Raza Studies Now II July 13 2013, SMC

The Association of Mexican American Educators in conjunction with local educators and groups will host the second annual Raza Studies Now Conference at Santa Monica College, from 9am to 2pm in the Humanities Complex. Two panels overview the field of Chican@ Studies, its relevance to high school instruction, and one discusses the purpose of Chican@ Studies at the Community College level. Three workshops will address the role of students, family/community participation, and high school-level Raza Studies instruction. Dr. Cintli, an author and professor at the University of Arizona, who has been involved in the struggle to defend the Raza Studies department in Tucson, will deliver a keynote address. The conference, lunch and parking are all free.

The Raza Studies Now Conference comes out of a need to address the achievement gap in local schools and broadly. Students of color historically score well below Anglo and Asian students, and studies show the need for more culturally relevant and responsive curriculum. Locally, the Santa Monica Unified School District revived the Intercultural District Advisory Committee which developed recommendations for an Ethnic Studies Department at the high school level. One Ethnic Studies course is scheduled to be offered to seniors next Fall. The Raza Studies Now group brings together educators, students and community currently teaching Chicano and Ethnic Studies at the high school level and groups hoping to implement such programs at their schools.

The IDAC proposal explains in one section: “Traditionally, students of color are viewed from a deficit perspective in public schools. This historically took the form of Indian boarding schools, segregated schools, Americanization programs, corporal punishment, language discrimination, and exclusion of People of color histories and contributions. Under these conditions, Ethnic Studies evolved from 1960’s student movements demanding a more inclusive, culturally relevant education … tenets include: (a) Self determination (b) Intersectionality as lens to examine the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, language, and immigration status (c) the central role of the student (d) utilization of assets-based approaches to pedagogy, curriculum, and instruction—Community Cultural Wealth. In other words, Ethnic Studies in public schools is grounded in critical consciousness, critical thinking, is authentic, and is responsive to local communities.”

The Raza Studies Now group also aims to present an early draft of “El Plan de Los Angeles” which is a document calling for a broad movement to implement Raza and Ethnic Studies curriculum in Southern California. Entertainment will be provided at lunch by local groups New Dawn Aztec dancers and Grupo La Rosa Ballet Folclorico. Schools and groups represented include SMC MEChA, AMAE Statewide, Semillas Community Schools (East LA), Santa Barbara City College, LA Mission College, Santa Monica College, UCLA and Wilson High School (El Sereno).

For More Info Contact:
Tere Gomez 310-614-6194; Natalie Toscano 678-726-9390 ; Elias Serna 323-350-3548

AMAE Fuego Nuevo Center

The AMAE-FNC is an affiliate of AMAE that serves as a knowledge delivery system or professional development arm of the Statewide organization. The FNC is organized as a cooperative and serves as a clearinghouse for progressive/critical education. We lead professional development classes for teachers in LAUSD (salary pt. classes), we hold institutes and seminars at major conferences such as the CA Assoc. of Bilingual Educators (CABE), we have a dedicated conference strand at the annual Statewide AMAE Conference,and we help organize forums and conferences such as this one. The AMAE FNC, Westside AMAE, and PYFC were the principal orgs that conceived of the need to hold a Raza Studies Now Forum. It is so exciting to see people getting together around this very important work. I can't tell you how proud I am of everyone and bummed that I won't be there to see the birth of this intellectual baby. I will be there to raise it though, lol!

The AMAE FNC will be critical to the continued work of developing the post Forum plan of action as well as coordinating the knowledge delivery components to teachers in school districts throughout LA and hopefully the rest of CA. The FNC capitalizes on extensive knowledge and experience concerning the education of Raza students. We specialize in transforming ideas into action and action into structure. We know how to make it a reality, inside the world of school district and university administrations. This is why I believe that it is very important to list a link to the FB page on the website, especially as this work progresses.


Free parking at SMC

Free parking will be available at Santa Monica College. You can park in the parking structure by entering through Pico Blvd.

Article by one of our panelists

Culture Night at PYFC

Announcing the Raza Studies Now Conference

About Us


Raza Studies Now is coordinated by a group of individuals that aim toward creating and implementing a Raza Studies/Mexican-American Studies program in schools throughout Southern California.