August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

TUCSON: UNIDOS Fight for Ethnic Studies

February 8, 2011
By Derechos Humanos
WHAT: Press Conference supporting Ethnic Studies and condemning HB 2281
WHO: UNIDOS (United Non-discriminatory Individuals Demanding Our Studies)
WHEN: Tuesday February 8, 2011; 5:45p.m. (Before TUSD Board Meeting)
WHERE: Tucson Unified School District Headquarters (1010 E. 10th St. Tucson, AZ).
In Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2281 into law-the bill seeks to eliminate our Ethnic Studies program.
In April of 2010, a group of U.N. human rights experts declared their serious concerns over laws recently enacted by the state of Arizona, subjecting communities of color to discriminatory treatment:
"...such law [HB 2281] and attitude are at odds with the State's responsibility to respect the right of everyone to have access to his or her own cultural and linguistic heritage and to participate in cultural life. Everyone has the right to seek and develop cultural knowledge and to know and understand his or her own culture and that of others through education and information."
This is why UNIDOS -a new youth coalition of students from local high schools, alumni and community members-demand that TUSD Governing Board, the State Board of Education, and the state of Arizona must act in accordance to international human rights law. UNIDOS was created in response to HB 2281 and the growing attacks on our education. UNIDOS seeks to protect and expand Ethnic Studies and promote the values of diversity, justice and equity in our education.
Students and community members support Ethnic Studies because 97.5% of students that take the classes graduate high school and 70% will seek out education beyond the high school level based on 10 years of complied data by the Mexican American Studies Advisory Committee. If the state of Arizona moves forward with the plan to eliminate our program, the district and the State of Arizona will undoubtedly face the power of youth and community mobilization. As Alonso Palomino, 17, declares, "With our voice we plan to reach out to the world, with our actions we hope to create a positive change in our communities."
UNIDOS demands:
We want a meeting where TUSD Governing Board meets with students, alumni and parents!
Save our classes! Save our teachers!
Expand the success of the program to all districts!
The TUSD Governing Board, the State Board of Education and the State of Arizona must act in accordance to international human rights law!

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