By Juan Gamboa, Jr., SJCC Ethnic Studies Professor
On Saturday, October 12, 2019, MEChA and Chicana/Chicano Studies de San Jose City College gathered to attend the 19th annual Teachers for Social Justice (T4SJ) Conference in San Francisco.
T4SJ always makes this conference free of cost in Silicon Valley despite the skyrocketing cost of living to make it accessible to all and bring together everyday superheroes: teachers, students, parents, activists, and children.
This year’s theme was abolition, reparations, and healing. Dr. Bettina Love, author of the groundbreaking new book We Want To Do More than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, was the keynote speaker.
Dr. Love addressed a gym filled-to-capacity and opened with a sobering reminder of the persistent educational inequality and racism in schools. Dr. Love reminded us of the power and assets that already exist in communities of color from social-emotional learning, grit, resilience, and character development, and all educators need to recognize it.
Participants had over 40 workshops to choose from, ranging from mental health awareness, going beyond the gender binary, math and science interconnections with environmental racism, hip hop pedagogy, mass incarceration, dis-ability equity, supporting English language learners, plant medicine, gentrification, youth-led research and much more!
Special thank you to MEChA and Chicana/o Studies for coordinating this opportunity and providing transportation.