Diversity/Multiculturalism | Not in Our Town

Diversity/Multiculturalism

  Although unable to speak, read or write in English when she came to the United States in 2005, Jennifer Gaxiola's innate sense of self-worth compelled her to succeed.   Born in Bellflower, CA in 1992, Jennifer soon moved with her family to Mexico, then returned to California when she was nine years old. When she was 17, in Fresno in 2007, she began volunteering at the Center for Multicultural Cooperation. She became the Executive Youth Producer, and a voting Board Member, which greatly influenced her life. Jennifer became an All-Star for the Fresno Youth Empowerment Studio (FresYES), President of the Fresno Youth Service Council, and a Youth Service California CATALYST Ambassador. The CATALYST Ambassadors, composed of  high-school students from Eureka to Los Angeles, engage in service projects (toy and blood drives, community cleanups, etc.). However, Jennifer's true passion is filmmaking. An accomplished documentary filmmaker, her quest for knowledge of California's Latino community has led her to chronicle their roots and history through films that have highlighted Cesar Chavez and the lives of war veterans. This lesson addresses the following SEL strategies. You can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves.
  The Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF) is an artistic collective based in Sacramento, California.  It was founded in 1969 to express the goals of the Chicano civil rights and labor organizing movement of the United Farm Workers. Its mission was to make available to the Chicano community a bilingual/bicultural arts center where artists could come together, exchange ideas, provide mutual support, and make available to the public artistic, cultural, and educational programs and events. While "RCAF" originally stood for the Rebel Chicano Art Front, people confused the letters with the acronym for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Founding member José Montoya and his fellow officers capitalized on the misunderstanding, and in good humor adopted the name Royal Chicano Air Force. This new identity found its way into their wardrobe, as well as their highly successful silk screen poster program, which began to disseminate the World War I aviator and barnstorming bi-winged planes as icons. The RCAF gained a well-deserved reputation for outrageous humor, fine art posters, murals, and community activism. Their pioneering spirit throughout the 1970s and early 1980s was well-known in the California Chicano community, and continues to the present. This lesson addresses the following Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies. You can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves
A Community Rocked by Hate is Awakened and Transformed The documentary Waking In Oak Creek profiles a suburban town rocked by hate after six worshippers at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin are killed by a white supremacist. In the year following the attack, the mayor and police chief lead the community as they forge new bonds with their Sikh neighbors. Young temple members and a police lieutenant, shot 17 times in the attack, inspire thousands to gather for events and honor the victims. After one of the deadliest hate crime attacks in recent U.S. history, the film highlights a community and law enforcement working together to overcome tragedy, stand up to hate, and create a safe town for all. * Request a free DVD classrom copy of the film by clicking here.  Useful teaching strategies that link to the Common Core State Standards:
Although unable to speak, read or write in English when she came to the United States in 2005, Jennifer Gaxiola's innate sense of self-worth compelled her to succeed.   Born in Bellflower, CA in 1992, Jennifer soon moved with her family to Mexico, then returned to California when she was nine years old. After her family moved to Fresno in 2007, she soon began volunteering at the Center for Multicultural Cooperation, where the 17- year-old is now Executive Youth Producer, and a voting Board Member. Volunteering at the Center helped her to understand the enormous impact the Latino community has had on shaping California, an understanding which has shaped her life and her interests. Jennifer is also an All-Star for the Fresno Youth Empowerment Studio (FresYES), President of the Fresno Youth Service Council, and a Youth Service California CATALYST Ambassador. As an ambassador, Jennifer has committed herself to various youth service-learning projects.  
The Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF) is an artistic collective based in Sacramento, California. Initially named the Rebel Chicano Art Front, the RCAF was founded in 1969 to express the goals of the Chicano civil rights and labor organizing movement of the United Farm Workers. Its mission was to make available to the Chicano community a bilingual/bicultural arts center where artists could come together, exchange ideas, provide mutual support, and make available to the public artistic, cultural, and educational programs and events.
Tadashi Nakamura is a 30 year old, fourth-generation Japanese American and second-generation filmmaker. Besides carrying on his parents’ work – his mother is writer/producer Karen L. Ishizuka and his father is director Robert A. Nakamura – Nakamura seeks to tell his community’s history to a new generation. Nakamura recently completed A Song for Ourselves, the third film of a documentary trilogy about the early Asian American Movement. Currently screening in festivals and colleges around the U.S. and Canada, the film has won twelve awards for film excellence including four for Best Documentary Short. The first film of the trilogy wasYellow Brotherhood (2003), a personal documentary focused on the meaning of friendship and community through the Yellow Brotherhood youth organization, which was formed in the 1960s to combat youth drug use. The film won Best Documentary Short at the San Diego Asian Film Festival and has been screened at film festivals, colleges, and community events across the nation.
Republished from ChampionsofUnity.org. Find the original here.  Charlotta A. Bass stands among the most influential African Americans of the twentieth century. A crusading journalist and extraordinary political activist, she was at the forefront of the civil rights struggles of her time, especially in Los Angeles, but also in California and the nation. Teachers can use Bass as an inspirational example of fighting for non-violence and equality, with the following lesson plan and activity.  Objective:  Students will conduct a town hall meeting, create a survey, and interview fellow students regarding violence on campus.  Using the information obtained, students will write a Declaration of Non-violence (or whatever topic your group has selected) which will then be presented to the student body for ratification, then to the administration for possible implementation. 
The first African-American woman to own and publish a newspaper, The Eagle (later, The California Eagle), Charlotta Bass was a tireless advocate for social change and one of the most influential African-Americans of the 20th century. Based in Los Angeles, Bass utilized the newspaper as a platform to address issues of race and gender equality, police brutality, and media stereotyping in an era when women and African-Americans were largely being excluded from public discourse.
In 1995, Azim Khamisa's 20-year-old son, Tariq, was delivering a pizza when he was shot to death by a 14-year-old gang member. Experiencing the pain, grief, frustration, and anger that a parent would, Azim decided that the only way he could better the situation was to use the tool of FORGIVE to ensure that this type of tragedy happens less frequently in the future. After meeting with the father of the boy who shot Tariq, Azim decided that he would bring his message of forgiveness and mutual respect to groups of young people all over the country. The foundation in his son's memory, the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, raises awareness and engages youth to resist a culture of violence and learn to live in harmony with one another. This lesson addresses the following SEL strategies and you can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves.
Palo Alto High School student Kevin Ward challenges the stereotype of African-Americans as "gangsters," and says that "smart is the new gangster." The 16-year-old is working to bridge the achievement gap for students of color, through the school's Unity Club and a program called Bridge, connecting students from affluent Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, a neighboring low-income community. This lesson addresses the following SEL strategies. You can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves.