It’s that time of year again when over 400 students, teachers and community members gather to reiterate the importance of Ethnic Studies!
To continue the struggle for the teaching of Ethnic Studies in public high schools and supporting meaningful student engagement, we are hosting the 12th Annual Ethnic Studies Conference on Thursday, March 13th, 2014 at U.C. Berkeley. The conference has always been a collaborative effort between community and campus organizations so that we can all benefit from such a conference and strengthen our work as a result. This conference is not just a one-day event but part of a larger struggle to transform our education systems into equitable, relevant, and family centered institutions.
The 12th Annual Ethnic Studies Conference is organized by Youth Together, OUSD Meaningful Student Engagement and All City Council, and other student and community organizations and individuals. Previously, this conference had been organized by the Schools Not Jails Coalition, which has aided the launching of Ethnic Studies classes in high schools in San Francisco and Southern California, and the Organize Da Bay coalition. We continue to hold this conference because we believe it is important to strengthen our community’s education and the lives of individuals as we introduce students to critical thinking toward our diverse histories and current global issues.
The major goal of the conference is to promote and introduce high school students to ethnic studies and higher education all while grounding them in their own leadership and power. We believe that there is a crucial need to readdress history and to provide education that empowers our people to fight for justice. We also believe in promoting and modeling transformative and holistic education practices where young people learn the history of their ancestors and their peers, develop their leadership skills and are empowered to take charge of their education and lives.
The workshops will be divided into two tracks:
Session 1- Ethnic Studies, Resistance Movements, History and Culture
Session 2- Current Issues, Organizing, Leadership, Art and Healthy Living
This year’s Ethnic Studies Conference will provide the space for consciousness raising and alliance building amongst students. Students from around the Bay Area are building a movement and the conference will continue to empower young people to educate themselves, their community and to organize for liberation. 
ETHNIC STUDIES is:
v Interdisciplinary – includes various disciplines like history, sociology, politics, LGBT, etc.
v A unique discipline because it is a tool of empowerment for ourselves and our community
v Community rooted & centered, addresses “conquer and divide” tactics in society
v About self-determination – people can research, learn and teach about their own heritage
v Representative of people’s different worldviews and ethnic perspectives
v Non-Eurocentric, also historical and contemporary
v Intertwined with themes of resistance, struggle, and solidarity – social justice movement history
v Represents methodologies (ways of teaching and learning) that implement popular education and other non-traditional methods, no “I am teaching you” attitude
 The term liberation implies freedom from institutional, interpersonal, and internalized oppression. In our work with young people, we promote and model freedom from oppressive beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes. Liberation is the transformation of the individual and community to adopt, believe, reflect, and practice anti-oppressive principles and values.
Registration is currently full, but you are more than welcomed to stop by, say “what’s up” and vibe with us. If you would like more information about the conference or would like to organize next year’s conference, contact us at : email@example.com
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