Kick Off Hispanic Heritage Month with An Education Twitter Chat:

Kick Off Hispanic Heritage Month with Education Twitter Chat:

ETHNIC STUDIES in Our Schools

by Melanie Mendez-Gonzales

In some school districts across the country, a debate on ethnic studies in high school is happening.

What is ethnic studies? It is the critical and interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity with a focus on the experiences and perspectives of people of color within and beyond the United States.

Advocates for ethnic studies believe that it will support academic success and bring an understanding between races. Opponents argue that ethnic studies are anti-American and teach divisiveness.

According to the National Education Agency, research finds that the overwhelming dominance of Euro-American perspectives leads many students to disengage from academic learning. In fact, a recent Stanford study shows the opposite effect that an ethnic studies course had on, particularly Hispanic male, students. Students in the study who took ethnic studies classes in a pilot program in San Francisco high schools increased attendance rates, improved their grades and even increased the number of earned course credits for graduation.

These courses allow students to connect to their own culture and see their home life inside their classrooms. That has a powerful impact. Some argue that ethnic studies could have a powerful impact on white students, too.

“Similar to students of color, white students have been miseducated about the roles of both whites and people of color throughout history,” Siobhan King Brooks, an assistant professor of African American studies at Cal State Fullerton said, and culturally relevant lessons allow white children to “not only learn about people of color, but also white people’s roles as oppressors and activists fighting for racial change. This is very important because often whites feel there is nothing [they] can do to change racism.” ()

Ethnic studies were born out of both educators’ and students’ desires to counterbalance inaccuracies and predominance of the Euro-American perspective found in U.S. schools’ curricula. However, the most recent rise of ethnic studies came out of the 2010 ban of a Mexican-American studies course in the Tucson United School District and the Arizona H.B. 2281. Mexican American studies has spread to high schools at a rate no one could have imagined before Arizona banned the class in 2010.*

Five California school districts, for example, has since made an ethnic-studies class a requirement, and 11 others offer it as an elective. Currently, California AB-2016, which would require the Instructional Quality Commission to develop, and for the state board to adopt, a model curriculum in ethnic studies for all districts to offer a course of study in ethnic studies, is sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

Albuquerque Public Schools will launch a new ethnic studies program for all 13 of its high schools beginning August 2017.

In Texas, there’s a different debate.

“The ban of Mexican American studies in Arizona opened our eyes to the discrimination,” Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, says, “and how important it is to embrace our history and culture. We realized there was nothing to ban in Texas, so we needed to start one.”

Diaz and others began to demand that the Texas State Board of Education make Mexican-American studies a requirement in Texas schools. The result was an agreement from the SBOE to call for textbook proposals for the Mexican-American curricula that would be put in place in 2017 and until then, allow schools who wished to teach MexicanAmerican studies, to do so but without direction from the SBOE. Some Texas teachers have begun to implement Mexican-American studies in their classrooms.

The one textbook “Mexican American Heritage’ that was submitted for review has come under fire for what some have called ‘deeply flawed and a deeply offensive textbook’ that is filled with stereotypes. Protestors, including Diaz, will be in Austin, Texas to testify against the textbook at the SBOE hearing on Tuesday, September 13. A final vote on adoption is scheduled for November.

These are just some of the discussions happening today about ethnic studies courses in our schools.

Join our Twitter chat as we discuss more about ethnic studies in K – 12 education this Thursday, September 15. It is the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. Let’s have a real chat about what are Latino students are learning about their own heritage in schools.

LATISM Education Twitter Chat with Special Guest Tony Diaz

9 p.m. EST – 10 p.m. EST

TWITTER.COM/LATISM

Hashtags to follow: #LATISM #LATISMedu

Special Guest: @Librotraficante

Moderator: @LATISM

TonyDiazBio--element45Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, founded Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say in 1998.He is the leader of the Librotraficantes-champions of Freedom of Speech, Intellectual Freedom, and Performance Protest. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and wrote the award winning novel THE AZTEC LOVE GOD. He also hosts the Nuestra Palabra Radio Program on 90.1 FM KPFT Houston, Texas.

