Dr. Mirelsie Velázquez: Latina/o/x Histories, Memory, and Community Building Beyond the Coasts
Reckoning and Reconciliation in Education, Sept. 15, 2022
Dr. Mirelsie Velázquez, an associate professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Rainbolt Family Endowed Education Presidential Professor at the University of Oklahoma. Title: "En el centro también vivimos: Latina/o/x Histories, Memory, and Community Building Beyond the Coasts"
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[00:00:04.230]So wonderful to see you all.
[00:00:07.550]This is the first in-person conference
[00:00:08.970]we've done in a very long time,
[00:00:10.500]and it's really wonderful to have you all.
[00:00:14.940]And welcome to
[00:00:15.773]the Reckoning and Reconciliation in Education conference.
[00:00:19.620]It's sponsored by the Center for Great Plain Studies.
[00:00:23.250]And my name's Margaret Jacobs,
[00:00:24.660]I'm the director of the center.
[00:00:27.690]We're really thrilled to have you here today,
[00:00:30.030]and we wanna thank our many co-sponsors.
[00:00:34.380]There they are.
[00:00:36.090]Rather than reading them,
[00:00:37.153]I thought I'd just put them up on the screen.
[00:00:39.030]We have a lot of support
[00:00:40.500]from a lot of different entities at the university
[00:00:43.680]and in the community, and we're very grateful to them.
[00:00:46.740]I also wanna thank our staff
[00:00:49.290]at the Center for Great Plains Studies,
[00:00:51.420]particularly Katie Nieland, who's running around,
[00:01:00.210]Ashley Wilkinson, Melissa Amateis,
[00:01:03.180]and Sarah Giles.
[00:01:05.790]They've all been working really hard behind the scenes
[00:01:09.360]to make this happen.
[00:01:11.370]And most of them will be in these blue lanyards,
[00:01:15.420]so if you run into any problems
[00:01:17.100]and you need help with anything, please find one of us.
[00:01:20.990]We'll be happy to help you.
[00:01:23.460]I also wanna thank our program committee
[00:01:26.280]who has created this event today,
[00:01:28.770]as well as an entire series for the year
[00:01:31.230]on Reckoning and Reconciliation on the Great Plains,
[00:01:34.200]and that's Laura Muñoz,
[00:01:36.540]Jessica Shoemaker, and Kevin Alvarez.
[00:01:39.630]And Laura's over there,
[00:01:41.787]and I saw Jess somewhere, there she is.
[00:01:44.790]Thank you so much.
[00:01:46.080]Really appreciate all your vision and imagination
[00:01:49.260]in organizing this program.
[00:01:55.470]So the University of Nebraska is a land-grant institution
[00:01:58.980]with campuses and programs on the past, present,
[00:02:02.100]and future homeland of the Pawnee, Ponca, Otoe-Missouria,
[00:02:06.570]Omaha, Dakota, Lakota, Kaw, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Peoples,
[00:02:11.940]as well as those of the relocated Ho-Chunk,
[00:02:14.820]Sac and Fox, and Iowa Peoples.
[00:02:17.880]The land we currently call Nebraska has always been,
[00:02:21.480]and will continue to be an indigenous homeland.
[00:02:25.620]Please take a moment to consider the legacies
[00:02:28.470]of more than 150 years of displacement, violence,
[00:02:33.240]settlement, and survival that bring us here today.
[00:02:38.460]This acknowledgement and the centering of indigenous peoples
[00:02:41.790]is just a start as we move forward together.
[00:02:46.860]So I mentioned that this event is one of many
[00:02:49.710]that we've been doing this year as part of our
[00:02:52.350]Reckoning and Reconciliation on the Great Plains,
[00:02:57.240]We set out to do a two and a half day conference,
[00:03:04.650]derailed our plans,
[00:03:05.760]and our program committee decided
[00:03:07.800]that we would do a virtual conference in April,
[00:03:10.650]and then a series of events.
[00:03:12.090]And this is one of the series.
[00:03:14.760]We wanted to do this series
[00:03:16.770]to really probe how residents of the Great Plains
[00:03:19.530]can best reckon with the violence, conflict, and abuse,
[00:03:23.700]that's occurred in our region,
[00:03:25.920]and how we can move toward healing,
[00:03:28.080]justice, and reconciliation.
[00:03:31.380]We invite you to remember, and honor this painful past,
[00:03:34.980]and then to imagine, and build new relationships
[00:03:38.190]and communities based on respect and dignity for all.
[00:03:43.830]People on the Great Plains have suffered
[00:03:46.020]from dispossession, exile, violence, discrimination,
[00:03:53.250]forcible assimilation, and family separation.
[00:03:56.970]Typical accounts of our region have been downplayed
[00:04:00.120]or erase these events,
[00:04:01.890]yet past thesis have contributed
[00:04:05.160]to current disparities and inequalities,
[00:04:07.980]and our failure to confront them
[00:04:09.930]has limited our possibilities
[00:04:11.940]to create a fully inclusive and thriving society.
[00:04:16.890]Our series in this conference today has recommended the past
[00:04:21.510]while also highlighting the resiliency of people, cultures,
[00:04:25.260]and communities moving forward.
[00:04:27.480]And we're really thrilled again,
[00:04:28.670]to have you all here to talk about these issues today.
[00:04:34.410]I wanna now introduce Laura Muñoz,
[00:04:37.879]Dr. Laura Muñoz.
[00:04:39.847]Dr. Muñoz is an assistant professor
[00:04:42.030]of history and ethnic studies
[00:04:43.500]at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
[00:04:46.080]She studies the people and histories
[00:04:47.880]of Mexican American, Chicanx and Latinx communities
[00:04:52.140]in the United States
[00:04:53.010]with an emphasis on race, gender education
[00:04:56.340]in the American west.
[00:04:57.720]You can see why she's perfect for our program committee,
[00:05:00.900]and for this conference.
[00:05:02.760]Her current book project is called
[00:05:04.447]"Desert Dreams: Mexican Arizona
[00:05:07.770]and the Politics of Educational Equality,"
[00:05:10.830]It explores how Mexican Americans embraced public schools
[00:05:15.420]as a conduit to political access
[00:05:18.150]and cultural preservation in the face of Americanization
[00:05:22.050]in the century following the Mexican-American War.
[00:05:25.830]It reveals how they challenged the structure of wild growth,
[00:05:30.690]I love that,
[00:05:33.630]the unofficial segregation of Mexican heritage people
[00:05:36.530]in the North American west.
[00:05:39.120]Prior to joining us at the University of Nebraska,
[00:05:42.840]Dr. Muñoz held the
[00:05:44.000]Joey France Associate Professorship of American history
[00:05:47.160]at Texas A&M in Corpus Christi.
[00:05:50.010]And we are delighted to have Dr. Muñoz
[00:05:52.460]to introduce our speaker this morning.
[00:05:54.500]Thank you everybody.
[00:06:06.237]Thank you, Dr. Jacobs.
[00:06:07.070]And thank you all, for joining us today
[00:06:10.340]in this incredible conversation
[00:06:12.480]about Reckoning and Reconciliation in Education.
[00:06:16.050]It is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Mirelsie Velázquez.
[00:06:19.920]Dr. Velázquez is an Associate Professor
[00:06:23.010]of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies,
[00:06:25.980]and the Rainbow Family
[00:06:28.320]Endowed Education Presidential Professor
[00:06:30.690]at the University of Oklahoma.
[00:06:33.360]She is one of the few Latinas in the United States,
[00:06:37.230]there are only five,
[00:06:38.940]who are experts on the history of Latinx education.
[00:06:42.990]And she is the only educational historian,
[00:06:46.050]that chronicles the school experiences
[00:06:48.080]of Puerto Rican children and their parents
[00:06:51.510]in the Midwestern Great Plains.
[00:06:53.940]She's also the first Latina ever
[00:06:57.060]to serve our Board of the History of Education Society,
[00:07:00.990]which since 1960, has been the leading organization
[00:07:04.380]of American historians of education.
[00:07:08.160]Since joining the faculty at OU in 2014,
[00:07:12.825]Velázquez has trained a new generation of scholars,
[00:07:16.860]and African American history of Oklahoma.
[00:07:19.590]This includes scholar, Jennifer Johnson,
[00:07:22.162]who in 2020,
[00:07:23.457]won the prestigious National Academy of Education,
[00:07:26.190]Spencer Dissertation Fellowship
[00:07:28.920]to write the educational history of her home nation,
[00:07:31.980]the Seminole Nation.
[00:07:34.020]Dr. Velázquez also is a very vocal critic
[00:07:37.590]of Oklahoma state efforts to ban public schools
[00:07:40.350]from teaching tough and difficult subjects,
[00:07:42.990]such as the history of American race relations,
[00:07:46.020]because this history
[00:07:47.107]will make some students feel uncomfortable.
[00:07:51.990]The Washington Post
[00:07:53.220]recently published Dr. Velázquez's editorial
[00:07:56.070]on the state's new law, HP 1775,
[00:07:59.370]which now limits the ways that teachers
[00:08:01.770]can discuss ideas such as race, gender, and sexuality.
[00:08:06.060]Dr. Velázquez wrote quote,
[00:08:08.347]"These efforts to sanitize the history books,
[00:08:11.700]threaten to deprive future generations of students
[00:08:15.000]of an opportunity to understand how Oklahoman history
[00:08:17.940]is the history of black and indigenous communities
[00:08:21.210]fighting for change and justice.
[00:08:23.760]Sometimes with the support of state and local courts,
[00:08:27.030]white politicians behaviors,
[00:08:29.010]and sometimes despite efforts to block their progress."
[00:08:34.230]One of the central goals of today's conference
[00:08:37.500]is to explore how education
[00:08:39.180]can promote greater reckoning
[00:08:41.250]with the complex history of the Great Plains
[00:08:43.776]and to build new relationships based on
[00:08:45.480]respect and dignity for all.
[00:08:48.150]Dr. Velázquez has dedicated her lifetime
[00:08:51.840]and her academic career to reckoning with this history.
[00:08:55.437]The history of her own past, as a young migrant child
[00:08:59.100]from Puerto Rico to the inner city schools of Chicago,
[00:09:02.340]and the histories of how Latinx,
[00:09:04.650]black and indigenous families have fought over centuries
[00:09:08.100]for community-based social change
[00:09:10.170]in cities and towns across the Great Plains.
[00:09:13.380]For Dr. Velázquez, this work is rooted
[00:09:15.960]in what she describes as her own understanding
[00:09:19.590]of her sense of responsibility
[00:09:21.287]to the history that she comes from.
[00:09:23.880]Or as she eloquently stated in her recent interview,
[00:09:27.367]"We can't serve our students today in these spaces
[00:09:31.110]if we don't understand our communities and their histories."
[00:09:35.220]In her new book,
[00:09:37.207]"Puerto Rican Chicago: Schooling the City, 1940-1977",
[00:09:42.600]she lays out a history of reckoning.
[00:09:45.270]One reviewer described her efforts as fantastic
[00:09:48.750]in its treatment of matters of resistance
[00:09:51.570]to political and racial hegemony.
[00:09:54.240]Velázquez's work demonstrates
[00:09:56.760]what accessible and equitable education can look like
[00:09:59.970]when communities come together
[00:10:01.440]in the pursuit of social justice.
[00:10:04.170]It is this commitment to social justice in education
[00:10:07.293]that has brought her here today to Nebraska.
[00:10:10.680]Thank you, Dr. Velázquez, for joining us.
[00:10:29.525]Oh, that was a lot.
[00:10:33.073]A lot of responsibility, too, that carries with it
[00:10:35.253]when you hear those words,
[00:10:36.600]so I'm feeling a little,
[00:10:38.160]I don't wanna say unsettled,
[00:10:39.960]because I was mentioning to Laura, who's a dear friend,
[00:10:43.770]that I had been feeling unsettled for a while,
[00:10:47.010]and I just finished teaching
[00:10:48.660]unsettled with border nights with my students,
[00:10:50.370]which was the first time
[00:10:51.464]that some of these students saw themselves.
[00:10:54.683]And so when I landed here, I knew I was gonna see Laura,
[00:10:56.640]I knew I was gonna gonna go somewhere
[00:10:58.140]where I was being seen.
[00:11:00.030]And so thank you.
[00:11:01.650]So thank you so much for those kind words
[00:11:03.480]to my dear learner Laura Muñoz,
[00:11:05.610]for always having me, bringing me into conversations
[00:11:08.520]and reminding me of the importance of community,
[00:11:12.060]even as we navigate spaces that were not committed for us.
[00:11:14.850]My sobrevivencia depended on your sobrevivencia,
[00:11:17.474]so I want say thank you for that.
[00:11:19.470]But also thank you for the Center for Great Plain Studies,
[00:11:21.540]and especially for Margaret Jacobs,
[00:11:23.536]and Katie Nieland and others
[00:11:24.720]for not only hosting me, but for challenging all of us
[00:11:27.306]to think intently and intentionally
[00:11:30.030]about what does it mean
[00:11:30.900]for us as scholars and community members
[00:11:32.880]to navigate conversations
[00:11:34.280]on Reckoning and Reconciliation in Education.
[00:11:37.290]But I'll go further,
[00:11:38.277]and state that it's also about remembering,
[00:11:40.290]recollecting, and reciprocity,
[00:11:43.170]about us re-imagining our histories, our positionalities,
[00:11:47.460]as we coexist in spaces and phases
[00:11:50.010]that are yet to reckon and reconcile
[00:11:51.660]with lands that we occupy,
[00:11:53.400]the people that have been pushed out
[00:11:54.780]and at times erased,
[00:11:56.640]and look at the past as a prologue
[00:11:58.050]for a better future.
[00:12:02.490]So how do we give back in order to ensure
[00:12:04.770]that as we engage with our scholarship and our teaching,
[00:12:07.920]and we don't just possess
[00:12:09.060]material numberings of organizations,
[00:12:11.040]communities, policies, people and minds,
[00:12:13.950]and are intentional to approach this
[00:12:15.600]where caring will honor those lives,
[00:12:17.217]and not recreate the violence
[00:12:19.020]that history in education in academia at times represents,
[00:12:22.800]which requires our grappling with representing vanishing
[00:12:25.530]without reproducing the damage,
[00:12:27.360]the violence of (indistinct), and talking mindsets.
[00:12:30.180]So today I wanna spend a little time
[00:12:31.710]talking about our responsibility as scholars,
[00:12:34.380]and as teachers,
[00:12:35.213]to communities that we come to reside in,
[00:12:37.500]to stories living in the footnotes of history,
[00:12:39.660]and the consequences of national records
[00:12:41.610]that seem to further push us further,
[00:12:45.540]to further push our lives into the margins of history
[00:12:48.570]with the passing mistakes statutes
[00:12:50.160]that deny us a sense of history
[00:12:51.870]and seek to dehumanize us.
[00:12:54.090]As a scholar of Midwestern Latina Latinx history,
[00:12:56.583]primarily the history of my own Puerto Rican community.
[00:12:59.970]I am constantly grappling with how history
[00:13:01.950]can, and should, serve as a pedagogical tool
[00:13:04.830]in order to better serve communities today.
[00:13:07.110]But more and more, I have to grapple with how the education,
[00:13:09.990]especially women's needs across to Great Plains,
[00:13:12.090]the South and the Midwest are becoming sites of oppression.
[00:13:15.510]As we deny our students, our communities, and teachers,
[00:13:18.600]an opportunity to name our reality
[00:13:20.580]by acknowledging the painful past,
[00:13:22.770]the list of states is growing,
[00:13:24.090]and I've actually kind of given up keeping track.
[00:13:26.640]But if you're interested
[00:13:27.510]to see how these legislations are working out,
[00:13:30.175]UCLA's College of Ed has a wonderful, interactive map
[00:13:32.940]that you can kinda look at to see in real time
[00:13:36.123]when these legislations pop up across the country.
[00:13:39.510]When I relocated, eight years ago,
[00:13:41.610]to Oklahoma from Illinois,
[00:13:43.290]I knew very little about the place and region
[00:13:45.870]I would now come to call home.
[00:13:47.970]And outside of a brief stint
[00:13:48.803]and a high school production of Oklahoma in the 1990s,
[00:13:52.495]that I told you,
[00:13:53.328]a documentary on the Dust Bowl,
[00:13:55.560]a few Woody Gutherie songs I enjoyed
[00:13:57.690]in the midst education on 19th century indigenous history,
[00:14:01.140]I myself from in secondary school,
[00:14:03.120]my knowledge of the region was nonexistent.
[00:14:06.390]But if I were to become the educator
[00:14:08.061]that I hope or claim to be,
[00:14:09.330]and be invested in transformative radical love
[00:14:11.820]and hope in my classrooms and my new community,
[00:14:14.430]I needed to reckon and reconcile
[00:14:16.140]with my own positionality and relationship with space.
[00:14:19.410]My new graduate students called the space home.
[00:14:22.110]My undergraduate students were hoping to become educators
[00:14:24.870]in classrooms across the region,
[00:14:26.730]already reckoning with their own battles.
[00:14:28.800]I had a lot of work to do.
[00:14:30.998]So although I still am committed to research and writing,
[00:14:34.020]and certainly documenting
[00:14:35.280]the history of Latino, Latina, Latinx communities
[00:14:37.650]in the Midwest, in particular, Chicago,
[00:14:40.380]I now had to reckon
[00:14:41.370]with the complicated history of Oklahoma.
[00:14:43.467]And even today, as I contently report
[00:14:46.440]of yet another educator in the state
[00:14:49.290]of seeking to encourage her own students,
[00:14:51.450]to reckon with history and stories
[00:14:53.220]as a way to move towards reconciliation.
[00:14:55.920]I am reminded that eight years ago,
[00:14:57.810]after I entered my first classroom in Oklahoma,
[00:15:00.090]that work still needs to be done.
[00:15:03.030]But eight years ago, as I listened to these stories
[00:15:05.130]from black, brown, and indigenous students
[00:15:07.260]in my first class share their own stories,
[00:15:09.450]hopes, and understandings of home,
[00:15:11.550]I knew I had a responsibility to them
[00:15:14.040]to learn, understand,
[00:15:15.270]and commit myself to the place I now called home.
[00:15:18.360]For what is the point of education,
[00:15:19.920]whether as teachers or students,
[00:15:21.390]if it is not to offer a path toward reconciliation,
[00:15:24.480]a hope and love for future generations,
[00:15:26.430]for those who come after us.
[00:15:28.500]But first, I had to reckon with my own sobrevivencia,
[00:15:31.200]in a place far for my own community
[00:15:32.603]and the history I constantly negotiated.
[00:15:36.480]I'm Puerto Rican, now living in Oklahoma,
[00:15:38.730]I realized the first thing I needed to do was find food.
[00:15:42.086]As the mother of Sikiana in Guianas,
[00:15:43.650]I needed to make sure our home
[00:15:45.150]was filled with the smells that comforted us
[00:15:46.980]as we ejected far from our family and friends.
[00:15:49.980]I remember our tears as their father
[00:15:51.630]said goodbye to his niñas,
[00:15:52.733]dealing with his own fears
[00:15:54.450]of what this place would mean to his children.
[00:15:57.000]I turned to them and I said, "Okay niñas,
[00:15:58.153]we need to find a grocery store."
[00:16:00.870]We ventured to Oklahoma city to find
[00:16:01.903]gandules, verduras, and hopefully tortillas
[00:16:02.736]that would make this place
[00:16:05.677]just feel a little more familiar.
[00:16:07.320]And by the way, we never found tortillas,
[00:16:08.520]so people have to mail them from Chicago.
[00:16:11.130]We're kind of tortilla snobs in our house.
[00:16:14.070]There I found stores, restaurants, panaderias,
[00:16:16.950]and streets that reminded me of the ones I left behind.
[00:16:20.610]But more so, I found history.
[00:16:23.010]How long had this community been here?
[00:16:25.140]What were their stories?
[00:16:27.090]When did Southside Oklahoma City
[00:16:28.800]become a hub for Latina, Latino, Latinx families,
[00:16:31.290]primarily Mexican American families?
[00:16:33.630]What stories did the community have?
[00:16:35.640]And their central community was telling me, I'm giving news.
[00:16:39.570]And the children of that community
[00:16:40.950]would now be the young adults sitting in my classrooms,
[00:16:43.320]inviting me to their family gatherings,
[00:16:45.300]and now fighting for the survival of their own community,
[00:16:48.720]a battle that I was too familiar with,
[00:16:51.012]and I write about in terms of my own neighborhood back home.
[00:16:54.000]I remember Gloria Anzaldúa's words,
[00:16:55.717]"I am a turtle, wherever I go I carry 'home' on my back."
[00:16:58.618]And I actually have to word 'home' tattooed on my back
[00:17:00.540]because that's how extreme I am
[00:17:02.340]about how I put my little things.
[00:17:04.740]But more so, I have to honor other people's homes
[00:17:08.200]and their own histories.
[00:17:10.000]I have never been more keen and aware of borders
[00:17:12.298]since when I moved.
[00:17:13.230]Borders that define spaces and histories,
[00:17:15.210]the ones that I grapple with when I go to bed every day,
[00:17:18.240]borders that Anzaldúa reminds us
[00:17:19.980]are set up to the final places that are safe and unsafe
[00:17:22.620]to distinguish us from them.
[00:17:24.870]I see that every day, both physically and metaphorically.
[00:17:28.110]I saw that as I navigated this space,
[00:17:29.907]the way that in my new home,
[00:17:32.040]lines drawn to contain us.
[00:17:34.050]But I think that it's also the places
[00:17:35.640]and borders that we use to embrace us,
[00:17:37.387]to keep us safe from them.
