HB 2281 targets Tucson Unified School District's (TUSD) Mexican American Studies Department by making it illegal to teach classes which foster "ethnic solidarity" or "ethnic chauvinism". It is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2011. TUSD officials maintain that they are in compliance with the new law and that students who take Ethnic Studies Department courses perform better than their counterparts.
In resistance to the enforcement of SB 1070, many events are planned in Tucson during July. On each of the first four Fridays of July, Derechos Humanos and other community groups such as No More Deaths, Tucson Samaritans, UA Students Against SB 1070, Tucson May 1st Coalition, International Action Center of Tucson, Tierra Y Libertad Organization - TYLO, We Reject Racism Campaign
Jewish Voice for Peace- Arizona Chapter, Alianza Indígena Sin Fronteras, Restoration Project, Alliance for Global Justice, Tucson YWCA, Calpolli Teoxicalli, We Reject Racism Campaign, Green Valley Samaritans, Corazón de Tucson (Vecinos Unidos Por La Dignidad Humana)are holding rallies in front of the State Building from 4:00-7:00 PM on the corner of Congress and Granada.
On July 13-16, TUSD's Department of Mexican American Studies and the University of Arizona College of Education are holding the 12th Annual Institute for Transformative Education. This four-day conference will provide participants with the opportunity to listen to and dialogue with leading scholars in the areas of: Chicana/o Studies, Cultural Responsiveness, Ethnic Studies, Critical Multicultural Education, Urban Education, Urban Youth Engagement, Critical Pedagogy, and Critical Race Theory in Education.
On the morning of July 13, Calpolli Teoxicalli will lead a run which will begin at 5:30 am at the Old Main at the U of A and continue to the federal building (site of Operation Streamline) on Congress/Granada; then to TUSD Headquarters at 1010 10th Street (Park & 10th) and finally to the Education Building at the U of A for a ceremony. More information on the run is available by contacting Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez at XColumn@gmail.com.
On July 15, the Ethnic/Raza Studies Defense fund will be holding a Noche de Cultura fund raiser at the El Casino Ballroom from 6:00 PM-Midnight. The event features Olmeca, Los Gallegos, Mariachi Nueva Melodia and more.
On July 19, there will be a Latino Solidarity Benefit Concert to benefit Derechos Humanos at the Rialto Theatre featuring the Grammy-nominated Puerto Rican Bomba y Plena group "Los Pleneros de la 21" (Smithsonian Folkways Recording artists); the fierce, feminist Cuban hip hop duo "Las Krudas Cubensi" and the highly acclaimed Mexican Roots band "Los Cenzontles" (whose credits include close collaborators of Los Lobos' David Hidalgo, Ry Cooder, blues master Taj Mahal, and Tucson's own Linda Ronstadt).
Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez' writings are archive here and can often be found in Common Dreams, TruthOut and New American Media.