March 29, 2011
The Los Angeles Committee to Support Ethnic Studies (LACSES)
The National Association for Chicana & Chicano Studies (NACCS)
As you may know, Arizona has been passing laws that affect Chicana/os and their extended communities. One law in particular (HB2281) was put into effect this January 1, 2011 that outlaws La Raza Studies. The Tucson School district has a fully developed K-12 La Raza Studies that is graduating over 80% of its students. Other schools districts in Arizona that don’t have La Raza Studies mirror the rest of nation’s drop out rate of over 50%. It is obvious that when our children are taught critical thinking skills and are presented with a broader view of history and society they are engaged to the point of graduating and work towards higher education. This law HB2281 will force the Tucson school district to stop teaching La Raza studies despite their success.
A coalition of parents, teachers, and students in Arizona have taken their State to court to challenge this law. They need our financial support to mount a court battle that will resound loudly and clearly that we will not let them to deny our children an education that inspires them to succeed in academics. Other States are also drafting similar laws because they fear an educated populace with critical thinking skills that might come up with solutions to the economic, social, and political problems that have plagued our nation to the point of bankruptcy and make us fear and blame the most voiceless and powerless in our nation.
We the LACSES need your presence, your friends and financial support to help us combat this legal battle. We will be hosting a Political Tardeada on the last day of the NACCS conference on Saturday, April 2nd from 6:30-9pm in the Grand Ballroom of the Westin Pasadena.
We are inviting many of Southern California’s artists, academics, activists, and public figures whose work has been inspired or based in Chicana/o Studies and/or Ethnic Studies. Our aim is to gather our forces and finances to learn more about this and upcoming issues, other fundraising strategies, and to create a critical mass that will stand against the growing anti-Latino sentiment in the country. Now is the time to come together, see who are allies are and see how we can each bring our talents, connections and will to turn the tide.
A very partial list of some of our supporters include: Dr. Rodolfo Acuña, Dr. Mary Pardo, Dr. David Sandoval, Dr. Lara Media, and many more academics. Artists, activists and public figures include: Harry Gamboa Jr., Barbara Carrasco, Yreina Cervantes, Felicia Montes, Richard Montoya, Lalo Alcaraz, Gustavo Arrellano, Wendy Carrillo (Power 106), Raul Campos (KCRW), Lysa Flores, Carlos Montes, and more are joining everyday.
Admission to the event is a humble $25 for the general public and $10 for students. Please come to be generous.
Some of the Arizona legal team will make a presentation on the state of the case. Richard Montoya will conduct a lively discussion on the issue and Las Cafeteras will provide music. Food and beverages will be available. We want you to come and meet other like minded individuals who also believe YA BASTA with these attacks on our community. We hope to see you there.
If you cannot attend but would like to make a donation go to: http://www.saveethnicstudies.org/donate.shtml. We are suggesting pledges of $5 to $10 a month. Make the check payable to: Save Ethnic Studies Defense Fund 307 S. Convent Ave. Tucson, AZ 85701
Also let us know if we can list you as an endorser
For more information, go online:
http://vimeo.com/15062646 (Precious Knowledge Trailer)
http://www.saveethnicstudies.org/index.shtml (Tucson campaign)
Please download this flyer (pdf here) and circulate!