“COMMITTED TO MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR OUR STUDENTS SINCE 1965”
April 23, Marks 29 Years Since Cesar Chavez Passed – His Legacy Lives On!
AMAE Congratulates Member Denis O’Leary on Prestigious Gold Medal Award!
Local educator wins Gold Medal in International Latino Book Awards
Oxnard, California educator and longtime Oxnard School Board Member, Denis O’Leary has won the Gold Medal in the International Latino Book Awards. His book “Esteban’s Caravan” won the top prize in the category of Best Young Adult Fiction Book in a virtual ceremony broadcast on October 16, 2021.
Esteban’s Caravan (published by Floricanto Press) is the compelling story of a ten-year-old boy with his family in their journey to find security in the United States. Seeking asylum in a nation of immigrants, Esteban travels from his damaged paradise of Guatemala hoping for a better life only to be separated from his loved ones. Twenty years later, Esteban returns to tell a child’s story of hope, tragedy and triumph to a Senatorial committee in Washington DC. The reflection rises above the dark policy of separating children from their parents who legally present themselves to the United States under the Trump administration’s zero tolerance immigration policy. Factual events are presented in Esteban’s Caravan as seen by the innocent children who went from a hope of peace to an American cage and beyond.
The book can be purchased on Amazon and many on line independent book stores.
“I wrote this story at the height of the shameful policy of separating children from their parents to punish legitimate asylum seekers coming to the United States. A community activist and fifth grade teacher at the time in the immigrant community of the Rio School District, I knew that the children were being used as fodder in the immigration boarder policy were victims who would be scared for life.” Denis O’Leary dedicated the award to the “Children and families who seek legal asylum in a country of immigrants.”
“Youth and young adults know what is happening around them. Those political movements who call themselves a Cancel Culture victim are unduly blocking the study of history and current events in our nation’s schools.” O’Leary continues, “In this light, I have decided that I will own the right-wing offense that they describe as “Critical Race Theory.” O’Leary adds, “Opinions of history should never eclipse the study of history itself.”
O’Leary has written twelve books, ranging from one adult novel to children’s books about leaders such as Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Gabriela Mistral. Other subjects have been about Dreamers, fieldworkers and Popol Vuh.
The 2021 Winners of the 23rd Annual International Latino Book Awards are another reflection of the growing quality of books by and about Latinos. The Awards celebrates books in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Finalists are from across the USA, Puerto Rico, and 19 other countries.
The Awards are produced by Empowering Latino Futures, a nonprofit organization co-founded in 1997 by Edward James Olmos and Kirk Whisler.
Resources in commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month:
LA AMAE Honors and Encourages LAUSD Students
Responding to a L.A. Times Newspaper article regarding the family hardships many LAUSD students find themselves in due to the Corona Virus, LA AMAE reached out to give support and encouragement to the three Latino students featured in the article who have been working to help support their families.
One of AMAE’s founders, Frank Armendariz, was laid to rest June 19, 2021. May he rest in peace.
Santa Monica Westside AMAE shares Santa Monica High School and Olympic High School students at their Latino graduation recognition presented by Latino-PEMA. Santa Monica Westside AMAE awarded scholarships to Carolina Diaz, Brianna Cornejo, and Isabel Molina. Congratulations class of 2021!!
Join us June 5 – Special Guest Speaker Javier Gomez: “The History and Origins of Teatro Campesino”
Registration now open: http://bit.ly/AMAE-Teatro
The Greatest Act of Defiance You Can Make
REOPENING SCHOOLS & BACK-TO-SCHOOL GUIDELINES…
AMAE stands in support of the CA guidelines and in solidarity with CTA, student and their parents. Below is link to CTA’s website for open letter to legislatures.
VICTORY FOR LBGTQ+ AND DACA COMMUNITIES
The month of June 2020 will end in historical landmark victories for our LBGTQ+ and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) communities. The Association of Mexican American Educators, Inc. applauds our Supreme Court Justices for supporting these communities and future generations.
Our LBGTQ+ community will now be protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and sex, applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In a 6-3 decision, Justice Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion. We celebrate this long-awaited victory.
Close to 700,000 DACA recipients received a reprieve when the Supreme Court upheld the decision to uphold the 2012 DACA immigration relief program. DACA recipients receive temporary protection from deportation and the ability to rightful employment. Recipients must renew their application every two years.
“Arbitrary and capricious” are words used by Supreme Court Justices ruling in support and preserving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). U.S Supreme Court Justices Roberts, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan ruled against the Department of Homeland Security and that the Trump administration violated the laws governing federal agencies when it decided to end DACA.
Our Dreamers have succeeded in completing their education by earning degrees in various fields such as law, engineering, medicine and teaching. They are contributors to our society. This fight is not over. There needs to be immigration reform which will give them a path toward citizenship. Looking over your shoulder should not be a part of life especially in a country they call home.
We stand with our DACA brothers and sisters. Today, DACA recipients will sleep at night.
¡Que Siga la Lucha! Get out the vote in Nov!
IN SOLIDARITY. . .
The Association of Mexican American Educators, Inc., joins in solidarity with the pain, grief, and anger felt by millions of people across the globe following another tragic killing of our African-American brother, George Floyd, at the hands of police brutality.
As our nation faces a worldwide pandemic, the murder of George Floyd adds yet another layer of angst to the crisis. A traumatized nation stood shocked – as we witnessed the slow demise of George Floyd – taking to the streets, raising our voice, asking for justice, and pleading for reform.
What is needed now is action. There needs to be accountability and responsibility at all levels of our bureaucracy embedded with systemic racism. It is only when these laws prohibiting this barbaric misconduct are in place and people willing to implement them, will we see change. If we do not act, we may be next.
It lays heavy on our hearts as our youth witness this behavior. One that we have fought against for decades in hopes of bringing change to our community and society.
As educators, social justice and inequity need to be part of the students’ education to bring an awareness to the injustice we have witnessed and continue to witness today. We must become a united and inclusive family willing to stand up for our sisters and brothers. A united nation is our vision, but what we see is division due to our lack of vigilance. Each of us must teach by example. Humanity is not one of color, creed, religion, or politics. It is about people, human life, and our human family. During this time of crisis, we need to stand together not be divided by racial injustice and discrimination.
We stand for humanity.
We stand together with our Black brothers and sisters!