[00:17:39.360]And I see that when I navigate in history,
[00:17:42.009]Emma Pérez tells us, "A historian must remain
[00:17:44.160]within the boundaries, the borders,
[00:17:45.780]the confines of the debate as they had been conceptualized,
[00:17:48.510]if she agrees to be a legitimate heir to the field."
[00:17:53.250]My own concern though,
[00:17:54.120]is not with legitimacy in the field and spaces
[00:17:56.520]that have never been interested or invested in (indistinct).
[00:18:00.503](speaking Spanish), whether Oklahoma, Nebraska, Illinois,
[00:18:04.800]we know, even if history chooses not to remember us.
[00:18:12.300]And as I navigated Oklahoma,
[00:18:13.920]I turned to the archives, the little bit available
[00:18:16.650]that documented our history here (obscured by coughing),
[00:18:19.154]even if history had forgotten it.
[00:18:21.425]This for many of us writing from the margins
[00:18:23.160]is a common theme.
[00:18:24.870]We have to intently search for the stories of families,
[00:18:27.210]such as the Formosa family,
[00:18:29.100]whose fathers quest to escape
[00:18:30.570]the consequences of the Mexican Revolution
[00:18:32.610]and the hope for economic prosperity,
[00:18:34.890]found him settling in Oklahoma shortly after statehood,
[00:18:38.100]where Juan Gómez witnessed and survived
[00:18:40.320]the atrocities of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.
[00:18:44.070]A live story that his son documented
[00:18:45.900]in the novel "Mexican Twilight".
[00:18:48.390]Or the lives of almost three dozen Mexican coal miners
[00:18:51.150]who perished in December of 1929,
[00:18:53.640]in the mine explosion in McAlester, Oklahoma.
[00:18:56.640]Listed in the pages of the local newspaper, under Mexican,
[00:18:59.640]were George Florez, and Gonzalez, Tranqelino,
[00:19:03.177]Charles Kayando, Tony Torez, Nexis Neroz and many more.
[00:19:07.170]I see their needs 'cause history has forgotten them.
[00:19:10.410]What led these young men to the coal mines of Oklahoma
[00:19:12.960]probably would not set them apart
[00:19:14.400]from the countless migrants
[00:19:15.510]who have made similar journeys
[00:19:16.680]since the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 1848,
[00:19:20.160]which I heard some wonderful stories of our own families
[00:19:22.410]migrations across some area states
[00:19:24.150]at dinner last night.
[00:19:26.100]Those ideas around the hope and opportunity,
[00:19:29.820]the railroad offered individuals and families a chance,
[00:19:32.310]taking them from Mexico across Texas, Oklahoma,
[00:19:35.490]Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota,
[00:19:37.680]the same journey that my children's own grandfather took
[00:19:39.930]many years ago, planting a seed for communities
[00:19:43.004]some of us were now hearing,
[00:19:44.610]a million or unknowing participants in history.
[00:19:47.820]Families such as (indistinct)
[00:19:49.740]born in 1912 in Oklahoma,
[00:19:51.450]whose grandfather, father,
[00:19:52.830]and uncles migrated to Indian territory.
[00:19:55.350]A chance meeting in Dow, Oklahoma,
[00:19:57.120]between his parents away from the familiarity of Mexico,
[00:20:00.240]and now over 100 years later,
[00:20:02.190]generations of that new family have called the place home,
[00:20:05.430]with the red dirt under their feet.
[00:20:07.908]And some of these stories sound familiar to me,
[00:20:10.320]as someone who has spent a career
[00:20:11.670]documenting the movement of Puerto Ricans too,
[00:20:13.650]and within an urban city keen on (indistinct),
[00:20:16.920]but not wanting their humanity in these spaces.
[00:20:19.920]Similar to Mexican and Puerto Rican migrants
[00:20:21.810]in Chicago and Oklahoma City,
[00:20:24.480]early Mexican and Mexican American migrants
[00:20:26.430]found opportunity in the meat processing plants,
[00:20:28.950]building community and neighborhoods
[00:20:30.300]others have forgotten under urban renewal opportunities
[00:20:32.670]sought to displace them,
[00:20:34.050]fighting to build community
[00:20:35.220]and your own (speaking Spanish),
[00:20:36.390]which is something that Southside Oklahoma
[00:20:37.860]needs to keep battling right now.
[00:20:40.140]And just like their counterparts in Chicago,
[00:20:42.030]these early migrants found themselves
[00:20:43.620]in dilapidated housing, building a foundation,
[00:20:45.990]and neighborhoods devastated by flooding
[00:20:47.700]were nearly abandoned,
[00:20:49.170]in close proximity to the limited
[00:20:50.790]labor opportunities available to women.
[00:20:56.640]I'm like, what's behind me?
[00:20:58.860]And similar to what we see
[00:20:59.693]in other urban communities,
[00:21:01.380]they saw places of worship, where they found themselves
[00:21:03.540]relegated to the basement of parishes,
[00:21:05.520]on moments that upset community members.
[00:21:08.370]As the Mexican Revolution forced
[00:21:09.900]many of them, more so the religious leaders.
[00:21:13.590]Here in Southside Oklahoma City,
[00:21:15.000]laborers and religious leaders cross path,
[00:21:17.520]while seeking a better permanency.
[00:21:19.530]The growing Mexican community
[00:21:20.730]would soon have a place to call home, with the founding
[00:21:24.004]of the Church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, in 1921,
[00:21:26.520]later we meet Little Flower Catholic Church.
[00:21:29.520]I think of the number of families gathered
[00:21:31.200]for meals at the parish,
[00:21:32.700]the number of students who entered at school,
[00:21:34.590]which is now closed,
[00:21:35.910]the countless quinceañeras photographed on its steps
[00:21:38.370]in the last 100 years.
[00:21:40.050]And as I tell my students,
[00:21:41.400]when your community's history
[00:21:42.690]in Oklahoma City is questioned,
[00:21:44.310]remind them that they're very
[00:21:45.750]along the busy street to the city,
[00:21:47.640]is a cornerstone of your roots there.
[00:21:49.607]But as they respond to me,
[00:21:51.420]we are denied that history
[00:21:52.620]when we enter classrooms that render us invisible.
[00:21:58.470]So I keep searching through history,
[00:22:00.060]for images and stories that counters the narratives,
[00:22:02.580]census reports that documented bodies,
[00:22:04.620]images of young children that symbolized hope,
[00:22:07.110]and just like my homework in Puerto Rican Chicago,
[00:22:09.240]I found women living in the fitness of history,
[00:22:12.120]reminding me (speaking Spanish).
[00:22:17.220]One such woman is Rosa Quiroga King.
[00:22:19.860]As a child, Quiroga King's family moved
[00:22:21.660]to the United States from South America
[00:22:23.550]because of political turmoil,
[00:22:25.380]the child of educators should soon realize
[00:22:27.717]the importance of education,
[00:22:28.830]and fighting for access to services and resources,
[00:22:31.650]and in Oklahoma she found community
[00:22:33.330]among the Mexican American community,
[00:22:35.400]who had yet access opportunities
[00:22:36.870]despite their long history within the space.
[00:22:39.931]And she said, "You must create the tools for teaching,
[00:22:42.977]but in the United States, you just buy them."
[00:22:45.270]Something she realized very quickly.
[00:22:47.828]Rosa Quiroga King served as the Executive Director
[00:22:49.980]of the Oklahoma Hispanic Cultural Center for 15 years,
[00:22:52.413]from its opening in December of 1974, until March, 1989.
[00:22:57.048]First known as
[00:22:57.881]the Mexican American Cultural Center, Oklahoma,
[00:23:02.096]initially the center served
[00:23:02.929]as a space for community members and organizations,
[00:23:05.670]in order to support groups seeking, or earning grants,
[00:23:08.730]in that providing much needed services
[00:23:10.440]and resources that were now being provided
[00:23:12.030]by the city of the state.
[00:23:13.740]But by 1980, the center became known
[00:23:15.690]as the Oklahoma Hispanic Cultural Center,
[00:23:18.481]as the way to recognize the growing diversity
[00:23:20.400]among the Latino community in the area.
[00:23:23.010]Through her role as Executive Director,
[00:23:24.780]Rosa Quiroga King worked tirelessly
[00:23:26.670]to promote the community as neighbors,
[00:23:28.680]while also creating educational opportunities
[00:23:30.720]for young children and adults.
[00:23:32.970]But in a 1985 letter to the editor
[00:23:35.460]of the major newspaper in Oklahoma,
[00:23:38.010]Rosa regret her (indistinct),
[00:23:39.720]journalists portrayed Latinos as outsiders,
[00:23:42.600]who were questioning the increasing numbers
[00:23:45.060]in the population, and warning people
[00:23:46.971]about the Browning of Oklahoma during that time period.
[00:23:49.950]But as she wrote,
[00:23:51.187]"The portrayal of all Hispanics as being
[00:23:53.010]only recent immigrants or illegal aliens
[00:23:55.110]shows how little knowledge you have with U.S. Hispanics.
[00:23:57.990]We were here long before you were,
[00:24:00.090]but you must be reminded that in Oklahoma,
[00:24:02.070]Mexicans were the builders of the railroads
[00:24:04.020]and meat packing industry.
[00:24:05.640]More dangerous of all is your statement
[00:24:07.350]that a few more years of inaction,
[00:24:09.180]towards the increase in population,
[00:24:11.040]and will be too late, too late to do anything at all.
[00:24:14.310]What is your solution for the Hispanic problem?
[00:24:18.060]Quiroga King's understanding of the long history
[00:24:20.250]of Latinx communities in Oklahoma is not unique,
[00:24:23.430]as we are all aware of our own communities'
[00:24:25.410]standing and contribution.
[00:24:27.390]But as her letter in line says,
[00:24:28.770]the works of the (indistinct) and others do as well,
[00:24:31.080]women were critical to forging
[00:24:32.550]renewable settlements out of inhospitable sites,
[00:24:36.120]and is the (speaking Spanish).
[00:24:40.710]And the story of Rosa Quiroga King is the story
[00:24:42.980]of women whose lives in Chicago I document,
[00:24:45.660]stories of women who created educational spaces,
[00:24:48.270]social agencies, and fought for
[00:24:49.800]a sense kindness that became central.
[00:24:52.650]Women such as Mirta Ramirez and María Cerda,
[00:24:55.440]that while Mirta Ramirez was a young mother
[00:24:57.420]attending Northeast Illinois University,
[00:24:59.490]she sought to facilitate educational change
[00:25:01.620]for Puerto Rican youth
[00:25:02.850]with the 1968 Aspira Incorporated, Illinois,
[00:25:06.300]closing a gap that local schools
[00:25:07.497]had not been able to fill during that time period.
[00:25:09.921]And at that point,
[00:25:10.754]the population had already been in Chicago
[00:25:12.137]for over for three decades.
