Arizona On The Doorstep Of Apartheid

The Purging of the Tri-Dimensionalization of Reality

Authored by: Augustine F. Romero

Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education

Print publication date:  March  2013
Online publication date:  September  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415899956
eBook ISBN: 9780203155721
Adobe ISBN: 9781136581410


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The Tucson Unified School District’s (TUSD) Raza Studies 2 Department (Hispanic Studies at the time of its establishment) was created in July of 1998 as a result of a grassroots movement that advocated for greater levels of academic achievements for the Latina/o children in the district. In 2002, on the heels of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), I was charged with the task of creating a program that would alleviate the achievement gap for Latina/o students in TUSD. As a result, I implemented the critically compassionate intellectualism model 3 (CCI) as the theoretical model for the Raza Studies program. CCI became the framework for the Social Justice Education Project, 4 the Raza Studies classes at all levels, the redemptive remembering team, 5 and the Institute for Transformative Education. 6 I did this as a means of ensuring an equitable and excellent educational experience for our Latina/o students and for that matter any and all students who took part in our program. I, like the community elders and the youth who struggled for the creation of this program, was able to envision the creation of this program because of our capacity to tri-dimensionalize our realities. In this reconstructed reality we have recognized the hegemonic group’s perpetuation of racial realism (Bell, 1993) and of its understanding of common sense (Haney Lopez, 2003), all of which have contributed to the intentional placement of the majority of American people of color at the bottom of society’s well (Bell, 1992).

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