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Minority Studies at IU Northwest hosts Feb. 24 lecture on Arizona ban on ethnic studies

Talk is part of Midwest tour to rally support for ethnic studies in attempt to reverse law


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Department of Minority Studies

The Indiana University Northwest Department of Minority Studies, in cooperation with the Social Justice Club and ALMA, the Latino student organization, is hosting a race and ethnicity lecture at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24 in the Library Conference Center (room 105ABC).

This edition of Lectures in Race & Ethnicity will focus on opposition to the ban on teaching of Chicano studies in Arizona schools, a move expected to impact other ethnic studies programs across the country.

The keynote speakers, Norma and Jose Gonzalez, are two of 11 public school teachers who have filed a class action lawsuit to stop implementation of the Arizona law. The teachers have incorporated as Save Ethnic Studies and are mobilizing local, state and national support against the law and similar state legislative bills arising elsewhere in the country. The talk at IU Northwest is part of a Midwest tour to rally national support.

The speakers will discuss the importance of Chicano studies and educate attendees about the dissention surrounding the ban. 

“This topic is especially relevant for our teachers in training, who often express confusion about why ethnic history isn’t taught in high schools,” said Raoul Contreras, Ph.D., associate professor of Latino Studies and chair of the Department of Minority Studies. “Programs like these teach an important view of who we are and our history.”

Contreras hopes participants will come away from the lecture more educated about the value of ethnic education in high school and why such programs are resisted and defended.

The public is invited to attend. The Library Conference Center is located on campus along 35th Avenue in Gary, just one-half mile south of I-80/94.

For more information, contact Dr. Raoul Contreras at (219) 980-6665 or