[00:25:14.131]Finding out about Aspira was the first step,
[00:25:16.077]but convincing its founder,
[00:25:17.490]Community Leader Dr. Antonia Pantoja,
[00:25:19.860]to bring the organization to Chicago
[00:25:21.570]will be the real challenge.
[00:25:23.490]Mirta set up meetings with Aspira leadership in New York,
[00:25:26.130]in order to promote Chicago as a site for a new chapter.
[00:25:29.850]And according to one community member,
[00:25:31.327]"We put her on a Greyhound bus,
[00:25:32.970]cause we couldn't afford a plane ticket,
[00:25:34.760]and gave her those $500.
[00:25:35.987]And we sent her to New York to try to bring
[00:25:37.877]Aspira to Chicago."
[00:25:39.870]And after an almost 800 mile journey,
[00:25:41.970]the young Puerto Rican mother succeeded in convincing
[00:25:44.340]Aspira leadership in New York to visit Chicago
[00:25:46.620]and establish a chapter in the city.
[00:25:48.780]With the help with the fourth foundation,
[00:25:50.310]the new chapter gave Chicago's Puerto Ricans
[00:25:52.350]a platform for addressing education reforming classrooms,
[00:25:55.260]rather than on the streets.
[00:25:57.090]And Shalitas herself in the team, quote,
[00:25:59.300]"No one's going to help Puerto Ricans.
[00:26:00.690]We want to take advantage of opportunities in this society.
[00:26:03.300]We'll have to help ourselves", end quote.
[00:26:05.700]And these stories matter, such as that of María Cerda,
[00:26:08.710]who a Puerto Rican woman, in 1969,
[00:26:11.400]was appointed as the first Latina or Latino
[00:26:13.680]on the Chicago Board of Education by Major Daley.
[00:26:17.358]Laura had to remind me that one of us always has to be
[00:26:19.650]the first in these spaces, right?
[00:26:21.960]An appointment that was denounced by local groups,
[00:26:24.150]who label the appointment
[00:26:25.200]as representative of special interest group,
[00:26:27.690]by virtue of her ethnic identity.
[00:26:30.210]One group member argued that by appointing Cerda,
[00:26:32.790]who was the wife of the first
[00:26:33.919]Mexican American Illinois public judge,
[00:26:36.943]we are doing this as an ethnic president within the city,
[00:26:39.093]when now other groups wanting to have their own interests
[00:26:42.120]represented on the school board,
[00:26:43.410]as if there was something wrong with people
[00:26:44.790]wanting to be represented,
[00:26:46.257]With Cerda's appointment to the Board of Education
[00:26:49.110]came at a critical time in terms of
[00:26:51.000]Chicago's Puerto Rican and Latina, Latino history.
[00:26:53.790]She as a native of Puerto Rico,
[00:26:55.380]who relocated to the city
[00:26:56.970]to attend the University of Chicago,
[00:26:59.010]was seen as the city's respond to the outcry
[00:27:01.830]from the community itself to ramify
[00:27:03.600]the lack of representation within city politics.
[00:27:07.110]During her five year term on the Board of Education,
[00:27:09.755]Mrs. Cerda worked really vigilantly for issues
[00:27:11.580]on bilingual education in a school curriculum
[00:27:14.100]that valued Latina, Latino children's cultural background,
[00:27:16.620]something that our students were still battling today.
[00:27:19.410]During her time on the board,
[00:27:20.580]she also became a constant presence
[00:27:22.140]within the new local schools,
[00:27:23.430]knowing that if she wasn't there to speak
[00:27:25.097]on the Catholic community, then nobody was gonna be there.
[00:27:27.900]Her work as first and assisted to me,
[00:27:29.820]that Ramirez and (indistinct),
[00:27:32.253]as a one time member of the Board of Education,
[00:27:34.650]and through her constant participation
[00:27:36.240]in the following of the Latino Institute of Chicago,
[00:27:39.930]truly demonstrates the lifetime commitment
[00:27:41.940]to ensure that a sense of justice was being for
[00:27:44.124]not only Puerto Rican students, but for Latino, Latino,
[00:27:46.546]and students in general.
[00:27:48.540]And speaking of the role of women,
[00:27:50.357](indistinct), if it weren't for those,
[00:27:52.697]if it weren't for us,
[00:27:53.530]there wouldn't be a community,
[00:27:55.044]in Aspira, nor what the people anywhere,
[00:27:57.246]and I would argue, in the rest of Oklahoma,
[00:27:58.980]anywhere we were at.
[00:27:59.947]Women are the leaders within these spaces,
[00:28:03.090]and the center was these women to remind us, and tell us.
[00:28:07.760]As I'm reminded in my work on Puerto Rican
[00:28:09.840]and Latin Midwestern communities,
[00:28:11.970]the historiography on both education
[00:28:14.040]and Latina, Latino history,
[00:28:14.990]ignores the cultural and political importance
[00:28:17.880]of Latino, Latina, Latinx Midwest,
[00:28:20.267]and Great Plains included too.
[00:28:22.509]Lilia Fernández's work on Mexican and Puerto Ricans
[00:28:25.002]in Postwar Chicago reminds us that
[00:28:26.190]the need to avoid committing our conversations
[00:28:28.680]to the west and east coast,
[00:28:30.210]in our quest to fill in the gaps
[00:28:31.500]of Latina, Latino, Latinx history,
[00:28:34.220]from the sugar beet fields, railroads, the coal mines,
[00:28:36.690]to the growing auto manufacturing industry.
[00:28:38.543]And for years, Puerto Rican and Mexican migrants
[00:28:41.520]have been part of the economic neighbor
[00:28:43.440]social history at the Midwestern Great Plains.
[00:28:46.067]And as a generation of Latina, Latino, Latinx students
[00:28:49.080]grew in the post-war year,
[00:28:51.180]this area remains in understanding that critical sight
[00:28:54.060]to historicize Latinx community engagement,
[00:28:56.790]student activism, and the day to day cultural practices,
[00:28:59.730]and engage our communities to understand
[00:29:02.040]the ways in which our mobilization
[00:29:03.690]alters the future for our students today,
[00:29:06.360]and urban city would not be the only section
[00:29:08.270]of these historical readings,
[00:29:09.690]as something I learned from some stories as to be true,
[00:29:12.930]as Latino communities created,
[00:29:14.790]imagined, and understood articulations of home
[00:29:17.520]and small rural communities,
[00:29:19.410]many of which were not representative
[00:29:20.850]of the communities' demographics,
[00:29:22.560]and (speaking Spanish).
[00:29:27.390]But aside from listening,
[00:29:28.920]limiting our conversations on historical contributions
[00:29:31.740]to east and west coast readings,
[00:29:34.140]we often limit our conversation on this recession
[00:29:37.170]to a narrative on space, land itself, the colonialism.
[00:29:40.770]What I wanna challenge is to think about how education is
[00:29:43.680]an everyday side of this discussion,
[00:29:46.200]our histories, our stories, and by extension,
[00:29:48.300]our humanity are constantly in question, race and silence.
[00:29:51.780]Even our names.
[00:29:53.490]It was in sixth grade classroom that (speaking Spanish),
[00:29:57.210]or Guillermo became Bill,
[00:29:58.710]or Maria becomes Mary.
[00:30:00.810]And sometimes we don't connect with that part of ourselves.
[00:30:04.020]As William Sardua tells us,
[00:30:06.127]"We were jerked out by roots, truncated,
[00:30:08.400]disemboweled, dispossessed, and separated from our identity
[00:30:11.070]and our history", end quote.
[00:30:13.320]Our dispossession begins
[00:30:14.700]when we enter schools and school systems
[00:30:16.620]that render us invisible,
[00:30:19.080]especially from the curriculum that we're presented,
[00:30:21.779]at times even blamed for our own dispossession.
[00:30:24.417]The stories of our communities,
[00:30:26.190]our abuelos and our abuelas.
[00:30:29.374]Our will loss,
[00:30:30.360]our genealogies not only are raised,
[00:30:32.160]but denied to us.
[00:30:33.387]And the consequences become our community's children today,
[00:30:38.130]contend with the vestiges of settler colonialism,
[00:30:40.800]that's seemingly make it okay
[00:30:42.000]for peers to greet them as sporting events
[00:30:43.830]with chance of their wrong,
[00:30:45.141]and I know that we all have stories
[00:30:46.521]in our communities about that.
[00:30:48.060]Our dispossession continues,
[00:30:49.800]and is not limited to our own communities.
[00:30:52.560]This dispossession allows for school spaces to continue
[00:30:55.260]to become science of oppression, through its curriculum,
[00:30:57.837]and the culture such as the session creates,
[00:31:00.750]that empowers dominant voices to seek
[00:31:02.730]to dehumanize our community's children.
[00:31:05.400]Systems that feel empowered to cut a child's hair.
[00:31:08.850]And I'm always taken aback when folks are surprised by news
[00:31:11.370]that get another group of black, brown,
[00:31:12.870]and indigenous children's face environments in schools,
[00:31:15.240]centered at dehumanizing them without consent.
[00:31:21.837]This was the case when a group of local black students were
[00:31:24.780]met with the accidental release of audio evidence during a
[00:31:27.852]high school basketball game in Oklahoma.
[00:31:30.390]I say I'm taken aback because this is not only
[00:31:32.430]the day to day reality for many of our children,
[00:31:34.740]but also very embedded across the country,
[00:31:36.990]and our history.
[00:31:38.550]I know this, I sit with this, I relive this in the archives.
[00:31:42.090]I think about this work, my own work as a historian,
[00:31:44.400]but also as someone training future educators.
[00:31:47.130]As Patricia Hill Collins reminds us,
[00:31:48.967]"Physical survival is assumed for children
[00:31:50.850]who are white and middle class."
[00:31:53.010]I argue that black and brown children can assume the same,
[00:31:56.490]I state without the consent,
[00:31:57.750]because history also reminds us,
[00:31:59.220]especially across Oklahoma history
[00:32:00.960]and Midwestern history, too,
[00:32:02.550]that black, brown, and indigenous communities
[00:32:04.500]chose a different path on reality for themselves.
[00:32:07.110]They are to imagine a different path today.
[00:32:09.630]But, as we see during a basketball game between children
[00:32:12.090]in March of 2021, this is interrupted again.
[00:32:15.810]But the history of raising education across the Midwest
[00:32:18.360]can offer us lessons to grapple
[00:32:20.340]and reconcile with both their responsibility to schools,
[00:32:23.160]since the lead today, both formal and informal,
[00:32:26.100]and really push us to use the past
[00:32:27.720]as a prologue to bring us forward.
[00:32:30.120]What can we learn from history, however,
[00:32:31.980]in regrets to things to pass.
[00:32:34.200]And I use my time with students today to push them
[00:32:36.510]to reflect on our responsibility,
[00:32:38.130]not only as educators, but as community members.
[00:32:41.310]I remind my pre-service teachers
[00:32:42.960]that have worked to engage in transforming
[00:32:44.820]justice oriented working on classrooms.
