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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Raza studies celebrates 40 years

Students, faculty and community members will gather today to celebrate 40 years of Raza studies. The ethnic studies program educates students about Latino and Chicano culture from a multi-cultural perspective.

The goal of the event is to inform the community about Raza studies, according to Roberto Rodriguez, an assistant professor in Mexican American studies.

“”The idea is to strengthen the relationship between the communities we serve,”” Rodriguez said. “”It’s a cry to say we are human and all are human.””

Participants from several communinty organizations, including Raza Studies TUSD and Mexican American and Raza Studies UA, will attend the event, which will take place in Cesar Chavez rooms 205 through 209 from 4 to 6 p.m. 

Rodriguez said there has always been opposition toward Raza studies because some people view it as un-American.

Last year the UA proposed the combination of the four principal campus cultural centers. The centers have a historic presence on campus and in the community, according to Rodriguez.

He said the community told the administration that they did not approve of this decision, and the centers remained separate.

This past summer, the state legislature proposed a bill that would eliminate funding for ethnic studies in K-12 education.

“”To be told that you cannot teach something is the same as saying there are things you cannot learn,”” Rodriguez said.

To protest this bill, a group of about 150 members of the Tucson community marched from the Tucson Unified School District building to Joaquin Murrieta Park. About 50 students, faculty and community members continued from Tucson to Phoenix in the summer heat in relay fashion over a three-day period.

The state legislature ended up dropping the bill, according to Rodriguez.

“”It wasn’t like we were dumb and crazy. It was to show that this is what we believe in,”” he said.

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