“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
…. then, act.
NAME: The Change you wish to see in the World.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use
The National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) joins with people around the world in mourning the passing of the great Nelson Mandela of South Africa and in celebrating his life.
Nelson Mandela’s courageous leadership of the struggle against Apartheid, a struggle that inspired much of the liberation impetus of the 20th Century, was historic and deeply instructive. His organization, the African National Congress, began the fight when it seemed truly impossible to challenge the overwhelming power of the Afrikaans regime. They began with hope for the future and confidence in their strategy. With tremendous sacrifice and creativity, they pushed the struggle ahead at every juncture.
Our own struggles for equity in education, for the full inclusion and blossoming of all cultures and peoples in the service of democracy in America, have been inspired by the example of Nelson Mandela and the ANC.
We recognize that he is now being reframed as a one-dimensional and saintly icon by the media – much as was done with Martin Luther King. But we honor the whole and concrete Nelson Mandela, the one who fearlessly confronted power and united the diverse populace of South Africa, the one denounced as a terrorist by the South African regime and by British and US government leaders, the one who endured decades of demeaning life in prison, the one whose historic Rivonia trial speech immortalized the right to rebel, the one who dared criticize Israeli treatment of Palestinians as similar to Apartheid, the one who forged a new sense of social justice through the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions.
We honor Nelson Mandela and continue to be inspired by his example.
Free Download—NAME Toolkit!!
NAME developed and offers this toolkit to assist NAME chapters, members, and other advocates of equity and social justice in education to collectivize and speak out through the media.
This toolkit includes:
This toolkit was produced by the NAME Political Action Committee, the NAME Public Consciousness-Raising Committee, and in particular, research assistant Michael Barnes. We hope that, together, we can use this toolkit to speak collectively on the real dangers that rushed teacher-evaluation reforms can have on our schools and our children.
NAME has just issued the following Position Paper on the recent anti-immigration policies and laws…
The National Association for Multicultural Education expresses its deep opposition to recently passed state laws designed to drive out undocumented immigrants. We call for repeal of laws that punish immigrant children and their families, and for a campaign to educate U.S. citizens about the rights and contributions of immigrants, and about U.S. policies that have prompted people to come to the U.S. seeking work.
Georgia’s HB87, enacted in April 2011, requires private employers to verify the immigration status of employees, and to hire only documented residents. Alabama’s HB56, enacted in June 2011, took Georgia’s law several steps further. It prohibits undocumented immigrants from receiving any public benefits at either the state or local level. It requires every P-12 public school to report the immigration status of every student and every student’s parents, although it does not prohibit school attendance of undocumented students. Further, HB56 bars undocumented immigrants from attending public colleges or universities. Additional requirements are designed to discourage undocumented immigrants from being in Alabama. Among other things, in addition to prohibiting hiring undocumented immigrants, the law requires police to attempt to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop, and it prohibits landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants.
The Alabama law has created a hostile climate for Latino students, whether documented or not. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which implemented a hotline for people concerned about the law, reports between September and mid-November, receiving nearly 4,000 calls from terrified Latino immigrants – undocumented and documented alike. Children who are citizens are afraid to go to school, fearing their parents will be deported. Latino students (documented or not) are being bullied by classmates, and harassed by teachers who question their immigration status. Undocumented older students who came to the U.S. as very young children worry that they will not be able to continue their education regardless of the merits of their academic record. No one should have to fear going to school on the basis of identity, but this law is creating such fear.
We are also concerned that the laws in both states rest on inaccurate but largely uncorrected assumptions: 1) that undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes (at the very least, all immigrants pay sales tax on purchases in the U.S.); 2) that they contribute nothing (an assumption that ignores immigrant labor for very low wages); and 3) that the U.S. bears no complicity in the reasons why people are undergo major hardship to find work in the U.S. What most U.S. citizens do not realize is that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has enabled the U.S. to flood Mexico with cheap, subsidized produce that has shut down many Mexican farms and displaced millions of rural Mexican farmers, while turning profits for large agricultural corporations.