He was recently named the Director of Intercultural Initiatives at Lone Star College-NH and will be starting their Mexican American Studies Program. Learn more about Tony Diaz at

###

Sources:

*

https://ethnicstudies.berkeley.edu/

NEA, The Academic and Social Value of Ethnic Studies: A Research Review

https://news.stanford.edu/2016/01/12/ethnic-studies-benefits-011216/

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/03/the-ongoing-battle-over-ethnic-studies/472422/

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LATISM Business and Equity Crowdfunding Twitter Chat with Special Guest Manny Fernandez

LATISM Business and Equity Crowdfunding Twitter Chat

with Special Guest Manny Fernandez

by Melanie Mendez-Gonzales

Due to recent laws and regulations have made equity crowdsourcing an option for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Equity crowdfunding is the process whereby people (i.e. the ‘crowd’) invest in an early-stage unlisted company (a company that is not listed on a stock market) in exchange for shares in that company.

This is big news for small business owners. According to , this form of capital raising is especially attractive to “main street” businesses — which may have a great history and engaged customers, but find that banks aren’t willing, or able to lend to them. This model exists in many other countries, and we see local food-based businesses, bars and pubs, art and creative studios and other product based companies taking advantage of these models and raising on average about $700,000.

That leads us to the question: who is going to fund our Latino-owned businesses? Historically, minority businesses are highly unlikely to be funded by investors.

For our weekly #LATISM Twitter Chat, we will be joined by founder of Dream Funded, an equity crowdfunding platform that allows business owners to raise up to $1M from anyone on social media, Manny Fernandez. Fernandez is also the 1st Hispanic to be featured as an investor on a TV show – Make Me a Millionaire Inventor airing Oct 6th.

Business owners and entrepreneurs (and those aspiring to be)are invited to join us as we discuss equity crowdfunding and what it means for you; challenges of being a business owner and why we don’t see more Latino investors like Fernandez.

Fernandez recently won the Calfifornia Chambers of Commerce Shark of the Year Award. During his acceptance speech, Fernandez said regarding equity crowdfunding, “This is what I am bringing to you, it is for us to win, it is us coming together, organizing for capital. I have seen it, I know how it works I have the knowledge, but I need others who want to use it to raise money from their community.”

LATISM Business Twitter Chat with Special Guest Manny Fernandez

9 p.m. EST – 10 p.m. EST

TWITTER.COM/LATISM

Hashtags to follow: #LATISM #LATISMbiz

Special Guest: @MannyFernandez

Moderator: @LATISM

Manny Fernandez, the co-founder and CEO of DreamFunded, is a Silicon Valley angel investor, angel group founder, serial entrepreneur and keynote speaker. He has been successful leading his owMannyFernandezn ventures as well as advising other startups on their paths to success. Fernandez won the Equity Crowdfunding Leadership Award in 2014 for co-founding DreamFunded. He had previously founded SF Angels Group in San Francisco, and he has been an investor with TiE Angels since 2012. Fernandez was named in Inc. Magazine’s list of the top 33 entrepreneurs to watch in 2016 and was named 2014 SF Angel Investor of the Year. He is the 14th most followed Angel Investor on Twitter, with over 100,000 followers.

An international keynote speaker, frequent judge and panelist for startup demo days, Bay Area corporations, colleges and universities, Fernandez has been a featured guest speaker at: NBC, CNBC Squawk Box (twice), South by Southwest (Texas), SLUSH (Finland), Epicenter Festival (Mexico), Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Harvard University, University of San Francisco (USF), PayPal, Yahoo!, Plug and Play, USAWeek in Europe, Intel Global Challenge, California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s (CHCC) SharkTank, Startup Grind, AngelHack Global Demo, Startup Weekend and many more.

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