APS will offer Ethnic Studies

As reported in the ABQ Journal, all high schools in the Albuquerque Public Schools district will offer ethic studies.

The planning process began last week with a three-day workshop that brought about 40 teachers and community members together to brainstorm curriculum possibilities.

Attendees discussed concepts like unconscious bias, as well as books and movies that present Hispanic, African-American, Native American and Asian culture, throwing out titles like “The Karma of Brown Folks,” “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” and “Reservation Blues.” One suggestion even featured a little-known Scandinavian minority. The course will be designed to cover a broad array of racial and ethnic groups.

Currently, Albuquerque, Del Norte and Highland are the only high schools with courses focused on minority experiences – Chicano studies and Mexican-American literature at Albuquerque and Highland; Native American studies at Del Norte.

Under the new plan, every high school will offer ethnic studies as an elective option for juniors and seniors.

 

 

It’s past time we talked about gentrification

Since the word “gentrification” is on the lips of many New Mexicans now (due to the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project displacing some, negatively impacting many businesses, and possibly using funds designated for low-income communities, and Meow Wolf opening in Santa Fe), it’s time to talk about what the long-term effects of gentrification are and how to prevent the negative impacts.

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“Grieving the White Void”

Abe Lateiner wrote a piece shared on Medium.com, “Grieving the White Void.” 

He talks about his experience with race and privilege throughout his life, how White supremacy negatively impacts ALL people, how he came to see his personal stake in ending White supremacy as a White person (and it’s not White guilt…White guilt is a step in the process, but it’s not the end-game), and how we must learn to grieve what has happened and live with integrity. He gives examples of what we can all do to end White supremacy.

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“The Color of Fear” by Lee Mun Wah

The Color of Fear is an insightful, groundbreaking film about the state of race relations in America as seen through the eyes of eight North American men of Asian, European, Latino and African descent. In a series of intelligent, emotional and dramatic confrontations the men reveal the pain and scars that racism has caused them. What emerges is a deeper sense of understanding and trust. This is the dialogue most of us fear, but hope will happen sometime in our lifetime.

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Costs of Oppression to People from Dominant Groups

These concepts are from this PDF from Mt. Holyoke College.

Psychological Costs: Loss of Authentic Sense of Self

  • Socialized into limited roles and patterns of behavior
  • Denial of emotions and empathy
  • Distorted view of self and false sense of superiority
  • Discrepancy between others’ perceptions and own, internal reality
  • Fears (of doing and saying the wrong thing, of retaliation from oppressed groups, of judgment if reveal true self, of different people and experiences)

Moral/Spiritual Costs: Loss of Moral/Spiritual Integrity

  • Guilt and shame
  • Moral ambivalence (doing the right thing vs. social pressures to conform to dominant role)
  • Spiritual emptiness and pain

Social Costs: Loss and Diminishment of Relationships

  • Isolation from people who are different from oneself
  • Barriers to deeper, more authentic relationships
  • Ostracism from others in own group if do not conform

Intellectual Costs: Loss of Developing Full Range of Knowledge

  • Ignorance of other people and cultures
  • Distorted and limited view of reality

Material Costs: Loss of Safety and Resources

  • Living in a world of increasing violence and unrest (restricted ability to move about freely; increased fear for self and others; limited desirable places to live, work, go to school, recreate)
  • Loss of knowledge to foster societal growth and well-being
  • Waste of resources (to deal with effects of inequality)
  • Loss of valuable employees, clients and customers
  • Diminished collective action for common concerns

Benefits of Eliminating Oppression for People from Dominant Groups

  • Fuller, more authentic sense of self
  • More authentic relationships and human connection
  • Moral integrity and consistency
  • Freedom from fears
  • Improved living and working conditions
  • Access to other cultures and wisdom
  • More resources to address common concerns
  • Greater opportunity for genuine democracy and justice

 

What would you add to or change on this list? Comment below!