We’ve been awarded a five-year grant to build a pipeline of well-prepared middle school teachers and leaders with the knowledge and skills to serve in high-need schools and further positive outcomes for middle school students. This collaborative partnership project is intentionally interdisciplinary, with a focus on racial and cultural literacy and adolescent literacy.
OUR NEWS & BLOG
We are delighted to present the achievements of the Culture and Equity Project during 2022-2023. We eagerly invite you to join us in the upcoming year, 2023-2024, as we prepare for even more extraordinary experiences.
Blog posts are written by the UCLA Culture & Equity Project team, educators, and students.
I was fortunate to have been selected for an exchange program called Community Engagement Exchange Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It is a leadership exchange program and I was selected amongst applicants from over 77 countries. I was the only fellow from Indonesia, but I am so grateful because I gained so many friends from different cultural backgrounds.
“That’s weird. Stop speaking in Korean.” Growing up in Southern California, these were the words that made me internalize the idea that my Korean culture was not welcomed at our majority White, suburban, public middle school. I implicitly accepted the fact that in order to belong, I needed to ‘assimilate’ to the dominant English-speaking White culture and leave my cultural identity at home.
Yes, I am happy that Juneteenth is recognized as a Federal Holiday, but to be elated over this surface gesture hides the unfulfilled promises and commitments to Black people that continue to get buried every time we are thrown a bone.
I haven’t been able to sleep the last few months and I’ve been “feeling” a certain way that I couldn’t put my finger on. I say “feeling” because it isn’t a mood. And it isn’t one emotion. I’ve been experiencing something that I have never experienced in my life and on March 16th, after eight Asian women were shot in Atlanta, I finally figured out that feeling.
Culturally responsive pedagogy enhances instruction, socio-emotional learning, and relational trust. It also highlights the extraordinary backgrounds, schemas, experiences, and languages that all students bring into the classroom.
Within the past year, I’ve seen several organizations, corporations, and educational institutions claim to be committed to social justice causes and publish solidarity and inclusivity statements. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen headlines and videos that expose racist and prejudiced educators and employees at several organizations whose behaviors or written documents have been recorded or leaked.
As I walked around the classroom, I noticed a certain level of calmness. I saw co-teaching happening in this 1st
grade classroom and students actively engaged. The teacher called on “Sara” to talk about what she liked most in the story they read together as a class. Her friends tentatively sat and waited for her response. Her friend “Justin” held her hand and said “Sara, what did you like?” Sara waited and responded “I liked the pictures!” Sara’s response time took a little longer than some of her other friends but no one seemed to care.
Re-entering schools in the COVID-era will be a completely new experience in which educators will have to reimagine their classrooms. Educators must provide an environment that is culturally, socially and emotionally responsive in order to support the success of students.
Hello, my name is Yessenia. My name is important to me because it is my identity, the name given to me by my parents, and the name I respond to. It is special to me because of its meaning, and it symbolizes my cultural identity. A person’s name represents who they are and where they come from. It is not just common courtesy to be able to correctly pronounce someone’s name, it is much more than that.
Currently, there is a movement across the country to leave out critical narratives and histories from the curriculum. However, even before this movement, our curriculum has always left out counternarratives and histories. American textbooks are typically Eurocentric, biased, and disjointed.
I’m for warm summer days
and late nights with the people you love.
A hot season that is sure to come
like tanned skin that you can’t run away from.
Am I privileged?
Ask the birds that fly away
With deep secrets of my black skin days
Followed by the police just the other day
Stopped me and told me I’m not supposed to be driving by the bay