Mexican-American studies courses were pushed to the back of the line; sometimes having no curriculum, as here in Texas, or being outright banned in states like Arizona.
Many academics and activists have argued for years that we aren't educating students about their independent cultures and are instead focusing on a predominant culture that focuses on the accomplishments of white Americans. But the changing demographics of Texas raised the issue to a fever pitch last week at the State Board of Education (SBOE).
Last Thursday, April 10, the Texas State Board of Education approved the creation of a new state elective course, which includes a class in Mexican-American studies. The board is now calling on book publishers to submit new textbooks for these courses.
School districts already had permission to create these special interest courses, but many districts wanted to give these courses some teeth.
Marisa Perez, an SBOE member from San Antonio, said that started with the creation of course standards.
On Thursday an immigration rights group marched across the University of Texas at Austin campus and took up post in the front of the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library, voicing their protest for the rate of deportation during President Barack Obama’s presidency.
United We Stand, a collection of undocumented immigrants, students and religious leaders, walked the length of the UT campus in Austin to the area where the president was to speak. Javier Huamani, who was with the group, said throughout Obama's administration, two million immigrants have been deported.
The new film Cesar Chavez brings to life the famed civil rights leader, who organized farm laborers and fought to secure a living wage and better working conditions in the fields. He founded the United Farm Workers union in California in 1962, and his work inspired millions of people in the U.S. and internationally. Actor Michael Peña, who plays Chavez, spoke with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about how he prepared for the role and what it meant to him and his family.
Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 11:05 am
EDITOR'S NOTE: Fair warning - this story is about and includes the use of a Spanish-language word that some consider a profanity.
Pizza Patrón is a Dallas-based chain that's generated a lot of media buzz over the years for advertising aimed at its core customer base, Mexican immigrants. Its newest promotion uses a popular Mexican slang word that tosome means "super cool," while others find it super-offensive.
It's been decades since the advertising industry recognized the need to woo Hispanic consumers. Big companies saw the market potential and sank millions of dollars into ads. The most basic dos and don'ts of marketing to Latinos in the United States have been understood for years.
The U.S. Supreme Court has denied an appeal from the City of Farmers Branch regarding an ordinance that would have made it illegal to rent or provide housing to immigrants in the country without documentation.
Since its passage, civil rights group like the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund have taken issue with the ordinance, which was designed to keep undocumented immigrants from renting apartments and homes in the Dallas suburb.
MALDEF’s Nina Perales was one of the lead attorneys fighting the ordinance and said it damaged the city from inside-out.