Notes From the Future
Posted Mar 31 2006
In contrast of the doom and gloom descriptions of today's youth, the students I teach in Oakland, CA are hardly out of control thugs that don't care about their future. They participate in rallies, are members of community youth organizations, and constantly work to better themselves as students and people. It's not easy work, but their effort motivates me as their teacher. I view my role as being a facilitator to help them navigate through this complex world and to become empowered to change their lives and the community.
At a national and international level, the labor protests and pro-immigration rallies in the United States have been on their minds. Incidentally, we watched the documentary Walkout this week, which discusses the Chicano led school walk outs in East L.A. in 1968 over the poor condition of the schools. We had great discussions on how to organize and different strategies to gain one's rights. A group of students also attended a conference hosted by the UC Berkeley MEChA chapter. MEChA is a Chicana/o youth-driven community group whose goal includes increasing college attendance of Mexican-American students. The conference featured various workshops, as well as speeches by Dr. Alex M. Saragoza, a specialist on modern Mexico, and Johnny Rodriguez, the founder of One Day At a Time, an orgnization devoted to providing positive opportunites for youth. If anyone doubts the need for more community programs and whether or not students care, read the following student reflections to hear from the students themselves!