Kaia Tollefson, PhD
CSU Channel Islands
Social Justice in and through Education
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing. -Arundhati Roy
Educators Doing Justice (EDJ)
Critical educators of Ventura County, California created EDJ in December 2016. This was at the end of a year problematically marked in a number ways: by violence and vitriol against people of color, women, LGBTQ people, and religious minorities; by the threats to democracy of superficial journalism, fake news, and media illiteracy; and by a rise to power through the normalizing of misogyny, racism, and lies. EDJ was created in this context as an act of love and hope — for ourselves and for our students, schools, communities, and country. Critical literacy is as needed now as in any previous point in our nation’s history. For critical education to grow, however, a sense of community for critical educators is also needed. EDJ was designed to help meet these needs. Contact me to join and to learn about the six Action Groups of EDJ.
In the Community: CAUSE and CABE
A great privilege I enjoy is membership on the directing boards for two wonderful community organizations. The Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) website states that its purpose is "to create a global community where we all contribute to, and benefit from, a sustainable economy that is just, prosperous and environmentally healthy." If you are interested in learning more or attending a fundraiser for CAUSE, please contact me. The Ventura Chapter of the California Association of Bilingual Educators (CABE) is an important voice for promoting bilingual education in our region. They're welcoming of monolingual allies, like me! Contact me if you would like more information about CABE and/or its annual Fall Conference in September.
Lacayo Vista Leadership Academy (LVLA)
The LVLA is a mentoring and leadership academy created through CSU Channel Islands Project Vista (2010-2015), a federal grant designed to promote post baccalaureate opportunities for Latina/o and other under-represented minority students. The LVLA, adapted from Dr. Kenneth Magdaleno’s Latino Leadership Academy mentoring model, was established to serve three purposes: (1) to develop a leadership pipeline for Latina/o leaders in education; (2) to create a mentoring and networking support system for participants; (3) provide outreach to P-12 students with the aims of improving educational access and/or success for Latina/o students of all ages, through post baccalaureate and graduate levels of education. The LVLA proudly bears the name of Dr. Hank Lacayo, a widely recognized national labor leader, advisor to United States presidents and governors, public servant and humanitarian. Fighting for justice has been Dr. Lacayo’s mission through many spheres of influence for over 60 years. The LVLA, which exists to combat what Patricia Gándara and Frances Contreras have called “the Latino education crisis,” shares this mission. Contact me to make a donation to support this mentoring, leadership and outreach effort.