Statements of Solidarity

Statement from the undersigned Members of the UCLA TEP Faculty and Staff

May 6, 2024

Dear TEP Community,

We are witnessing the horrific genocide in Gaza, atrocities in Congo, Sudan, Tigray, and countless other regions of the world, and the attack on basic human rights for marginalized groups here in this country.  We have also seen the incredible energy and commitment of university students across the globe to denounce these egregious acts.  As we reflect on these events, we are reminded of these words included in Making the Rhetoric Real (Oakes, 1996) as well as our TEP Handbook:

James B. Macdonald and Susan Colberg Macdonald emphasize the importance of educators having a fundamental commitment to a just and caring society. “Human life is experienced in the way we live our everyday lives, our relationships to ourselves and others, our sense of personal belonging in society, and the cosmos. We believe this demands a human condition characterized by freedom, justice, equality, and love” (Macdonald and Macdonald, 1988, p. 480).

As educators, we carry a responsibility that extends beyond teaching content.  Teaching has moral and ethical implications that require us to reflect and enact our principles for creating and envisioning a more just and loving society.  We must walk the talk.  We hold ourselves accountable to the mission of our program.  Just as we have asked you to live out these values and commitments in classrooms and communities, we must do the same.

We have been inspired by your solidarity with the encampment and activism for a free Palestine.  We, members of the Teacher Education Program faculty and staff, support the following demands:

Solidarity with the People of Palestine
We recognize the suffering, killing, displacement, and deprivation of basic human needs of the civilians in Gaza and the West Bank.  We extend our solidarity to the people of Palestine and recognize their right to self-determination.

Immediate Ceasefire
We call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the genocide and occupation perpetrated by the Israeli military and funded by US tax dollars.  Over 32,000 Palestinians have died since October 7, 2023.  Civilian bloodshed must end and humanitarian aid must be allowed into Gaza.

UCLA Palestine Solidarity Encampment
The university failed to enact its historical and legal obligations to freedom of speech, assembly, and protest when the encampment was allowed to be attacked by outside agitators and subjected to violence by the police.  We support UCLA students’ demands that the university divest from companies complicit in the occupation and genocide of the Palestinian people, end the targeted repression and policing of pro-Palestinian advocacy on campus, call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, and sever all UC-wide connections to Israeli universities, including study abroad programs, fellowships, seminars, and research collaborations.  Additionally, to echo the demands of Faculty for Justice in Palestine at UCLA, we call upon UCLA to grant full legal, academic, and disciplinary amnesty for all student protesters.

TEP faculty and staff are moved by the ways TEP Novices, Residents, Guiding Teachers, Alumni, UCLA students, and community members are participating in the global movement to advocate for the Palestinian people’s right to live with dignity and peace.  We respect and applaud how you strive to teach and lead in ways that remind young people that true liberation is a collective one.

We cannot be silent. We stand with you and beside you and behind you, always.

In Solidarity,

Beck Alber, TEP Faculty Advisor
Melissa Arias, TEP Faculty Advisor
Justin Betzelberger, Lecturer
Sabina Castillo, Junior Fund Manager
Zachary Cue, TEP Faculty Advisor
Lauren Daus, TEP Field Supervisor; TEP alumna; PhD student in Urban Schooling
Annamarie Francois, Associate Dean
Rebecca French, TEP Field Supervisor
Aldo Garcia, Science Project Manager
Amber Gonzalez, Math Project Program Coordinator
Rachel Green, Lecturer
Lorena Guillén, Faculty
Beth Happel, Center X Staff
Emma Hipólito, TEP Director
Jackie Honda, TEP Program Manager
Sara Kersey TEP Faculty Advisor
Jane Kim, TEP Faculty Advisor
Jan Kirsch, TEP Instructor
Leona Kwon, TEP Faculty Advisor
Darlene Lee, TEP Faculty Advisor
Han Lee, TEP Field Supervisor
Eduardo López, TEP Faculty Advisor
Danielle McKeiver, PhD Student
Imelda Nava, TEP Faculty
Hani Rafi, TEP Faculty Advisor
Theodore Sagun, TEP Faculty Advisor
Jeff Share, Lecturer
Sarah Thomas, Center X Fund Manager
Tiki Valentino, Executive Assistant
Heidi Vitug, Program Manager

November 17, 2016

Dear TEP Community,

In light of the recent election results, members of the UCLA Teacher Education Program community reaffirm our commitment to our mission statement:

The Teacher Education Program (TEP) . . . prepares teachers to have the commitment, capacity, and resilience to promote social justice, caring, and instructional equity in low-income, urban schools . . . to work with student populations traditionally underserved by high quality educational programs, especially those students who are racially, culturally and linguistically diverse.

Your efforts to advance social justice matter – now, more than ever. This claim should be self-evident, but we feel a need to reassert it, because it is easy to get discouraged in light of the recent presidential election. Yet, you retain the power to reflect critical hope and make a difference.

We support teachers, students, families, and communities who are organizing to stand in solidarity with and defend the rights of those from the LGBTQ community, undocumented people and all immigrants, Muslims, women, and others from marginalized communities whose rights are threatened in the current political landscape. We stand with you. We are committed to you.