[00:32:47.100]We need to understand both the communities,
[00:32:49.530]both the students in our classrooms and the community
[00:32:51.600]that inform their daily lives.
[00:32:53.520]With my graduate students,
[00:32:54.660]brilliant scholars who are utilizing their role
[00:32:56.670]as researchers to respond
[00:32:58.110]to larger societal questions and needs,
[00:33:00.540]writing wonderful historical accounts
[00:33:02.190]that manage to bring our communities
[00:33:03.660]out of the folds of history.
[00:33:05.550]I, too, challenge them in writing them,
[00:33:07.530]that we're willing to engage
[00:33:08.670]in transformative critical work today.
[00:33:10.890]We need to learn from the past, history matters.
[00:33:14.040]We know (speaking Spanish),
[00:33:16.260]yet our histories of struggles,
[00:33:17.850]understanding from the political nature or citizenships,
[00:33:20.550]continue to be silent in educational spaces.
[00:33:26.190]This discussion continues as states and local school systems
[00:33:29.850]seek to limit conversations on the historical foundations,
[00:33:32.940]to today's societal inequities, the banning of books,
[00:33:36.000]the denial of conversations on race, gender, sexuality
[00:33:38.730]in our curriculum, all each our dispossession.
[00:33:41.220]And actually right before the meeting started,
[00:33:43.260]I got a text message from our Associate Dean,
[00:33:46.170]telling us that the state is requiring
[00:33:48.060]us to take any language on race, gender,
[00:33:50.157]and sexuality from a call for a job
[00:33:53.310]that we were trying to bring in colleagues
[00:33:55.230]to help us to do the work, right?
[00:33:56.387]So this is truly down to our everyday experiences, right?
[00:34:00.840]So I sit with this, as I attempt to engage
[00:34:02.423]on conversations and creating equitable classrooms
[00:34:05.490]with my pre-service teachers,
[00:34:07.170]while living with the consequences that in the aim
[00:34:08.957]of the 100 year commemoration of the Tulsa Race Massacre,
[00:34:12.930]the Oklahoma state legislation and governors sit,
[00:34:16.200]I won't tell you what we call 'em in private,
[00:34:18.270]sign House Bill 1775 into law.
[00:34:21.750]The bill's casting essentially prohibited the inclusion
[00:34:24.540]of curriculum or teaching that an individual
[00:34:26.760]by virtue of his or her race, or sex,
[00:34:29.160]various responsibility for actions committed in the past
[00:34:31.740]by other members of the same race or sex.
[00:34:33.913]Aside from not wanting to claim responsibility
[00:34:36.450]for state to pass, the bill sought
[00:34:38.490]to ignore Oklahoma's rich history of education
[00:34:40.980]and community activism.
[00:34:42.720]State leaders have chosen to undo the work of Oklahomans
[00:34:45.570]such as Clara Luper, (indistinct) Fisher,
[00:34:48.120]Rosa Quiroga King, and the various
[00:34:50.130]indigenous communities who work in thought
[00:34:51.517]to create educational spaces
[00:34:54.150]and resources that have transformed the state.
[00:34:57.150]A lost opportunity to understand how the history,
[00:34:59.520]of not only the state, but the Indian Oklahoma territories
[00:35:02.460]can help lead conversations on this management systems
[00:35:05.580]of oppression that have supported some groups
[00:35:07.590]while harming others.
[00:35:09.360]The response should not be to ban the inclusion
[00:35:12.330]of difficult conversations within the classroom
[00:35:14.280]as each 1775 calls for it.
[00:35:16.827]But instead, acknowledge the history of white supremacy
[00:35:19.440]and settler colonialism that has framed
[00:35:21.210]the history of Oklahoma since 1907,
[00:35:24.210]when the state decided that its first legislature
[00:35:27.540]would enact segregation into law
[00:35:29.880]as it's first accomplishment.
[00:35:31.710]The history HP 1775 seeks to bury
[00:35:34.003]in silence in its classroom,
[00:35:35.910]is the history of the state grounded,
[00:35:37.800]not only in violence towards racialized bodies,
[00:35:41.100]but similarly in the contributions of groups,
[00:35:43.140]hoping for more further communities,
[00:35:44.880]including the history of Latinx community activism.
[00:35:48.150]From the removal of the tribes to Indian territory,
[00:35:50.877]the opening of lands that further
[00:35:52.860]push communities to the margins,
[00:35:54.900]the creation of black towns, with it, black schools,
[00:35:57.840]to legal challenges in how white supremacy
[00:36:00.000]sought to limit their lives.
[00:36:01.590]This is the history we should be teaching,
[00:36:03.540]and the conversations all of our students
[00:36:05.190]should be a part of in Oklahoma classrooms,
[00:36:06.363]and every log across the country.
[00:36:09.060]So when I tell the story of Little Flower Church
[00:36:11.040]and your rich history of Latinx each
[00:36:13.260]and activism in Southside Oklahoma City,
[00:36:15.840]it shouldn't be met with sadness from students,
[00:36:17.820]but instead pride.
[00:36:22.037]And in a year where resources, energy,
[00:36:24.210]and emotions were spent acknowledging atrocities
[00:36:26.580]committed against Tulsa's Black community
[00:36:28.440]a hundred years ago,
[00:36:30.030]how does one reconcile with the past
[00:36:31.880]if the state has essentially decided
[00:36:34.050]that the precedence in most places
[00:36:35.820]for such discussions within its own classrooms.
[00:36:39.060]How do our students and future leaders understand
[00:36:41.280]their own responsibility to not recreate
[00:36:43.200]the gender and racial inequities
[00:36:44.640]that have defined as dating country's history,
[00:36:47.250]if the lessons of the past
[00:36:48.584]have no place in educational spaces?
[00:36:50.940]Oklahoma's own founding in 1907 is a historical site
[00:36:54.480]to begin such conversation.
[00:36:56.400]One that centers the experience
[00:36:57.870]of black and indigenous communities,
[00:36:59.730]even if that history brings a temporary discomfort
[00:37:02.490]to those who have inherited the unearned privileges
[00:37:04.830]that history has gifted us.
[00:37:06.870]Perhaps understanding Oklahoma's educational history
[00:37:09.450]has consistently been sites to them.
[00:37:11.093]Perhaps understanding that Oklahoma history has consistently
[00:37:15.060]been sites of exclusion, marginalization,
[00:37:17.460]but also resistance by these communities,
[00:37:19.860]is an easy way to understand why 2021 legislators
[00:37:23.400]have used schools as sites to undermine
[00:37:25.920]and harm indigenous communities.
[00:37:28.050]Oklahoma history, as it seems to repeat itself.
[00:37:31.160]As Kimberlé Crenshaw recently reminded of this quote,
[00:37:34.624]"The possibility of syllabi, research dollars,
[00:37:36.840]and permissible perspectives being dictated
[00:37:39.030]by politicians in state capitals across the country
[00:37:41.940]is no longer a distant possibility. This is not a drill.
[00:37:45.450]It is folly to assume that by waiting for the storm to pass,
[00:37:48.780]cooler heads will prevail, and our institutions will hold.
[00:37:52.020]When we have lost our way in the past,
[00:37:53.640]it was not simply because the forces of repression
[00:37:55.890]and fear were too overwhelming to deter,
[00:37:58.230]but because the silence and complacency of too many",
[00:38:01.890]As she said, this is not a drill,
[00:38:03.660]it's our responsibility to fight.
[00:38:07.110]Recently, while covering a unit in my own
[00:38:09.240]pre-service teacher course,
[00:38:10.470]were removed from conversation on Latinx student needs,
[00:38:13.410]including that undocumented students
[00:38:15.720]to once critical whiteness in teacher education program,
[00:38:18.840]a student without hesitation, raised his hand,
[00:38:22.008]his hand, and asked,
[00:38:24.817]"Are you supposed to be teaching this?"
[00:38:26.910]And I responded,
[00:38:27.817]"It's actually my responsibility
[00:38:29.070]to make sure you learn this",
[00:38:30.780]and reminded him I have tenure.
[00:38:37.230]But Oklahoma is not alone.
[00:38:39.270]There is much meaning we stand to lose
[00:38:41.100]when state to local governments across the country
[00:38:43.290]debate our humanity.
[00:38:44.610]When they close the books on educators,
[00:38:47.130]facilitating conversations on the atrocities
[00:38:49.470]that led to legal challenges
[00:38:51.120]to racial and gender discrimination.
[00:38:53.580]When a group of white students chant "Build the wall"
[00:38:55.740]during the sporting match against predominantly Latinx team,
[00:38:58.980]we as educators feel disempowered with the knowledge
[00:39:01.770]that our purpose, our response is limited
[00:39:04.500]where we would use education
[00:39:05.820]to expose these incidents of violence
[00:39:07.650]grounded in white supremacy.
[00:39:09.180]School districts and institutions of higher learning
[00:39:11.580]are under surveillance.
[00:39:13.590]In 2021, state leaders from 20 states,
[00:39:16.260]including Nebraska and Oklahoma,
[00:39:18.270]denounced any federal legislation
[00:39:20.310]that would enforce the teaching
[00:39:21.420]of what they deem as divisive materials in K12 spaces.
[00:39:24.300]And I think the conversations happening
[00:39:26.467]again for y'all, right?
[00:39:27.800]As they ask the Department of Education
[00:39:29.670]to make it clear that it'll not fund projects
[00:39:31.979]that most CRT, or any projects that categorize
[00:39:34.710]the United States as predominantly racist,
[00:39:37.093]or founded on principles of racism,
[00:39:39.750]or that support to describe character traits,
[00:39:42.150]values, privilege, and statutes of beliefs
[00:39:44.160]that define fault, blame, or bias
[00:39:46.140]to a particular race, or to individual because of its race.
[00:39:50.130]I asked my pre-service teachers this week
[00:39:52.350]to reflect on how they would be impacted
[00:39:54.180]in their future classroom.
[00:39:56.040]One future social studies teacher responded,
[00:39:58.297]"I'm left with nothing to teach, if I can't teach the truth.
[00:40:01.080]Where do I go?"
[00:40:02.940]So how do I tell the story of Southside Oklahoma City
[00:40:05.670]if I can't discuss the tragedy
[00:40:07.290]of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo,
[00:40:08.940]settler colonialism, genocide, and enslavement?
[00:40:12.150]How do I continue to document the stories
[00:40:14.130]of Puerto Rican women if I don't discuss
[00:40:17.157]the ways they literally carry the physical burden
[00:40:19.205]of commonality on their bodies,
[00:40:20.580]evident in the history of some
[00:40:21.840]sponsored sterilization program,
[00:40:23.400]that led to the Archipelago's women,
[00:40:26.730]over 30% of them, being sterilized by the 1970s.
[00:40:30.390]What of our indigenous students
[00:40:31.800]who are forced to sit in classrooms
[00:40:33.240]denying them their own place in history,
[00:40:35.580]forced to celebrate the very atrocity
[00:40:37.350]these people and policies that remove them from their lands,
[00:40:40.249]denying them their language.
[00:40:41.580]How do we move towards reconciliation
[00:40:43.500]without reckoning with history?
[00:40:45.810]And I think of the critical importance of educators
[00:40:48.180]and researchers, who seek to move bodies
[00:40:50.550]and communities out of the footnotes of history,
[00:40:52.920]which is a task for many of us,
[00:40:55.140]those of us within spaces
[00:40:56.370]such as the Midwest, doing so with care, love, and hope.
[00:40:59.700]Those stories and lives of disposed people,
[00:41:01.770]the violence, and historical and physical erasure,
[00:41:04.349]is what I'm confronted with
[00:41:05.619]when I enter classrooms and the archives.
[00:41:08.070]How we reflect on, and how we write about
[00:41:10.050]their life stories matter.
[00:41:11.850]And in such, our own positionalities matter.
[00:41:14.910]I think about what it means to stick with materials
[00:41:17.070]that represent the proposed vanishings of people,
[00:41:19.560]reading how their lives and communities are limited,
[00:41:21.750]and humanity questioned,
[00:41:22.707]and born by ideas of personhood and citizenship.
[00:41:26.920]Perhaps because my own relationship to space and identity
[00:41:29.130]is informed by similar practices and policies,
[00:41:31.890]that challenge my sense of belonging as (speaking Spanish).
[00:41:34.680]I grapple with the materiality of people's lives,
[00:41:36.830]represented in those very archives,
[00:41:38.727]and the responsibilities that I take with me
[00:41:40.730]in the classrooms when I share these stories.
[00:41:43.290]I enter these spaces,
[00:41:44.280]not always looking for the histories
[00:41:45.780]represented in boxes and folders,
[00:41:48.060]but preoccupied with the voices,
[00:41:49.766]and therefore the lives not documented,
[00:41:51.630]or existing within these spaces,
[00:41:53.070]especially for black, indigenous,
[00:41:54.600]Puerto Rican and Chicana women.
[00:41:56.667]And like Saidiya Hartman teaches us,
[00:41:58.680]I too want to listen to what is unsaid,
[00:42:01.650]translated non-misconstrued words
[00:42:03.900]from refashioned, disfigured lives.
[00:42:05.730]I stayed and tried to listen to remember their news,
[00:42:09.083]when none were documented.
[00:42:10.470]Who were these children that missionaries
[00:42:12.060]with their spouses came to transform,
[00:42:13.950]which would have met unease in the 19th century.
[00:42:16.890]Again, how do we represent vanishing
[00:42:18.870]without reproducing vanishing?
[00:42:20.910]Who is our responsibility to,
[00:42:23.010]and how could educational spaces and history
[00:42:25.080]serve as sites to liberation offering opportunities
[00:42:27.660]for us to regulate the past in order
[00:42:29.220]to lead to reconciliation.
[00:42:31.500]I know that when I enter these spaces,
[00:42:33.030]I am filled with hope.
[00:42:35.040]I think about the individuals, who through their work
[00:42:37.380]and commitment to both their scholarship
[00:42:38.970]and their communities, find themselves in the archives.
[00:42:41.370]Who listen intently, and hear voices of their grandmothers,
[00:42:44.310]their grandfathers, their ancestors,
[00:42:46.230]whose names are not just etchings on the wall, on display,
[00:42:50.106]but the place where the past meets the future
[00:42:51.383]for the first time.
[00:42:53.070]That's who my responsibility is to.
[00:42:58.110]So I returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921.
[00:43:01.771]I returned to the image of school children returning home,
[00:43:04.170]excited to have ended another school year,
[00:43:06.540]filled with the possibility of not only the upcoming summer,
[00:43:09.810]but for their future lives.
[00:43:11.610]I am reminded of the hope that was interrupted,
[00:43:14.370]the dreams that weren't nationalized,
[00:43:16.140]the dispossession and violence
[00:43:17.460]that framed their school lives and
[00:43:18.293]the lives of subsequent generations.
[00:43:21.090]My aim here is not for white educators
[00:43:23.111]and others who have benefited
[00:43:24.360]from the system of education that continues to harm
[00:43:26.520]black, brown, and indigenous students,
[00:43:28.470]to really take from these stories
[00:43:29.880]and take our histories in our communities,
[00:43:32.010]or for the works that our communities have fought for,
[00:43:34.770]and that have challenged the media
[00:43:36.379]produced of community histories,
[00:43:37.500]or continue to sustain for hormone informal systems
[00:43:40.140]of education that centers our knowledge traditions
[00:43:43.980]of these communities.
[00:43:45.180]Instead, I challenge future encouraging educators
[00:43:47.400]to reframe approaches, and school and community settings,
[00:43:50.520]and the creation of curriculum,
[00:43:52.290]the discipline models that harm black and brown bodies,
[00:43:55.170]and the racial built up experiences,
[00:43:57.397]and instead respect, acknowledge, and recognize
[00:44:00.270]the knowledge traditions, histories,
[00:44:01.800]and everyday experiences
[00:44:02.880]that our communities bring within classrooms,
[00:44:05.100]instead of constantly silencing us.
[00:44:07.440]I ask you to fight to bring us out of the foot of history.
[00:44:10.650]We come from communities with histories,
[00:44:12.600]as do the children and young adults in your classrooms,
[00:44:15.180]but more so we come from communities
[00:44:16.800]who can rely on the teachers.
[00:44:20.880]These stories and lives serves as narratives
[00:44:22.830]for a better understanding on the role of schools
[00:44:24.870]play in the development, maintenance,
[00:44:26.735]and at times of denial of identity.
[00:44:28.763]In the many ways in order to move forward,
[00:44:31.522]we must reckon with the past,
[00:44:33.156]and hope for better reconciliation towards our future.
[00:44:52.362]Thank you so much, Dr. Velázquez.
[00:44:54.820]That was beautiful.
[00:44:56.756]Couldn't have been a better way to start our conference,
[00:44:59.214]really appreciate that.
[00:45:01.680]We have time for some questions,
[00:45:03.450]if you would like to
[00:45:05.910]ask Dr. Velázquez.
[00:45:13.800]Yeah. There's somebody way in the back.
[00:45:18.118](indistinct question from woman in audience)
[00:45:25.692][Woman in Audience] Colleagues!
[00:45:26.525]Colleagues? Oh, it depends, who you ask.
[00:45:31.550]So the numbers,
[00:45:33.060]that are documented represent one thing.
[00:45:35.910]So I don't know about, at Nebraska,
[00:45:38.490]but they would separate international faculty from like,
[00:45:42.450]U.S. Latina, Latino, Latinx folks.
[00:45:45.360]So, by my account, I'm the only tenured Latina,
[00:45:53.190]by their count, there's a dozen.
[00:45:56.460]But if you ask our student, then you only need one,
[00:45:58.527]and so I hope by what students document,
[00:46:00.576]I don't go by what the institution documents.
[00:46:04.320]Because if they don't see you, are you really there?
[00:46:14.156]One of the slides you showed,
[00:46:15.930]those census data,
[00:46:17.850]and there was a sort of growing number to 1930,
[00:46:20.340]and then it falls off.
[00:46:22.500]I'm guessing a portion of that explanation
[00:46:24.840]is the massive deportations that were enacted in the 1930s.
[00:46:28.710]And is that your understanding too,
[00:46:30.090]or there are additional pieces to the story?
[00:46:31.710]No, that's actually where it comes from.
[00:46:33.300]Cause if you look at all the other states,
[00:46:35.070]the trend is the exact same one,
[00:46:36.512]that it was people being, yeah.
[00:46:41.340]Back to Mexico.
[00:46:43.230]But then, you know...
[00:46:46.560]So I, our family has this weird relationship
[00:46:49.080]with I-35, right?
[00:46:50.970]And so people's constant movements across it,
[00:46:53.010]it was what brought my children's grandfather up, right?
[00:46:56.760]And then we ended up moving a mile from I-35,
[00:46:59.940]moved to Oklahoma, and then my younger daughter
[00:47:02.280]went to college in Minnesota, so she lived along.
[00:47:05.250]And so I always think about people's movements
[00:47:07.590]and migration, and I said,
[00:47:08.700]let's just think about our relationship
[00:47:10.680]to migration and walking, right?
[00:47:13.736]And so I think about
[00:47:14.569]the standards of history along that space,
[00:47:16.110]that many of us are intimately connected with.
[00:47:19.170]And so I would think too,
[00:47:20.223]that the numbers probably went up
[00:47:21.780]in some of the modern space,
[00:47:22.860]where some people can,
[00:47:24.480]quote, unquote, "escape to", right?
[00:47:26.592]And so I never looked at what Minnesota's numbers look like
[00:47:28.620]during that time period when they go down in the Southwest.
[00:47:31.560]So I would argue that, if someone's interested,
[00:47:34.290]look at those numbers,
[00:47:35.123]I guarantee the numbers started going up in other places,
[00:47:38.400]as they started going down
[00:47:39.793]the closer you got the border, too, as people moved.
[00:47:50.070]It's early. It's fine.
[00:47:53.248][Woman in Audience] I do have a question,
[00:47:54.081]in your, the title of your presentation
[00:47:57.840]leaves out the word 'Hispanic'.
[00:48:01.350]Leave it out?
[00:48:03.136][Off-Screen Woman] Why does it?
[00:48:04.404]Oh, why does it leave it out?
[00:48:06.684]You know, I had this conversation
[00:48:08.550]in my Latina feminism class
[00:48:09.870]a couple of weeks ago,
[00:48:10.800]because of the ways in which people still use the term,
[00:48:13.500]you know, geographically, certain areas, right?
[00:48:17.022]You know, it all comes down to self identification,
[00:48:18.990]and so Hispanic was not something that
[00:48:20.460]people still identified with, it was imposed on,
[00:48:23.340]but it also leads out images, and Afro-Latinx
[00:48:26.040]back within those spaces too, right?
[00:48:27.900]And so, the term does not include
[00:48:32.070]bodies that were also part of our communities
[00:48:34.920]within that space.
[00:48:36.030]So, but I know that it's still used as a government,
[00:48:40.770]you know, labeled some places,
[00:48:42.660]although some states are doing better
[00:48:44.070]by kind of changing the language.
[00:48:46.712]And so, I always think it's important
[00:48:49.020]to listen to what people are naming themselves.
[00:48:57.540]And I love what young people are doing with terminology.
[00:48:59.910]You know, I love that people, you know,
[00:49:02.580]I see young people in the room, right?
[00:49:04.290]I'm always excited to be like, what are,
[00:49:07.950]who are we now?
[00:49:08.783]You know, because I love how people
[00:49:09.990]are thinking about gender.
[00:49:12.206]You know, very challenging are, you know,
[00:49:14.540]monodegrees on gender, and so that,
[00:49:16.117]you know, what we're calling ourselves today
[00:49:18.150]is not gonna be what people are calling themselves tomorrow.
[00:49:21.450]And that's important to listen to.
[00:49:26.370]Although I say I'm Puerto Rican 24/7,
[00:49:28.317]so that's not gonna change.
[00:49:34.196][Woman in Audience] Could you tell us about what
[00:49:37.140]your students and colleagues are doing to resist
[00:49:41.820]the CRT bands,
[00:49:48.178]you know, phenomenon?
[00:49:52.800]Honestly, it feels like nothing.
[00:49:54.360]Oh, I'm excited for every institution site.
[00:49:56.820]It feels like, when I got that message,
[00:49:59.791]and told me you could send a message,
[00:50:01.850](indistinct) telling me about language, right?
[00:50:04.203]And so I told some folks yesterday that
[00:50:07.920]last week we got an email, you know,
[00:50:12.210]giving people the opportunity to report any kind of,
[00:50:17.670]I can't remember,
[00:50:18.503]I should have put it up on slide,
[00:50:19.916]cause it has a QR code, right?
[00:50:21.240]So what they realize is that,
[00:50:22.590]it's easier to get students to turn in faculty,
[00:50:24.837]and other people, if you have a QR code,
[00:50:26.850]as opposed to an email,
[00:50:27.870]that they have to dig out from those emails,
[00:50:29.640]and kind of send out.
[00:50:31.140]And so, part of what was listed on the big screen report
[00:50:34.530]is whether anything's being taught
[00:50:35.910]that breaks any kind of policy.
[00:50:38.280]We all knew what it meant, HB 1775, right?
[00:50:41.880]And so what I was doing, my unit on CRT this week,
[00:50:46.170]which is, you know, college event, you know, colleagues,
[00:50:51.060]it's interesting that you're telling us
[00:50:52.500]not to teach certain things,
[00:50:53.820]when the state Board of Education actually says
[00:50:56.310]they have to take one class that teaches this, right?
[00:50:58.400]And so then who are we responsible to, right?
[00:51:02.340]And so when I taught the unit,
[00:51:03.660]I put the QR code up there, and I said,
[00:51:05.827]"Look, don't dig through your email.
[00:51:07.740]The code's there, you know,
[00:51:09.000]here's the lecture, here's the code.
[00:51:11.160]Decide what you wanna do."
[00:51:12.270]Like, who are you responsible to, right?
[00:51:14.937]And so students are starting to ask themselves
[00:51:17.310]whether their job is worth writing.
[00:51:19.590]I heard that in conversation from my classroom.
[00:51:22.740]I would say teachers,
[00:51:24.378]some of the teachers in the local district
[00:51:26.310]are doing more than actually faculty
[00:51:29.460]and our students are actually doing and engaging with.
[00:51:32.760]Few weeks ago, a teacher at Norman High,
[00:51:35.340]the witness resigned rather than wait to get fired,
[00:51:38.850]because she shared Brooklyn public libraries,
[00:51:41.775]you know, the share code for the banned books.
[00:51:43.740]So she shared it with her students, and a parent complained.
[00:51:47.310]And so rather than like being the distraction,
[00:51:49.500]she was becoming the distraction, she resigned,
[00:51:51.960]'cause two school districts in Oklahoma
[00:51:55.440]are having the fund looked at
[00:51:57.210]because they were accused of teaching CRT in K12 spaces.
[00:52:00.810]So Tulsa and less than two of our largest school districts
[00:52:03.570]are now under surveillance
[00:52:04.800]about what the curriculums are teaching, right?
[00:52:07.140]And so, you know,
[00:52:08.427]the responsibility is falling on individual teachers,
[00:52:11.070]kind of like that battle is opposed
[00:52:12.600]to people using the resources
[00:52:15.270]and power that they have to kind of engage.
[00:52:18.540]It'll be interesting to see what happens,
[00:52:20.640]and I wanna see the numbers on the QR code.
[00:52:23.580]You know, I like ask the witnesses
[00:52:25.200]that make sure whatever you're taking a photo with?
[00:52:27.600]I won't keep it.
[00:52:29.130]So whenever it gets turned in, promise it's flattering.
[00:52:31.830]We're good. I'm okay with it.
[00:52:34.440]You think I'm joking,
[00:52:35.500]but I actually can't tell them that,
[00:52:36.450]I'm like, hey, use facts.
[00:52:38.970]If you're using facts, then my job is done.
[00:52:42.480]Am I going against state statute?
[00:52:44.190]Yeah, I am, right?
[00:52:46.860]And you know, if I'm okay with you doing it,
[00:52:50.430]I'm gonna disagree with you,
[00:52:51.900]but make sure that you're always using facts,
[00:52:53.520]because otherwise then I failed as a teacher.
[00:52:55.740]If you're just making up stuff along the way.
[00:52:59.400]But it's gonna be an interesting conversation,
[00:53:01.288]because it's true.
[00:53:02.220]Are you willing to give up, sacrifice your job,
[00:53:04.560]you know, over...
[00:53:05.970]And is it gonna lead to that.
[00:53:07.353]K12, actually are less protected than the rest of us, right?
[00:53:09.747]They co-host their job, technically, for teaching,
[00:53:12.810]you know, materialists, and you know,
[00:53:14.620]appropriate in the classroom setting,
[00:53:18.180]and so we're gonna keep seeing that,
[00:53:19.350]and y'all are gonna be seeing now.
[00:53:21.090]Welcome, you know, to the mess of HB 1775,
[00:53:24.390]or whatever other means.
[00:53:26.160]I'm actually upset that they didn't wait one long,
[00:53:28.680]so that it would've been HP 1776.
[00:53:31.470]Cause I think it would've been better (indistinct).
[00:53:36.900]Disappointed in them.
[00:53:43.290]I mean, I would hope that folks are asking
[00:53:45.150]these type of questions
[00:53:46.173]when this comes up in school board meetings, you know,
[00:53:48.960]I love school board meetings.
[00:53:50.700]Love in a hateful way, I mean,
[00:53:52.290]you know, I enjoy them,
[00:53:54.060]but that students are also kind of documenting, you know,
[00:53:56.340]what it is that they need, you know?
[00:53:58.614]And they can end it on this and then
[00:54:00.543]when the teacher was encouraged to resign,
[00:54:04.140]my daughter, my younger daughter became a English major,
[00:54:07.140]and now is gonna be an academic librarian.
[00:54:09.030]So books mean a lot.
[00:54:09.863]I say that because books are important to her, right?
[00:54:12.570]And when she went through the list of books,
[00:54:14.790]one of the books that was banned
[00:54:15.960]in the school district after she graduated,
[00:54:18.497]was from Mirta, and she said,
[00:54:20.790]had I not read the book,
[00:54:22.543]I never would have seen myself
[00:54:23.820]or my grandmother's story before,
[00:54:26.100]and I never would've gone to become an English major,
[00:54:28.410]and I would never find her books in school,
[00:54:30.300]if it wasn't for that one book that a teacher said,
[00:54:32.797]"You're sad that you moved here?
[00:54:34.470]I have a book that you might enjoy reading."
[00:54:36.660]And that teacher changed your life,
[00:54:37.940]in a lot of different ways.
[00:54:39.480]And so I think about how many students
[00:54:41.160]won't have that opportunity,
[00:54:42.690]to read books that are meaningful to our communities, right?
[00:54:45.210]And we to continue have this path,
[00:54:46.980]and how many dreams become interrupted, right?
[00:54:49.170]Like we saw we chose them, but, you know,
[00:54:51.345]we're doing this to service these children,
[00:54:52.237]but we're not going to fight
[00:54:54.390]for what this needs to know, so.
[00:55:01.458][Woman in Audience] Can you tell us
[00:55:02.291]a little bit about your project with your graduate students
[00:55:05.790]to rebuild indigenous and black
[00:55:09.354]educational history in Oklahoma?
[00:55:11.742]I know you've been doing for several years,
[00:55:14.481]and presenting on it.
[00:55:20.146]At some point, I thought I was gonna be
[00:55:21.712]an indigenous humanities person,
[00:55:23.164]and then I realized at my age,
[00:55:25.220]when we do stuff, you know, not cute.
[00:55:28.877]And so when I teach my methods class,
[00:55:30.780]this is actually where it came from, right?
[00:55:32.460]So I wanted to make sure
[00:55:33.420]that when I was teaching my historical methods class,
[00:55:35.477]it was meaningful to our students.
[00:55:36.457]And so we created, it's actually available,
[00:55:38.970]it's still up, we created a digital platform
[00:55:42.870]to map out the history of black
[00:55:44.877]and indigenous education in Oklahoma.
[00:55:47.820]Literally we wanted to look at a map,
[00:55:49.560]and kind of see the spaces in which the communities
[00:55:52.500]were building educational spaces for themselves, right?
[00:55:56.040]Because nobody was talking about...
[00:55:58.170]So when we talk now about education,
[00:56:00.090]we're talking about bilingual education teacher,
[00:56:02.310]diversifying teacher education programs,
[00:56:04.470]all of these things, that in the 19th century,
[00:56:07.560]black and indigenous Oklahomans were doing, right?
[00:56:10.740]And so, Jen Johnson's work, right?
[00:56:13.410]You know, she's doing translating of, you know,
[00:56:16.740]some of the textbooks that the Seminole nation
[00:56:18.900]was using with Freedmen education, right?
[00:56:21.410]So they were the same textbooks that, you know,
[00:56:23.727]model English kids, you know, white children were using,
[00:56:27.311]they were transferring them into their own language.
[00:56:29.577]So make sure that their kids were kind of learning literacy,
[00:56:31.710]kind of engaging in these conversations,
[00:56:33.240]in the 19th century, right?
[00:56:35.580]And so diversifying teacher education programs,
[00:56:38.992]in Oklahoma you have a teacher training program
[00:56:42.117]for black and indigenous educators within that space,
[00:56:44.610]where it's gonna go back
[00:56:45.658]into teaching the communities, right?
[00:56:46.987]And so we were having these conversations
[00:56:49.020]about how so little has been written
[00:56:53.730]in terms of educational history in Oklahoma,
[00:56:55.920]beginning the 19th century,
[00:56:57.570]that can serve as a platform or space
[00:56:59.773]where it's engaged in contemporary conversations, right?
[00:57:02.517]And so within it, my responsibility
[00:57:05.771]within those conversations is to create the space,
[00:57:08.610]or allow the space for them
[00:57:09.500]to kind of imagine what this would look like for them
[00:57:11.820]in terms of their own doctoral programs
[00:57:13.227]and their research projects.
[00:57:15.390]And so, you know, Jennifer Johnson's work was amazing,
[00:57:17.700]she's now at the University of Illinois,
[00:57:21.810]Was an inside joke.
[00:57:23.910]So she's at Illinois,
[00:57:25.530]there's another student who's documenting the history,
[00:57:27.960]mapping out the history of black education
[00:57:30.120]of black towns in Oklahoma,
[00:57:31.440]because there were dozens of black towns in Oklahoma
[00:57:34.530]that were created, right?
