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K-State Today

August 29, 2016



American ethnic studies faculty member Norma A. Valenzuela attends conferences during summer

By Norma A. Valenzuela

Norma A. Valenzuela, instructor of American ethnic studies, taught an interactive workshop on "Becoming Critically Conscious Teachers" as part of the University of Kansas' Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies' Latinos in the Midwest grant June 9 at the historic Brown v. Board of Education site. 

The workshop examined the dynamics of privilege and oppression through culturally sensitive pedagogy. Thirty K-12 Kansas educators gained numerous resources — videos, films, books, websites — and strategies to use in their classroom. The potential to incorporate Latino American history into curriculum across disciplines was especially important.

Valenzuela also presented "Out of Line:" Mujeres Revoltosas y Vidas Transnacionales in Made in L.A." at the 2016 Latina/o Studies Association conference, July 7-9, in Pasadena, California. Her presentation examined the intersectionality of race, class, ethnicity and gender in Chican studies, and utilized film to explore the central role women of color play in the creation of alternative narratives to deconstruct dominant discourses. The conference theme, "Deliberating Latina/o Studies: Promiscuity, (In)civility and (Un)disciplinarity," was a very timely topic that addressed institutional violence, police brutality, community resistance/healing that also coincided with the horrendous tragedy in Orlando, Florida. 

Scholars, activists, educators and community women gathered to address important topics at the 2016 MALCS Institute, Aug. 3-6, in Laramie, Wyoming. Valenzuela participated in the roundtable "Chicana Feminist Praxis on the 'Frontier': Teaching and Researching in Vast Spaces" and discussed her two-year tenure at K-State and research and service within the context of an American ethnic studies unit amongst women of color, and colleagues promoting social justice in the classroom and community. 

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