WOW what a great conference!!
NAME 24th International ANNUAL Conference
in Tucson AZ – Nov. 5 – 9, 2014
Dismantling Fronteras through Multicultural Education: Con Comunidad, Cariño y Coraje
Many fronteras (borders) aim to divide us as a human family. Most obvious are those geo-political fronteras that divide one nation from another, even when they separate people who share common socio-cultural histories. Some of the most problematic fronteras exist within the tacit ideologies that guide our actions and that have colonized our minds. Ideological fronteras are created to divide people and to reinforce hierarchies: Whites over Blacks, rich over poor, males over females, heterosexuals over LGBTQ, able bodied over disabled, citizen over recent arrival, English speakers over speakers of other languages, non-Indigenous over Indigenous. These hierarchies create “others” of those who are pushed to the margins. We recognize that fronteras while having been created can also be dismantled. Fronteras are, after all, constructed by people and as such can be dismantled by people. Dismantling fronteras is no easy task, as strong forces are at play to keep people divided and power in the hands of the privileged few. Dismantling them asks that we engage in meaningful interaction and respectful dialogue aimed at understanding each other, seeking places of commonality while affirming our social differences, and building capacity for social change. This requires that we build a sense of comunidad (community), filled with cariño (loving care) and the coraje (courage) to have the difficult but critical conversations at the heart of building our capacity for change. It asks that we reach across lines of difference to enter another’s world, building solidarity in a struggle for equity, inclusion, access and justice. We invite you (students, parents, educators, scholars, and community activists) to participate in the 2014 conference of the National Association for Multicultural Education in Tucson, Arizona, where we will seek ways in which a critical, social justice oriented multicultural education can serve as a tool aimed at dismantling false fronteras that divide us from ourselves. We especially invite those whose work moves between the P-16 classroom and the community to address pressing social challenges.
Why is NAME going to Arizona???
Dear NAME Members,
It was great to see many of you last week in Oakland at NAME’s 23rd International Conference. We hope you were as re-energized by what occurred there as we were. We are planning the next conference for Tucson, AZ on November 5-9, 2014. Many of you are aware of the racist and mono-culturalist efforts by Arizona politicians and Tucson school board members to ban ethnic studies as well as a large number of books on critical education and Mexican American history. Because of these repressive measures, many of us had felt that it was our duty to boycott Arizona and Tucson. But in talking with activists there–including activists from the public-school classrooms, and those at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and those who have just founded the Tucson NAME chapter–one plea has been resoundingly clear: come to Tucson, act in solidarity, and create a presence of NAME as part of their efforts to fight back. There is urgency in this struggle, because the verdict of the right-wing school board has not been final and important changes are still taking place (see the Los Angeles Times article below). In fact, in fall 2014 the Ninth Circuit Court will once again take up the challenge to the ban on ethnic studies. We have heeded the call and we aim to organize a NAME conference that gathers us onsite to generate great energy and enthusiasm for the advancement of multicultural education and in support of ethnic studies in the Southwest. We know that NAME will receive an enthusiastic welcome from the deep and diverse community of Tucson and nearby southern Arizona communities reaching all the way to Nogales, Mexico. In Tucson we will have an opportunity to explore the struggle of the border, beginning with the US-Mexico border but also the borders that separate and oppress–from continuing Jim Crow voting practices to gender oppression to the barriers of class and power. We call on all of you, the entire NAME membership, to join us in envisioning the kind of transformative and inspiring gathering that the Tucson conference could be. We are needed now and there as much as ever. More information on the conference, including the conference theme and ways to get involved, will be announced soon. Sincerely, NAME Board of Directors More info from the Los Angeles Times: “Fighting to end Tucson ‘ban’ on books, Latino activist wins” http://www.latimes.com/books/