[00:57:35.517]And I always tell Oklahoma history and education,
[00:57:38.612]because if you wanna understand the history of communities,
[00:57:41.160]you look at schools and churches.
[00:57:43.140]I choose to look at schools, to look at community building.
[00:57:47.220]And so in Oklahoma, you have that, right?
[00:57:48.790]There were numerous schools,
[00:57:50.910]K12 spaces that the community,
[00:57:53.310]thinking of James Anderson's work
[00:57:54.660]on double taxation in the building of black,
[00:57:57.060]and just education in the United States,
[00:57:59.430]Oklahoma was doing that, right?
[00:58:00.780]So black Oklahomans were having to pay for the building
[00:58:03.990]of white schools, and also the building of their own schools
[00:58:06.930]within that space, in the 19th century, right?
[00:58:10.470]So there's, you know,
[00:58:11.370]a history of rich history of legal battles
[00:58:13.290]around this segregation that people don't talk about,
[00:58:16.590]battles around school funding
[00:58:17.970]that the black community of Oklahoma is leading.
[00:58:20.520]So we're actually working on an edited book
[00:58:23.070]that allows us the space to kind of document
[00:58:25.380]and anchor the space Oklahoma,
[00:58:28.287]but also Indian in Oklahoma territory.
[00:58:30.420]So pre-statehood, as a pathway for us
[00:58:33.270]to engage in contemporary conversations
[00:58:35.010]on education today, right?
[00:58:36.300]So our, we used (indistinct).
[00:58:40.290]We're great going back to the territory, right?
[00:58:42.300]So what does it mean to go back to the territory,
[00:58:44.070]to bring us forward?
[00:58:46.887]And so I'm hoping that it's something that, you know,
[00:58:49.877]we'll be able to kind of continue that work,
[00:58:53.490]to literally map out and use these bodies
[00:58:56.730]and use these histories as a way to kind of
[00:58:58.980]recenter educational history in a very particular way,
[00:59:02.070]but using, or acknowledging black and indigenous education.
[00:59:08.332]Little Latina, Latino, Latinx,
[00:59:10.025]but there's not as Little Flower Church.
[00:59:12.150]The school was the only,
[00:59:13.680]that we would call Latino school, in Oklahoma,
[00:59:15.710]it was actually the parish schools.
[00:59:17.485]The only one that existed within that space, so.
[00:59:22.268]But yeah, I have to live somewhere.
[00:59:25.973]It's not fancy.
[00:59:26.820]Remember, I don't know what I'm doing
[00:59:28.080]with the truth demanding,
[00:59:29.413]but I actually know who would encourage folks here,
[00:59:32.640]like especially graduate students,
[00:59:34.950]or actual undergraduate students,
[00:59:36.270]kind of think about the ways
[00:59:37.230]in which this space moves all.
[00:59:38.700]So there's a reckoning that has to go,
[00:59:40.644]in terms to reconciliation
[00:59:42.450]and mapping our histories within these spaces,
[00:59:44.220]especially around educational justice,
[00:59:45.597]and that history is a wonderful way
[00:59:47.700]to kind of reach toward reconciliation.
[00:59:49.691]Even though there are at least other options.
[00:59:55.140]Do we have any more questions?
[00:59:59.171](woman asks a question quietly off screen)
[01:00:02.633]I'm gonna walk closer so I can hear you.
[01:00:06.683](quiet discussion off screen)
[01:00:10.524](quiet discussion off screen)
[01:00:14.299](quiet discussion off screen)
[01:00:18.057](quiet discussion off screen)
[01:00:21.798](quiet discussion off screen)
[01:00:24.564](quiet discussion off screen)
[01:00:29.400]They were asking whether something
[01:00:30.960]like HB 1775 is gonna bleed over
[01:00:33.690]and kind of carry over other states,
[01:00:35.220]and the answer is; it's already happening.
[01:00:37.680]And so, you know,
[01:00:39.390]it's sad that this is what Oklahoma's becoming
[01:00:41.850]a leader in terms of education, right?
[01:00:44.730]And so we're seeing a rise of local school district
[01:00:47.730]kind of testing the battles.
[01:00:48.870]And I did a PD for a school district in Illinois recently,
[01:00:53.190]where when I was documenting, you know, the history of,
[01:00:56.520]you know, the banning of these conversations in Oklahoma,
[01:00:59.400]I said, wait, they all laugh,
[01:01:01.115]'cause they're like, oh, that would never happen here.
[01:01:03.390]And so the school district is in pre-central Illinois.
[01:01:06.210]And so then I highlighted all the school districts
[01:01:09.570]and surroundings states that were already doing it.
[01:01:12.450]And I told them,
[01:01:13.283]if you think it's not gonna happen here
[01:01:14.940]because you're a blue state, think again, right?
[01:01:18.960]It's coming, it's getting closer to you, right?
[01:01:21.537]And so I know Nebraska, it's being debated right now, right?
[01:01:25.440]I know Texas, who's already done it,
[01:01:28.323]and very talented states that are doing it.
[01:01:30.780]It's, you know, it's tied to other types of injustices
[01:01:33.300]within these spaces, right?
[01:01:34.560]They come hand in hand, and you know,
[01:01:38.670]and there's a lot of miseducation.
[01:01:40.380]So when I taught the unit this week,
[01:01:42.390]a student came up, and after class I was like,
[01:01:44.730]she had her phone out and she had the QR code.
[01:01:46.770]I kind of liked her.
[01:01:48.690]And she said, I just wanna say, thank you.
[01:01:50.670]She's like, "I took a screenshot of my notes
[01:01:52.620]and sent it to my mom,"
[01:01:53.672]'cause we were debating this, and her mom had misunderstood
[01:01:57.300]what the whole debate around it was, right?
[01:02:01.500]And I, you know, I have a five year old niece,
[01:02:04.770]love her, she's a lot, but I love her.
[01:02:06.870]I can't imagine having conversation
[01:02:08.820]about interest convergence, Derek Bell's work,
[01:02:11.430]with a five year old.
[01:02:12.840]Like, this is what you think we're talking about,
[01:02:14.900]you know, in school?
[01:02:15.995]So when they use the languages of scarcity
[01:02:17.477]it's just kind of, you know,
[01:02:19.267]distracted me with what they're really talking about, right?
[01:02:22.507]So how do you teach the Tulsa Race Massacre
[01:02:25.920]without talking about genocide and enslavement,
[01:02:28.500]and white settlement and white supremacy?
[01:02:32.220]That's actually my question, you know,
[01:02:33.960]to people who are supporting these thesis,
[01:02:36.120]show me the curriculum that allows me
[01:02:38.040]to teach about the Bolling Rights Act
[01:02:42.000]without teaching about enslavement, right?
[01:02:44.910]Show me the legislation that teaches
[01:02:46.530]about immigration reform,
[01:02:48.090]without talking about dispossession of land,
[01:02:51.090]and the ways in which, you know,
[01:02:52.590]in some states it was legal
[01:02:54.930]to physically harm Mexican students
[01:02:57.000]in classrooms because they spoke their language, right?
[01:02:59.670]So how do you do one without connecting it to others?
[01:03:02.760]If they could do it? Alright, show me, right?
[01:03:05.910]Not that I think it's okay,
[01:03:07.020]but they're not even building curriculum.
[01:03:09.210]That's the thing.
[01:03:10.043]They're leaving it up to the rest of us
[01:03:11.760]to recreate vanishing in our curriculum,
[01:03:14.340]by erasing our own experiences.
[01:03:16.380]And so it's...
[01:03:17.910]So like other states, it'd be interesting
[01:03:19.620]to see what we do at a federal level.
[01:03:21.960]And that's, the state Department of Education
[01:03:25.380]has tried to include language, that kind of doesn't...
[01:03:31.260]They can keep state funding and local funding
[01:03:33.720]from school district,
[01:03:34.553]but you can't touch federal funding,
[01:03:36.060]because they're teaching it, right?
[01:03:39.280]So now we need the federal government to say, well,
[01:03:42.270]for districts that are being attacked,
[01:03:44.430]then we need to kind of step in
[01:03:45.960]and use resources to protect them in particular ways, too.
[01:03:48.990]So it's gonna happen.
[01:03:50.370]I don't know how long it's gonna last, right?
[01:03:54.000]How long this cycle of harm is gonna,
[01:03:56.190]or violence is gonna last,
[01:03:58.110]but it's coming to different states.
[01:04:00.510]But look at the demographics that the states are,
[01:04:04.230]where it's happening to,
[01:04:05.880]where we're viewed as a threat in those spaces,
[01:04:08.250]'cause you asked a question.
[01:04:14.910]Time for one more question, anybody.
[01:04:21.030]And this isn't new by the way,
[01:04:22.257]the history of Americanization projects,
[01:04:24.330]it's the exact same thing, right?
[01:04:26.910]So they're done, they were just legalizing it.
[01:04:29.100]You know, so when you study history of education,
[01:04:31.831]you can map out the different times
[01:04:34.350]that these type of conversations have popped up too.
[01:04:37.140]So it's not new,
[01:04:38.304]it's just becoming legalized in your particular ways.
[01:04:44.280]But we have one more question.
[01:04:46.856][Woman in Audience] What gives you hope
[01:04:48.028]about the future of education in the United States?
[01:04:54.689]That's why I show up every day.
[01:04:57.060]That's what gives me hope,
[01:04:58.830]is seeing the way in which young people
[01:05:00.360]are asking questions, and feel empowered
[01:05:03.000]to ask these type of questions, right?
[01:05:05.700]Because without that, then, you know,
[01:05:07.897]let's say there's no pinch hope,
[01:05:09.660]there's no hope, right?
[01:05:12.287]And so there's, sorry,
[01:05:13.980]it's Chicano film history,
[01:05:17.520]so excuse those of you who didn't understand.
[01:05:20.844]But without that, there is no hope, right?
[01:05:23.061]Once they stop hoping and imagining
[01:05:25.830]something different for themselves,
[01:05:27.120]and stop asking questions,
[01:05:28.320]that's when there is no hope.
[01:05:29.580]And it's not just naive hope, right?
[01:05:32.400]It's radical, critical hope, that's transformative.
[01:05:35.580]Hope on its own is not transformative, right?
[01:05:38.978]Critical, you know, radical hope,
[01:05:41.193]is like where my future lies, right?
[01:05:43.890]Is where I imagine something different for ourselves,
[01:05:45.960]under our own terms.
[01:05:46.830]And there's always been that.
[01:05:48.180]And so us documenting, you know,
[01:05:49.643]Laura's work, documenting this history as well, right?
[01:05:52.830]Is how literally we're documenting hope.
[01:05:56.700]That's how I view my work as a historian, as a teacher.
[01:06:00.090]'Cause my job is to make sure
[01:06:01.920]that those stories aren't silent,
[01:06:04.140]because then they won't have anything to ask about.
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