The California chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education is a group of teacher educators, teachers, students, parents, community activists, and others with a strong interest in creating socially just and equitable learning communities in California schools and classrooms.
As a group we are committed to developing multicultural, anti-racist and anti-oppressive projects within an education system that fully embraces the diversity of California’s students, and that is rooted in the needs and interests of historically dominated and institutionally marginalized communities. We stand for the public good and community-based schools influenced primarily by teachers, students, and families. We have seen how the forces of neoliberal privatization have shifted the emphasis away from public ownership of schools, and we are experiencing the standardization of pedagogy and curriculum driven by the market forces that include textbook and testing corporations. We stand against a color-blind and oppression-blind ideology that attempts to erase, rather than embrace, any kind of difference.
Recognizing how privatization, standardization, and color-blind ideology interlock and are fundamentally eroding public education in California, CA NAME has identified these as key focus areas for our organization—concentrations that grow from our political analysis of the forces impacting education today. Drawing from our capacity as a statewide organization and capitalizing on the unique strengths of our membership base, we hope to address these issues through the following strategies:
- State level advocacy through coalition building—engaging in statewide education campaigns around key issues of equity in education and shaping state policy;
- Establishing a public voice—through engaged scholarship and advocacy that challenges unjust educational policy and practices.
- Resource sharing—teachers, parents, and teacher educators, along with community-based organizations, will share pedagogical, research, educational, and community resources;
- Concrete education projects that nurture communities of praxis—through our Regional Networks, we will create alliances with grassroots, institutional, and other spaces;
- Reclaiming Multicultural Education—CA NAME will promote and develop a critical, anti-racist Multicultural Education through various projects that grow out of the needs and interests of historically dominated and institutionally marginalized communities.
CA NAME will work at both a state level, and more locally within regionally-based networks. Our first two regional networks of the CA NAME chapter will be established in the Los Angeles and Bay Areas; these localized spaces will be the primary vehicle for concretizing and focusing our vision of educational equity and excellence. We invite you to join in the work, either within an existing regionally-based network, or by participating in one of our CA NAME state-level committees. We also aim to establish more regionally-based networks in the future, as CA NAME grows in membership and capacity.