ARE's Letter in Response to Racist Remarks Made by LA Leaders
The Association of Raza Educators was established to uphold the rights and liberties of the Raza community. Education is essential to the preservation of civil and human rights. It provides the foundation for all political and economic progress and it must be a basic right of all people. Making this right a reality is the fundamental objective of A.R.E. Raza has been and continues to be oppressed by the educational system within the United States. Therefore, we are obligated to ensure that education serves as a tool for the liberation of our community.
Who We Are
The Association of Raza Educators (A.R.E) is a group of public school educators, university professors, students, and community allies committed to using education as a tool for the liberation of our community. We do this by organizing and mobilizing teachers, developing critical anti-racist liberation curriculum, and working with community organizations to ignite change. We believe that education is the first step in creating consciousness that leads to action. In these turbulent times, we know that it's just not enough to teach about social justice, we have to practice social justice in every facet our lives.
It is urgent that we address these issues through community organizing, using decolonizing pedagogy as a strategy for the promotion of democratic education in order to advance a critical social and political consciousness among our students, educators, and communities. We believe that our people must be organized and truly educated in order to take effective action against politicians, corporations, political organizations, and state institutions responsible for the oppression of our community.
We have launched several successful campaigns that include: Pressuring the Hispanic Scholarship Foundation to open their funds to undocumented students, defending teachers from unjust discipline, working with parents to eject racist administrators, raising over $100K in scholarships for undocumented students, and winning Ethnic Studies requirements in multiple school districts. A.R.E. is also a member of the Education for Liberation Network.
ARE was founded by members of Unión del Barrio in the spring of 1994, and its first core membership was made up of teachers from the San Diego area. What “sparked” ARE to life was the passage into law of Proposition 187, a ballot initiative designed to deny so-called “illegal immigrants” social services, health care, and public education.
A.R.E is organized under five basic objectives and principles:
1. To promote critical pedagogy as the principle means of addressing the question of how to teach our children;
2. Struggle for democratic education, where the parents and community have the same rights as teachers, counselors, and administrators in the education of their children;
3. Promote community activism among teachers;
4. Nurture student activism and develop student activists;
5. Struggle to reclaim spaces in the institution (i.e. schools) for progressive education and to develop politically active teachers.
The core founders of ARE understood the strategic relationship of teachers to the struggle for Raza liberation. The founders of ARE envisioned the creation of a mass movement of teachers, similar to already existing teacher movements in Latin America: an educator’s movement on the front lines of the struggle for human rights and the self-determination of oppressed nations. Originally consisting of four educators at Memorial Academy in Barrio Logan, A.R.E. has grown into the largest teacher activist group in California with chapters in San Diego, Sacramento, and Los Angeles.