Because of the hostile education climate these laws create, and the inaccurate assumptions on which many people support them, we call for their repeal, and for an education campaign about the roots of immigration.
Click here to download NAME’s Position Paper on Anti-Immigration Policies
The Bay Area Paul Robeson Centennial Committee (Oakland, CA) is co-sponsoring a curriculum video/essay contest with the National Association for Multicultural Education.
Deadline for submissions: EXTENSION: NEW DEADLINE: MAY 15th 2012
Paul Robeson was the winner of letters in 15 sports, an anti-fascist organizer during World War II, a beloved singer and actor, an internationalist, and a courageous fighter for the rights of African-Americans. Many adults have learned history by following the intersection of his life with the events in which he participated. But many students have not had that opportunity because his life has not been included in traditional U.S. history texts.
To enter the contest:
(Teachers should follow their school’s policies with regard to filming students. The videos will be made available on line.)
Dr. Geneva Gay, University of Washington
In response to Seattle Public Schools delaying full implementation of its plan to serve secondary bilingual immigrant students, NAME President Christine Sleeter has released a statement calling upon the district to move forward without delay. President Sleeter references Seattle PS’ long history as a leader in developing innovative approaches to serving its multicultural/multilingual populations. The current delay in implementation of the approved and funded plan not only puts the district in violation of federal policy and case law, but also negatively impacts the state’s economic and social development.
Here is the full Press Release:
We believe that Seattle has the potential to serve as a high quality model for serving culturally and linguistically diverse students. Many years ago, Seattle Public Schools was noted for its voluntary desegregation plan at a time when many other school districts around the nation were having to go through litigation to desegregate their schools. Seattle also created one of the nation’s first multicultural curricula to facilitate its desegregation plan, working with Ethnic Heritage Act funds. At present, Seattle has approved a well-researched plan for a school to serve its immigrant students at the secondary level excellently. The district also has funds that had been raised and allocated to implement that plan, as well as an audit by the Council for Great City Schools that underscores the tremendous need for the planned school. To delay implementation of such a program is to deny immigrant students the education to which they are legally entitled, and to fail to live up to the potential that Seattle Public Schools has demonstrated in the past.
Because education is so critical to the lives of young people, and so important to the development of this nation, we call on Seattle Public Schools to live up to its commitment to its immigrant students and move forward with its adopted plan, without delay.
CLICK HERE TO Download the NAME Press release, Seattle immigrant students
In honor of NAME’s 20th Anniversary Conference,
The interviews were conducted by Karen Dade and can be found at
In response to the bill signed by Governor of Arizona on May 11, 2010 banning ethnic studies in the public schools of Arizona, NAME has issued a press release expressing the organization’s outrage that the bill passed. NAME believes the bill flies in the face of research on textbooks and multicultural curricula, research on U.S. history, and the track record of Tucson’s Mexican American/Raza Studies department to successfully educate Mexican American students.
The bill presumes that the standard curriculum is not biased and represents no ethnic point of view. However, those who study race/ethnicity point out that white people are also ethnic, making that presumption incorrect. . . . By attacking the work of the Mexican American/Raza Studies department in Tucson, the bill ignores the fact that its work has been substantially improving the academic achievement and graduation rates of Chicano/a students. . . . For these reasons, we condemn this new law. Further, because of the strong integrity of the work of the Mexican American/Raza Studies department in Tucson, and its proven track record successfully education Chicano/a students, we will be featuring its former director, Dr. Augustine Romero, as a keynote speaker at our Annual Conference, which will be held November 4-6, 2010 in Las Vegas.
For twenty years, the National Association for Multicultural Education has been a productive network and think-tank of leading social justice and multicultural educators from across all levels and categories of education. NAME has served its members by incorporating every aspect of education and all spheres of diversity into its inclusive, activist definition of multicultural education. This expanded forum facilitates our ability to form coalitions, leverage resources and develop our professional capacities to advocate and educate
Joining NAME and participating in NAME events provides access to a rich professional network, opportunities to interact with noted scholars and researchers, exposure to cutting-edge work, and the support of the extended NAME collegial family.