EDUCATORS ASK FEDERAL COURT TO DECLARE ARIZONA’S BAN ON ETHNIC STUDIES UNCONSTITUTIONAL

To download a copy of the brief, click here

To download a copy of the press release, click here

(March 7, 2012 – Tucson, AZ)  Today, the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) and 26 education and civil rights organizations filed an Amicus Curiae “Friend of the Court” brief in U.S. District Court in Tucson, seeking to declare Arizona’s ban on Mexican American Studies unconstitutional.

Devon Peña, NACCS Past Chair, said: “We support the Mexican American Studies Program in the Tucson Unified School District and are united in opposition to academic discrimination against Mexican American and Ethnic Studies.  This respected field of study has been unjustly targeted and demonized by Arizona authorities, which is strangling the pursuit of a comprehensive education and silencing the perspective of Mexican Americans and their cultural background. This law has resulted in censorship of important books and eliminated a program with proven academic success for traditionally neglected students.”

“Arizona’s discrimination against Mexican American and Ethnic Studies is unconstitutional,” said Vince Rabago, a a lawyer representing the organizations. “The State is arguing that ‘State’s rights’ allow them to restrict curriculum in a discriminatory manner against Mexican Americans.  This is comparable to the days after desegregation where states tried to restrict efforts to reach equality.  These organizations from across the country support the bedrock principles of Equal Protection and the First Amendment in an academic context,” said Rabago.

The brief was filed in Acosta v. Huppenthal, CV-10-623-TUC- AWT, a case in which students are challenging the law.   The State was opposed to NACCS filing the Amicus brief.

Established in 1972, NACCS is the nation’s oldest and most prominent academic and scholarly organization dedicated to Chicana/o Studies, known as Mexican American Studies, an important subfield in the broader field of Ethnic Studies.

The national and regional organizations supporting NACCS represent thousands of members who share a commitment to promoting rigorous social scientific and humanities research, scholarship, and teaching of Mexican American, Chicana/o, and Ethnic Studies in our nation’s colleges, universities, and public schools. They include:

American Studies Association Association for Asian American Studies
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Mexican American Studies Dept. San Jose State Univ.
Chicano Studies Dept., Cal. State Univ.- Northridge Aztlan Libre Press
League of United Latin American Citizens National Latino/a Education Research & Policy Project
Association of Raza Educators California Faculty Association
Coalición México-Americana Esperanza Peace and Justice Center
For Chicana/Chicano Studies Foundation Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights
Indigenous Women’s Network/Alma de Mujer Center for Social Change Latino Education & Advocacy Days
Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social – Tejas
Society for Applied Anthropology National Association for Ethnic Studies
South Central Farmers SouthWest Organizing Project
Texas Ass’n of Chicanos in Higher Educ. Texas League of United Latin American Citizens
The Acequia Institute Unitarian Universalist Association – Pacific Southwest
This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to EDUCATORS ASK FEDERAL COURT TO DECLARE ARIZONA’S BAN ON ETHNIC STUDIES UNCONSTITUTIONAL

  1. Pingback: Educators Ask Federal Court to Declare Arizona’s Ban on Ethnic Studies Unconstitutional | | All PR NewsAll PR News

  2. Pingback: Educators Ask Federal Court to Declare Arizona's Ban on Ethnic Studies Unconstitutional | NEWS.GNOM.ES

  3. Pingback: It Gets Better, Dear Tucson Students (VIDEO) | iChicano

  4. Pingback: It Gets Better, Dear Tucson Students (VIDEO) « SpeakEasy

  5. Pingback: Jeff Biggers: It Gets Better, Dear Tucson Students (VIDEO) | Demete

  6. Pingback: WeMustChange » Blog Archive » It Gets Better, Dear Tucson Students (VIDEO)

  7. Robert Valdez, PhD says:

    Thanks for keeping us updated on the progress of this challenge to the Arizona efforts to silence our community’s contributions to our nation and keeping our children uneducated and socially, culturally, and economically oppressed.

    I wish I had known how to join the amicus brief filing effort. The RWJF Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico would have definitely joined the other organizations in this filing as our mission is to prepare our nation’s future health and health care leaders who come from underrepresented communities, especially Latino and American Indian communities who are trained in the social sciences at the doctoral level. We strive to inject the voices of our communities into the health debates in our country.
    Educational attainment is the most important contributor to improving the health of individuals, families, and communities. Any effort to impede the educational success of our children increases the chances that our communities experience preventable illness, disease, and disability.
    I applaud your efforts and look forward to supporting you and the students pursuing this case in whatever way possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *