The Mexican American Studies program in Tucson, Arizona, was eliminated in 2011. Shortly afterward, a group of teachers organized to challenge the ban on Ethnic Studies, claiming it was enacted with racial animus and violated constitutional protections. While much scholarship has been written analyzing the bill that contributed to the elimination of the program, a lacunae in the literature has been a focus on the litigation. This article utilizes twenty-one interviews with individuals who were involved in the Gonzalez v. Douglas litigation and successfully overturned the ban in the summer of 2017. Their narratives reveal the importance of what the author terms transformative historical capital, which refers to the transformation that occurs internally when one learns of the tools, knowledge, networks, and determination extant in the Chicana/o community (as well as other communities of color) due to a long history of social movements that sought civil rights and self-determination.
Gonzalez v. Douglas: Overturning the Ban on Ethnic Studies in Arizona
Christina Acosta completed her BA degree in Chicano/a Studies and Psychology at CSU Fullerton and MA degree in Sociology at UC Merced. She is currently enrolled in the Sociology doctoral program at UC Merced, conducting research on the activist movement that is working to restore Mexican American Studies in Tucson, Arizona. Her community engagement in the Central Valley of California includes working with the Girls and Women of Color initiative (GWOC), which is part of the Youth Leadership Institute (YLI).
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Christina Acosta; Gonzalez v. Douglas: Overturning the Ban on Ethnic Studies in Arizona. Ethnic Studies Review 1 October 2019; 42 (2): 115–130. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/esr.2019.42.2.115
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