Founded in 2000 by Pedro Pedraza and Melissa Rivera, NLERAP's genealogy is connected to civil rights and represents folks nationally in states like California, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York, and Texas. The history of this organization and its key initiative of growing its own educators is covered in my recently-published edited volume, Growing Critically Conscious Teachers (NY: Teachers College Press).
It was exciting to have most of the chapter contributors present as follows: Dr. Julio Cammarota, Dr. Jennifer Ayala, Dr. José Cintron, Dr. Adele Arellano, Dr. Margarita Berta-Avila, and Dr. Barbara Flores.
It was a real treat, as well, to have Arizona civil rights Attorney Richard Martinez and his wife, Deya Nevarez Martinez, too. Richard was honored with the "Pedraza-Rivera Award for Outstanding Leadership in Latino/a Education." Richard was the lead attorney in the Mexican American Studies precedent-setting lawsuit out of Tucson, Arizona about which I have blogged herein significantly.
Thanks again to Dr. Victor Saenz, Chair, Educational Leadership and Policy, and Dr. Leonard Moore, Interim Director, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement for their support, as well as to Herlinda Zamora and Marina Islas of the Mexican American Culture Center, for the space and support to help us make this summit as successful as it was.
And thanks to all that volunteered and attending. As evidenced by our own GYO educator site, Academia Cuauhtli, ours is a vibrant, promising agenda to infuse teachers and teacher preparation with the requisite knowledge on how to teach to a Latin@ demographic, and students of color, generally.
Among other things, we call for sociopolitical, sociocultural, community-anchored, social justice, participatory action research perspectives and approaches in the preparation of future teachers.
A final detail, that Martha Cotera's photo below reminds me of, is the importance of our elders and generational approaches as this grounds, deepens, and guides our sense of purpose. Thanks, Martha, for always being there!