Local Latino journalist/photojournalist Jess Gutierrez this weekend announced that he is seeking donations of books to benefit students of cultural studies program in Arizona.
“Friends, I need your help,” Gutierrez stated in a media release. “As a writer, photojournalist, and publisher, I cannot sit quietly while Arizona attacks our First Amendment right to ‘freedom of speech and freedom of the press.’
“On Friday, March 16, I will be joining hundreds of “Librotraficante” supporters in a great cause as I make a trip to Arizona. I will be delivering books by Latino(a) authors and non-Latino(a) authors to make sure young students from Arizona communities learn about their own history, culture, and heroes.
“Many of you have books about Latino, Mexicano, Chicano culture and history. I suspect some of these books are in a box in a garage or closet collecting dust or in a bookshelf. DONATE THESE BOOKS TO THIS GREAT CAUSE.
“Call me and I’ll make arrangements so the books are picked up. Or drop them off on … Thursday, March 15 at the Oxnard Library, 251 So. A St. I will personally be there from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m..
“Below is some information on the LIBROTRAFICANTE CARAVAN and LINKS for more detailed information.
Jess Gutierrez – Cell: 805-822-9050
For more information, click on the following links:
Caravan Set To Smuggle “Wet” Books Back Into Arizona Following Ethnic Studies Ban
A caravan of cars, full of activists and writers will be heading soon from all parts of the US to Tucson, Arizona. It’s cargo: books that were banned from the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD). ‘Librotraficante’ will trake take place from March 12th-18th. Among the participants of the caravan will be some of the authors whose books were banned in Arizona, together with advocates concerned with preserving First Amendment rights of equal protection and freedom.
The ‘Librotraficante’ caravan is instigated by the banning of books from Mexican-American Studies (MAS) programs by TUSD earlier this month. Amid protests, these ethnic-studies programs were suspended after Arizona State Superintendent ruled the high school MAS courses were in direct violation to ARS 15-112, a segment of the controversial law Arizona HB 2281, signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010.
ARS 15-112 focuses on “prohibited courses and classes; enforcement” and it states that a program in a school district or charter school in Arizona shall not:
- Promote the overthrow of the United States government.
- Promote resentment toward a race or class of people.
- Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.
- Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.
- Some of the titles that were taken away from the class were:
- ‘Critical Race Theory’ by Richard Delgado
- ‘500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures’ edited by Elizabeth Martinez
- ‘Message to AZTLAN’ by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales
- ‘Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement’ by Arturo Rosales
- ‘Occupied America: A History of Chicanos’ by Rodolfo Acuna
- ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ by Paulo Freire
- ‘Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years’ by Bill Bigelow