 to 10,000, with the latter number offered by the local police. But regardless of the exact size, and despite the cold and wet weather, the march was a big success.
In these days of uncertainty and apprehension, the marches that took place on that day, in hundreds of cities across the country, provided some much-needed support and solidarity. Those who participated were reassured that they are not alone, and those who watched the events in their homes, know that people will not be silenced. They will be heard and they will be seen fighting for their families, cities and country. Continue reading
“To be healed we must be dismembered, pulled apart. The healing occurs in disintegration, in the demotion of the ego as the self’s only authority.” — Gloria Anzaldúa, Light in the Dark (2015)
By Erika G. Abad
On giving my class assignments at my new job, I decided to teach Light in the Dark, because in returning to the West Coast, Xicana feminist thought felt necessary. It was also, as I told students, a selfish way to share my love for Anzaldúa. Within months of teaching it, my supervisor invites me to El Mundo Zurdo Conference. I agree on a whim, excited about the possibility to learn more from other scholars who appreciate what Anzaldúa contributes to critical consciousness. Deciding to go, somehow, feels like coming full circle from the years of dismembering to heal that had taken place not only in the years I spent on the periphery of the ivory tower and the culture of academic teaching and research. The process of buying the ticket, of relying on university colleagues to share resources with me to be able to afford the trip, contrasts to the uncertainty and wounded pride/integrity with which I grappled in 2008. Continue reading
As Latina scholars and activists in the United States, we are alarmed about the recent political and social developments in the country. We can’t help but notice that the new President has engaged in reprehensible rhetoric against members of different groups in the U.S., and has threatened others. As we witness his selection of future cabinet and administration officials, we note that many of them have also participated in this dangerous rhetoric and often stand opposed to the rights of working people, women, racial and ethnic minorities, religious minorities, as well as the right of all humans to clean air, water, and land. In this climate, we are witnessing an increase of exclusionary language based on race, citizenship status, and religious affiliation, where the everyday realities of racism, xenophobia, and other forms of bigotry, harassment, and violence have been increasingly on full display since the election. Continue reading
Lessons from Ethnic Studies on Strategic Courage
By Andrea Romero and Michelle Téllez
On May 5 2011, a small group of faculty from the Arizona Ethnic Studies Network gathered in Tucson following a devastating Tucson Unified School board meeting where the Mexican American Studies program in the district was ended. It was a blow that was felt deeply by us all. We came together as scholars from universities and colleges across the state to publicly voice our support for Ethnic Studies. This was in the aftermath of HB 2281 that banned courses that “(1) promote the overthrow of the U.S. government (2) promote resentment toward a race or class of people or are (3) designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group (4) advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals” (AZ House Bill 2281, 49th Legislature, 2010). This bill was used to target, monitor, and dismantle a successful Mexican American Studies curriculum, despite the fact that external auditors determined that the courses were academically successful and promoted positive group interactions (Cabrera, Millem, Jaquette & Marx, 2014; Cambrium Audit, May 2, 2011). In response, we worked as a network to ensure our critiques were made public and to support those teachers and students who were being directly attacked. It was from this source of collective action that we drew strength, and from these activities was born new research, new relationships, stronger students, and a highly aware and involved community.
We find ourselves again at a point in U.S. history where higher education is under conservative scrutiny and new “watchlists” for “dangerous” professors are being created and used to threaten and intimidate scholars in the academy. We live in a country that has been shaped by a particular history of exploitation, genocide, and exclusion. In this, Arizona is not an anomaly, but the norm. However, given the legislative battles we have had in in this state over the last six years, it seems important to comment both on our experiences and on what we imagine our role as Ethnic Studies scholars to be in the coming years given the emergence of what mainstream media Continue reading