I am working together with my long time filmmaking partner, Ari Luis Palos. We have been shooting our election piece, which has its focus on students from Tucson High School and their efforts to keep ethnic studies, which includes Raza/Chicano, Pan-Asian, African American, and Native American Studies in the classroom. The students want to be able to continue learning about Cesar Chavez and read literature by Sandra Cisneros, which is entirely appropriate considering the Tucson Unified School District has 59,000 students and 32,500 are Latino.
However, there are legislators seeking to ban these programs and they are getting a lot of support from people in the community. It is a little depressing that programs helping students and get them to college are under such attack.
One of the students that we have been working with wrote an article in support of his recent Raza/Mexican American Studies classes.
You can read his words here:
He is a really smart and brave 17 year old. Just for writing an article in support of a multi-cultural education he has been called brain washed, racist, a dimwit, a malcontent, part of the KKK, and also a Nazi.
Naturally this sort of dialogue makes us pretty upset and also gives us the inspiration to provide a space for these students to express their opinions.
Eren Isabel McGinnis