Preview of the 2015 NACCS Tejas Focoby Tony Diaz on 01/16/15
This is Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante. I'm proud to be the Chair of the 2015 NACCS Tejas Foco. Registration is open, and I wanted to give you a preview of what is to come. ( You may register now and reserve your seat at the Awards Luncheon. Monday, January 26, you will be able to reserve your seat at individual panels.)
This year we will be taking this powerful Texas Regional conference to the next level.
This year's theme is "Putting More Community in Community College and Beyond: Scholars, Professors, Writers, Teachers, Students and Families Unite to Open Higher Education to Our Youth. It will take place at Lone Star College-North Harris Houston, Texas February 26-28, 2015.
You can expect the great academic and scholarly panels that folks are accustomed to, but we are including more students, more community members, and more policy makers.
This year's line up features different tracks to make it easy to decide which panels you want to attend. And we will be using a new software that will let you register for specific panels, too.
These tracks include:
Track 1: How to Teach Mexican American Studies in the classroom.
Track 2: Student track.
Track 3: The Environmental Justice Track.
Track 4: Librotraficante Studies
Our Librotraficante Studies track will include an update on the recent court case where17 year old Chicana, Maya Arce, challenged Arizona's discriminatory HB2281 which was used to ban Mexican American Studies. Several of the Librotraficantes were present, and we are scheduling Skype appearances by Maya Arce, the plaintiff, and some of the original MAS teachers from Tucson Unified School District.
A decision is not due for 30-180 days, but we are the first conference to begin to digest this moment in history.
We are also increasing our community out reach with several different initiatives including our "100 Banned Books for Under Ground Libraries" to "Mission, Mission, Texas."
With "100 Banned Books for Under Ground Libraries," registrants will be asked to purchase copies of "Chicano! The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement." We hope to get enough for 4 classroom sets for Librotraficante Under Ground Libraries throughout Texas in Houston, Baytown, Dallas, and San Antonio.
With "Mission, Mission, Texas" we want conference registrants to pitch in to help pay for the travel and lodging of students from Mission, Texas who are enrolled in one of the the first Mexican American Studies courses taken as dual credit in the state.
A high school in San Antonio began their MAS dual credit program at the same time, and we are in talks to bring them and their teachers to the Tejas Foco as well. Donors, please stand by.
Of course, there are many other ways to implement Mexican American Studies at the high school level, and we'll share that participants as well.
The final plenary of the conference will feature important education policy makers for a talk titled "How to Spread MAS to 100 Texas School Districts." Confirmed guests include Texas State Board of Education member Ruben Cortez, Juliet Stipeche, Chair of the Houston Independent School District, and Art Murillo, the first Mexican American to hold the first single member district for a Latino District for Lone Star College Board of Trustees.
We are very excited to welcome internally renowned author Dagoberto Gilb, who is banned in Arizona, as our keynote speaker for our Literary Awards Luncheon.
Also, we are getting ready for the future and increased growth.
At this year's business meeting, we will name the next sites for the 2016 Conference-Lone Star College-King Wood, Houston, Texas. And the 2017 conference will be named to Texas A & M University in College Station. We would also like to name the 2018 site as well, so that we can keep planning ahead and growing. Stay tuned.
I hope you take advantage of this chance to join me and 500 of your literary, activist, and academic familia.
Thank you, Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante