The weekend of October 4-6, EJ-ROC hosted the Research and Revolt for Culturally Responsive Education conference, supported by the Spencer Foundation. Nearly 75 researchers, youth and parent organizers, and educators came together to learn from each other, gain deeper understanding of effective CRE practices, and generate ideas for research studies and tools that could advance campaigns for district-wide CRE initiatives.
Workshops were led by teams of researchers and community organizers, and included topics like Redefining the Game: Measuring Student Success Beyond Grades and Test Scores; Culturally Responsive Curriculum: Essentials and Pitfalls of Implementation; and Making the Process of Change Transformative: Youth and Parents as Researchers.
The conference launched Friday night with a public performance of DEFAULT, a play about Ethnic Studies by Epic Theatre Ensemble, created from the voices of 40 interviews with students, parents and educators. Saturday morning we opened with an opening ceremony by Cetiliztli Nauhcampa, and moved into a speed dating-style activity to get to know each other’s work. After a day of workshops, on Saturday night, the conference held a public panel discussion with Ethnic Studies educators Dr. Curtis Acosta, Dr. Christina Villarreal and Dr. Sean Arce sharing core principles and practices of Ethnic Studies and lessons from the renowned Mexican-American Studies department in Tucson, AZ. We finished the conference with more workshops on Sunday and a closing session to brainstorm projects and tools we can work on together to advance the field.
The conference was intellectually and spiritually nourishing, and helped to build learning and community among community organizers, researchers and educators that EJ-ROC will continue to support in the coming years.