Dr Cintli: Cross Cultural Festival to Save Ethnic Studies

As a result of the battle to defend ethnic studies, an incredible support nationwide has been created for Tucson’s embattled Mexican American studies department. As far as TUSD is concerned, the department no longer exists.

However, the state’s as well as well as the TUSD school governing board should know, MAS cannot be killed because beyond being a department, it is also a discipline, but even more importantly, it is an idea. This past weekend, Chican@ Studies and MEChA (Movimieto Estudiantl Chicano de Aztlan) from Cal State University at Northridge. the LA Save Ethnic Studies Committee and community members from the San Fernando Valley held a festival, including a 5K run, for the purposes of defending MAS and the opposing the efforts to bury it.

The message of the festival and run went out nationwide: that MAS does not belong to TUSD, nor to the state of Arizona and that it will be supported and defended, and contrary to the expectations of TUSD, there is no end date nor geographic limits for that support.

What the state of Arizona, has done is galvanize the nation. The state has underestimated its actions. Censorship is the hallmark of totalitarian societies; there is no defense for banning curricula, books, departments, and most importantly, a worldview.

That’s why if one asks the students, or anyone associated with the MAS-TUSD department past or present, one will see that the department is not dead. Amazingly, as can be seen via this run, the support is nationwide and comes from all sectors. I’m not positive but I think, I believe the number of people that took part in the run numbered between 75 and 100, attracting runners from throughout Southern California. But the event was not limited to the run. There was much cultural, educational, and political awareness that took place.

Of note, over the past several years, many of us have defended MAS, in different ways. From rallying, marching, protesting, all-night vigils, runs in support of the department, in Tucson and then runs from Tucson to Phoenix. In 2009, there was a walk across the city, and there have been festivals, concerts, art shows, and all forms of creative expression to show support for the MAS apartment.

This latest run, is another example and another manifestation of that nationwide support. That is why MAS will never die; because its underlying philosophy and message is that we’ve always been here and we will continue to be here, always.

FULL ARTICLE HERE: Dr Cintli: Cross Cultural Festival to Save Ethnic Studies.

About Kurly Tlapoyawa (1010 Articles)

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