Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Press Release—"Indigeneity in the K-12 Curriculum," on the Agenda at National Summit, Austin, Texas, Jan. 24-25, 2020

Art by Maribel Falcon
What is Indigeneity? Who is Indigenous? What are Indigenous ways of knowing and teaching in the classroom? These are some of the questions that will be explored at the second national summit on Indigeneity and the K-12 Curriculum, which will be held on January 24-25, 2020, at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. Members of the National Latino Education Research and Policy Project (NLERAPP; pronounced “nel-rap”), a national nonprofit and 20-year-old consortium of universities and community-based organizations, will convene at the event.

“In light of the crossing of Indigenous peoples across the U.S.-Mexico border, the recent passage of Mexican American Studies and Native American Studies in Texas schools, and the national Ethnic Studies Movement, this summit helps to advance this conversation by providing a context where pertinent questions to the K-12 classroom can get asked,” says The University of Texas at Austin Professor Angela Valenzuela. Valenzuela leads NLERAPP and is director of the Texas Center for Education Policy, housed at UT Austin’s College of Education.  

The summit will feature sessions on Indigenous mathematics and fine arts, as well as topics related to identity and teaching through Indigenous ways of knowing, based on work that takes place in both university and primary and secondary classrooms around the country where Indigeneity is an explicit focus.

NLERAPP provides school-based practitioner knowledge and expertise related to the changing demographics and educational needs of Latinas/os and other minorities to help ensure their success in the 21st century. The organization addresses the teacher preparation and retention crisis and the underrepresentation of Latino/a teachers. With early support from the Ford and Kellogg Foundations, their research has shown that an exclusively university-based approach is not sufficient for student success and excellent schools. 

“What the summit exemplifies,” says Valenzuela, “is what we have learned as a national organization. We must extend our efforts beyond both the university and traditional classroom setting and build partnerships within the larger community. This reach includes businesses, the non-profit sector, civil rights organizations, community-based organizations and so on if we are to develop the appropriate knowledge, skills, and dispositions for a Latinx demographic that while facing significant challenges, is unmistakably poised, as emergent bilinguals, to reap the rewards and opportunities of an increasingly interconnected world.”

NLERAPP members from San Diego State University; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; Denver, Colorado, Minnesota, Chicago, San Antonio, Texas, and special invited guests and presenters from the Autonomous University of Benito Juarez in Oaxaca will be in attendance at this year’s summit.

Contact:  Maria Unda,; (310) 651-4558

Space is limited so please RSVP right away if you plan to attend. In addition, 16 CPE credit hours are available to all Texas public school teachers!

Friday January 24- Saturday January 25, 2020
Emma Barrientos Mexican American Culture Center
600 River St., Austin, TX 78701


$300.00 for elementary or secondary bilingual/dual language and Ethnic Studies teachers receiving CPE Credit

$100.00 for attendees

Nos vemos pronto!  See you soon!

Angela Valenzuela, Ph.D., Executive Director
National Latina/o Education Research and Policy Project, Inc.
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
University of Texas at Austin

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Thank you to our sponsors.
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Culture Center
Academia Cuauhtli
Texas Center for Education Policy
Nuestro Grupo
The University of Arizona Foundation
UNM Department of Chicana & Chicano Studies
Indigenous Cultures Institute
Universidad Benito Juárez
Austin Community College Foundation
San Diego State University
The University of Texas at Austin:
Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
Department of Mexican American & Latina/o Studies
Native American Indigenous Studies
College of Education – Education Leadership and Policy
College of Fine Arts – UTeach Fine Arts

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