We would like to clearly state our positions on some of the issues that have surfaced during the election and its aftermath:

Language and Words Matter
Comments that dehumanize particular groups of people promote injustice and normalize ideologies of oppression, exploitation, hatred, and fear. The excuse that misogynistic comments are just “locker-room” remarks is unacceptable and harmful to everyone. It is not okay to disrespect women, people of color, people who identify with the LGBTQ community, those who are disabled or served in the military, or to engage in hate speech in any way. We support language that promotes diversity, compassion, empathy, and critical thinking.

Climate Change
We recognize that climate change is caused by human activity, impacting communities of color and lowincome communities more than privileged groups of people. Everyone is affected but not everyone is affected equally. We all are responsible; however, some people, corporations, and countries have a greater impact and should therefore bear more of the responsibility for our environment.

Marriage Equality and LGBTQ Equality
Marriage equality is the law of the land and needs no amendment. All people have the right to marry the person they love without fear of discrimination or negative repercussions. We celebrate loving families in their many forms. Moreover, we stand with the LGBTQ community toward equal rights and protections for those of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Immigrant Rights, Including Those of Undocumented People
The diversity of people in the greater Los Angeles area, a majority of whom are either immigrants themselves or directly related to one, creates a rich and vibrant culture in our communities. We stand in solidarity with, and are ready to defend the rights of immigrants, including undocumented peoples, in our communities and in our classrooms. Immigrant rights are human rights.

Public Schooling and the Purpose of Education
We believe that the purpose of schools is to educate all youth, meet their needs, and equip them with the knowledge, skills, and perspectives they need to fulfill their goals. All people should have access to a quality public education. We stand against the move to privatize schools.

Religious Freedom
In the United States, we have the right to practice any religion or no religion at all and not be penalized for our religious beliefs. We believe a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries penalizes Muslims by putting them under suspicion and perpetuating discriminatory practices and behaviors. This is unacceptable and threatens religious freedom for all groups.

Reproductive Rights
We believe that attacks on reproductive rights are a danger to women across the country. Those in positions of power must trust women to make decisions about their bodies and lives. Reproductive rights are central to the empowerment and equality of women in our society.

Black Lives Matter
UCLA TEP resoundingly declares that Black Lives Matter. The reality is that violent assaults against Black communities, particularly Black women, Black Trans women, and Black men are on-going. As a program that prepares socially just teachers to effectively serve high populations of Black youth, we remain committed to and support efforts in the movement for Black lives. Guided by principles of social justice, TEP will work toward supporting and working alongside Black students, Black teachers, Black communities, and allies until justice and equity are realized within and across institutions, most especially in our classrooms.

Indigenous Rights
The stealing of property and resources of indigenous peoples is and has always been wrong. We believe that the rights of indigenous peoples are violated and their voices ignored, and we stand in solidarity with the indigenous groups who are currently fighting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Classrooms should strive to be spaces of decolonization in which dominant narratives are deconstructed and challenged. We are committed to fighting and educating against future attacks on indigenous property and sovereignty.

Health Care
Health care is a fundamental right. We affirm that health care is foundational to the support and positive development of families and communities and should be expanded so that all of the uninsured people of this country are covered (27.3 million, 8.6% – By caring for everyone, we build stronger communities.

This statement represents our collective voice in TEP on many issues that are important in the current context, but we know that the list is not comprehensive and that there is much more that could be said about each point. There are still more issues that may emerge in the time ahead that threaten the core values of tolerance, multiculturalism, diversity, equity, social justice, and civil rights – all the things that we have been striving to advance for so long.

In the midst of oppression in the form of racism, misogyny, bigotry, and xenophobia, we cannot be silent. We must take a stand, speak out, and take action. Thank you for all that you do to advocate for the most vulnerable members of society. Your work matters and you matter.

We stand with you and beside you and behind you.

In Solidarity,

Rebecca Alber, Faculty
Melissa Arias, Faculty Advisor
Jaye T. Darby, Ph.D., Lecturer
Maurus Dumalaog, Field Supervisor
Marjorie Faulstich, Professor
Annamarie Francois, Executive Director, Center X; Faculty
Jackie Goldberg, Field Supervisor (retired)
Rachel Green, Faculty Advisor
Lorena I. Guillén, Assistant Professor
Emma Hipolito, UCLA Center X Ethnic Studies Initiative
Jackie Honda, Program Manager
Tyrone Howard, Faculty
Jo Ann Isken, Interim Director, UCLA TEP
Jarod Kawasaki, Faculty Advisor
Sara Kersey, Faculty Advisor
Jane Kim, Field Supervisor
Sunanda Kushon, Faculty Advisor
Darlene Lee, Faculty Advisor
Eduardo Lopez, Faculty Advisor
Imelda L. Nava, Faculty Advisor
Susan Oswald, University Field Supervisor
Jaime Park, Faculty Advisor
Faye Peitzman, Faculty Advisor
Karen S. Recinos, Lecturer
Jeff Share, Faculty Advisor
Concepcion M. Valadez, Research Professor

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