Houston, TX. May 12, 2014. (May 12, 2014)- Tejas roared. Texas and the nation heard. It was moving to see our community united as we met for our March April 8 on Austin for Mexican American Studies.
Students, professors, activists, professionals, and allies from different cultural backgrounds and walks of life united to update the American Dream through education. 40 people testified at the Texas State Board of Education, representing thousands of families, students, and leaders from the Rio Grande Valley, Houston, El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, Baytown and other parts of the great state of Texas.
Texas State Board of Education Representative Ruben Cortez led the way. Also, thanks to the League of United Latin American Citizens, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the NAACP, Librotraficante, MAS-Texas, Texas State Teachers Association, Texas American Federation of Teachers, the Texas Freedom Network, Somos MAS, MAS Unidos, Tejas Foco, Puente, Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, Tu Libro, UH MASSO, MASSO en UTSA, UT TFN, UH TFN, MASC UT-Pan Am, UH Center for Mexican American Studies, HCC South East Mexican American/Latino Studies Program, Lone Star College-NH M.A.S. and so many others. Of course, thanks to Texas State Board of Education representative Ruben Cortez for his leadership."
Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, said, "This is a huge victory and marks an important milestone in the Chicano Renaissance."
"We went to Austin looking to implement Mexican American Studies (M.A.S.), and we came back with the Texas Plan that allows us to control the content of our courses, yet still have the courses recognized and advertised by the state, and also allows us to get the textbooks needed for not just Mexican American Studies, but also African American, Asian, and Native American Studies," Diaz added.
"We have paved a direct route from our communities, to classrooms, to the Texas State Board of Education, to publishers across the nation. We will be implementing M.A.S. in a minumum of 50 schools in Texas next school year and then a minimum of 200 school districts the year after."
This will come to be known historically as the Texas Plan, with bi-partisan support, for an educational system that tells all of our stories.
* We will be coordinating the work of all of our Librotraficante Under Ground Libraries to expand our base in our communities. (http://www.librotraficante.com/Underground-Libraries.html). We are holding a book drive right now for our Under Ground Library in Phoenix at Puente.
* We are also working with all major educational institutions. Houston Independent School District, the largest school district in Texas, endorsed Mexican American Studies, as did El Paso ISD, and Ysleta ISD and others, to plan, conduct, and promote curriculums and courses.
* All roads lead to the February 2015 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Tejas Foco Conference at Lone Star College-North Harris in Houston, Texas: "Putting More Community in Community Colleges and Beyond," which will feature workshops by and for professors, students, administrators, teachers, families, and policy makers, nd publishers.
* We will be visiting the Texas State Board of Education in July.
In March of 2012 the Librotraficante Caravan smuggled the books banned in Tucson back into Arizona. www.Librotraficante.com They opened 4 Librotraficante Under Ground Libraries along the way and have opened several more since. Last year they organized the first Librotraficante 50 for Freedom of Speech. They have also stopped Anti-ethnic Studies legislation in Texas. www.StopTXhb1938.org
Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante