Meet writer and professor Tony Diaz and find out why Arizona tried, and will likely fail, to ban Mexican American Studies and other Ethnic Studies classes in public schools. Diaz launched the Librotraficante (book smuggler) movement that pokes and prods the narrow-minded government officials who would really like to banish Latinos and declare their culture “illegal”. (On his last day in office, outgoing head of the Arizona Department of Education, John Huppenthal, voted out of office by Arizonans, claimed that hiphop artists taught in Tucson schools were in violation of the Ethnic Studies ban and didn’t “treat people as individuals” and possibly “promoted overthrow of the government.” He expanded his outrageous claims to say that African American Studies classes were now also in violation.)
Diaz and a merry band of literary tricksters have brought poems, novels, plays and other works of art from Houston to Tucson to defy the absurd law that saw classics of Chicano/Latino literature placed on a banned books list.
Find out how you can help support the young Chicana activist, Maya Arce (above), who is one of the main plaintiffs in the lawsuit to overturn HB 2281 and help her restore a celebrated, successful, effective ethnic studies program to a school district that achieved a 98% graduation rate for the students it served. Ironically, the TUSD ethnic studies classes were developed under direction from a federal court order to redress race-based education injustice in Arizona decades ago.
The lawsuit challenging the Arizona state law designed to eliminate classes that “promote ethnic solidarity” or “overthrow the government” will be argued in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where the plaintiffs will testify before the judges.
- Donate to defray plaintiff’s travel expenses to San Francisco, CA.
- Tweet your support using the hashtag #MayaVsAZ
- Attend the Ethnic Studies Summit at Mission High School, 3750 18th Street, San Francisco, CA, Saturday, January 10, 2015, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (and meet the attorneys, plaintiffs, and activists who have been fighting this battle for three years now).
- Come out with signs of support and rally on the Courthouse steps on Monday, January 12, 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. at:
THE JAMES R. BROWNING COURTHOUSE
95 7TH STREET,
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103
Listen and share the podcast interview below!
Via Tony Diaz, the struggle continues after Monday’s arguments in court:
Finally, if you want to begin making sense of all the events leading up to this case, as well as the precedents that it establishes, join 500 scholars, students, policymakers, and community members at the 2015 NACCS Tejas Foco, Feb. 26-28, 2015 at Lone Star College-North Harris in Houston, as we begin to put into perspective this monumental civil-rights case.