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8: Education and Activism

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    Learning Objectives


    This chapter explores public education in California as a site of struggle, resilience, and transformation for students, caregivers, families, and communities of Latin American heritage. Schools do not exist outside of the historical context that informs them nor do they exist outside of the society they are situated in. Therefore, the struggle for education is also a struggle that intersects with the struggle for justice in housing, employment, health, immigrant/human rights, and self-determination. This chapter provides a historical overview that is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather provides historical snapshots into the ways Latinx communities have been shaped by and have shaped public education. 

    As education remains a site of politics and power, each generation builds upon the legacy of those that came before them. The struggle for educational self-determination is multifaceted––at times it can look like families arguing in courts about the constitutionality of laws, students walking out of their schools, or community leaders creating autonomous schools. All of these efforts were effective in acquiring and enacting people power and doing so in solidarity with other historically minoritized communities. Collectively, these struggles have transformed the educational landscape and it is the activist legacy on which we continue to build upon.

    • 8.1: The Crisis and Hope in Education
      Section 8.1 introduces the crisis and hope of Chicanx/Latinx education. It provides Tara Yosso’s community cultural wealth as a framework of hope in education that enables us to make visible how communities have acquired and enacted power in the educational landscape.
    • 8.2: The Struggle for Equality, 1900-1954
      Section 8.2 overviews the racialization of Mexican/Latinx children as “Indian” in an era of school segregation. The chapter highlights Latinx families working alongside other communities to successfully defeat school segregation in local, state, and federal courts.
    • 8.3: Re-imagining Education in an Era of Revolt, 1955-1975
      Section 8.3 presents efforts to reclaim and re-imagine education. It highlights Chicanx/Latinx communities as they reclaim education as a central function of self-determination. This section concludes with a look into the backlash and disinvestment in public education.
    • 8.4: When Ganas is not Enough, 1976-2000
      Section 8.4 situates xenophobic fears in an educational landscape of neglect, disinvestment, and exclusion. Using Leo Chavez’s Latino Threat Narrative, this section highlights the dominant narratives that shaped education initiatives and the resistance to them.
    • 8.5: Aquí Estamos y No Nos Vamos, 2001-2012
      Section 8.5 presents how an entire generation of students in under-resourced schools was left behind with the only prospect of joining the military. It highlights youth activism in a digital era that redefined politics, presented new forms of organizing, and created social change.
    • 8.6: Conclusion

    This page titled 8: Education and Activism is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Lucha Arévalo (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI)) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform.