AZCES Responds to Ore Sentencing and Calls for University Accountability

posted on behalf of Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies As we mourn the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old, young Black man from Ferguson, Missouri, and express our collective outrage and sadness at More »

AZCES Responds to Plea Deal in Ore Case

posted on behalf of Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies While Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies is relieved that the felony assault charge against Dr. Ore has been dropped, our members remain convinced that the More »

National Outpouring of Support For Investigation of ASUPD

posted on behalf of Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies Following the harsh treatment of Dr. Ersula Ore by campus police on May 20th, Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies (AZCES) issued a call to ASU More »

AZCES Poses Questions for Announced External Audit in Ore Case

posted on behalf of Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies Campus policing across the nation is becoming increasingly punitive, as evidenced most recently by the arrest of ASU faculty member Ersula Ore in Arizona, More »

Statement of Concern from Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies

posted on behalf of Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies The members of Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies and the undersigned organizations are deeply concerned by a recent incident involving an Arizona State University (ASU) More »

AZCES Responds to Ore Sentencing and Calls for University Accountability

posted on behalf of Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies

As we mourn the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old, young Black man from Ferguson, Missouri, and express our collective outrage and sadness at the escalating accounts of excessive and lethal force used by police across the country, we must recognize the direct relationship between these deaths and abusive incidents that occur in our own backyard. The members of Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies (AZCES) have previously expressed grave concerns regarding the recent incident involving the Arizona State University (ASU) police and ASU professor Ersula Ore. In this moment of widespread questioning of law enforcement priorities and practices across the nation, AZCES continues to demand that the University be held accountable for the conduct of its police force. We join communities and organizations throughout the country in emphasizing the need for all law enforcement agencies to prioritize and ensure the rights, dignity, and safety of everyone.

After a tremendous outpouring of public support for Professor Ore and national and international media scrutiny of the incident, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office dropped the most egregious charges against Professor Ore. Nevertheless, under plea agreement, she pled guilty to one misdemeanor count and was sentenced to nine months of probation and 50 hours of community service. As Reuters reported: “Ore told the Court the incident had changed her life forever and that she still believed she was unjustly abused.”[1] In her own words, she stated, “I am hurt. I’m upset. I am angry. I feel dirty and I feel violated.” Currently, the FBI is reviewing the incident and the arresting officer, Stewart Ferrin, remains on paid administrative leave. Despite disturbing video evidence of the incident and the ongoing FBI investigation, Professor Ore was chastised by the sentencing judge and was explicitly instructed to obey the police in the future, regardless of the circumstances. AZCES is troubled both by the tone and sentiment of the judge’s remarks because they preemptively deny Professor’s Ore’s civil liberties, especially her right to due process.

We are also troubled by ASU continued silence and failure to explain the incident to the public, particularly in light of a growing number of voices suggesting that Professor Ore’s experience was not isolated or exceptional.[2] While we commend the University for cooperating with the FBI’s investigation on the specific incident involving Professor Ore, we urge ASU to publicly address our previous call to conduct an independent and thorough audit of its overall police conduct with regard to racial profiling and the use of force.  To this end, we request specific responses to the following questions that remain unanswered:

  1. What policies and practices are in place at ASUPD regarding accountability for racial profiling and use of force?  How are complaints filed and investigated?  What is ASUPD’s record of complaints?  What kinds of training are in place to ensure police conduct that upholds the rights and dignity of all ASU community members?
  2. What is the name of the outside law enforcement agency that will be reviewing this case?  What, specifically will they be reviewing?  What are the standards they will be using to evaluate officer conduct?  How many similar audits have they conducted in the past and what have been the outcomes of their investigations?
  3. How will the results of this investigation (as well as that of the current FBI’s investigation) be shared with the public and will any ASU community members (faculty, students, and staff) be participating in conducting or overseeing the review?

We believe that the public has the right to know and be assured that the University is accountable for the conduct of its police force.

Contact: azcriticalethnicstudies@gmail.com


[1] http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/01/us-usa-arizona-professor-idUSKBN0G150U20140801

AZCES Responds to Plea Deal in Ore Case

posted on behalf of Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies

While Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies is relieved that the felony assault charge against Dr. Ore has been dropped, our members remain convinced that the circumstances of the arrest merit a thorough investigation of the policies and practices of the ASU Police Department. What transpired was a tragedy, which no one should have had to endure from simply walking on a street. We continue to believe that this incident should never have happened in the first place, and that it is emblematic of the need for a comprehensive review to ensure that university safety policies protect and remain accountable to the rights and dignity of all members of the community. We urge the public to keep watch and the FBI to thoroughly investigate the incident, as we await ASU’s official response to our call for an audit of their police force and a plan for community accountability.

Contact: azcriticalethnicstudies@gmail.com

National Outpouring of Support For Investigation of ASUPD

posted on behalf of Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies

Following the harsh treatment of Dr. Ersula Ore by campus police on May 20th, Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies (AZCES) issued a call to ASU administrators requesting an independent and thorough investigation of the incident and specific responses to the following questions:

1. What policies and practices are in place at ASUPD regarding accountability for racial profiling and use of force?  How are complaints filed and investigated?  What is ASUPD’s record of complaints?  What kinds of training are in place to ensure police conduct that upholds the rights and dignity of all ASU community members?

2. What is the name of the outside law enforcement agency that will be reviewing this case?  What, specifically will they be reviewing?  What are the standards they will be using to evaluate officer conduct?  How many similar audits have they conducted in the past and what have been the outcomes of their investigations?

3. How will the results of this investigation be shared with the public and will any ASU community members (faculty, students, and staff) be participating in conducting or overseeing the review?

Within days of the release of AZCES’s “Statement of Concern”:

  • 21 organizations have cosigned the statement, including several caucuses of the National Council of Teachers of English/Conference on College Composition and Communication, the Greater Phoenix Urban League, and the Asian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona;
  • over 40,000 individuals have viewed, reposted, and offer supportive comments;
  • over 13,000 individuals have signed onto an independently launched on-line petition demanding that the charges against Dr. Ore be dropped;
  • the story has been covered widely in the press by local, national as well international news outlets, ranging from CNN, the Huffington Post, and Inside HigherEd, to the Daily Mail in the UK and Romanian TV;
  • and the ASU administration has agreed to bring in an outside law enforcement agency (now identified as the FBI) to review the handling of Dr. Ore’s arrest.

We commend the university for placing the officer in question on administrative leave as well as requesting an FBI investigation into this incident. However, we continue to urge that ASU conduct an independent and thorough audit of its police in relation to racial profiling. As we and the general public await ASU’s official response to AZCES’s statement of concerns and questions, we will continue to bring visibility to this incident and demand that the University is accountable for the conduct of its police force.

Contact: azcriticalethnicstudies@gmail.com

AZCES Poses Questions for Announced External Audit in Ore Case

posted on behalf of Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies

Campus policing across the nation is becoming increasingly punitive, as evidenced most recently by the arrest of ASU faculty member Ersula Ore in Arizona, a state well-known for its widespread use of racial profiling.

As ethnic studies faculty and scholars from across the state, we are especially concerned about institutional accountability for campus law enforcement policies and practices regarding racial profiling and use of force.

Troubled by the ASU administration’s initial response to this incident claiming no concern for the possibility of police misconduct, Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies released a statement asking for a full investigation into the details of Dr. Ore’s arrest that led to the pending charges against her, and for comprehensive information about how ASU police officers are trained and held accountable for protecting the rights and dignity of every member of the ASU community.  We circulated the statement to the public and sent it to the offices of the ASU President and Provost.

Since the release, ASU administrators have declined to reply, however, we have received a tremendous response from individuals and organizations across the country expressing concern for Dr. Ore and support for our statement.

Following the dissemination of an ASUPD video documenting forceful police conduct during the arrest, widespread national and international media coverage has questioned the propriety of law enforcement actions and the criminal charges subsequently brought against Dr. Ore.

In response to this publicity, ASU administrators have issued a statement declaring their intention to bring in an outside law enforcement agency to investigate this incident.

Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies is encouraged by this shift in the ASU administration’s position concerning this incident and requests responses to the following questions:

1. What is the name of the outside law enforcement agency that will be reviewing this case?  What, specifically will they be reviewing?  What are the standards they will be using to evaluate officer conduct?  How many similar audits have they conducted in the past and what have been the outcomes of their investigations?

2. What policies and practices are in place at ASUPD regarding accountability for racial profiling and use of force?  How are complaints filed and investigated?  What is ASUPD’s record of complaints?  What kinds of training are in place to ensure police conduct that upholds the rights and dignity of all ASU community members?

3. How will the results of this investigation be shared with the public and will any ASU community members (faculty, students, and staff) be participating in conducting or overseeing the review?

Contact: azcriticalethnicstudies@gmail.com

Statement of Concern from Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies

posted on behalf of Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies

The members of Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies and the undersigned organizations are deeply concerned by a recent incident involving an Arizona State University (ASU) police officer and an ASU faculty member. We call for a swift and thorough investigation into this matter.

On the evening of May 20, 2014, Dr. Ersula Ore, a professor in the English department at ASU, was walking home from campus after teaching a summer course. Dr. Ore, who is African American, was stopped and questioned by a male ASU police officer patrolling the area in his vehicle. After a short exchange with the officer, a brief physical altercation ensued in which Dr. Ore, who was wearing a dress, was forced up against the officer’s car and then onto the ground, fully exposing portions of her lower body to the public. Eyewitness accounts of the incident, including video evidence, support Dr. Ore’s assertion that the officer did not clearly inform her regarding why she was being stopped or inform her of her rights, and engaged in excessive force during her detention. Despite these questionable circumstances, however, Dr. Ore has subsequently been charged with felony aggravated assault on the officer, among other charges.

We are troubled by the responses of the media, University, and ASU Police Department about this incident. Media versions have presented a sensationalized, one-sided story that differs substantially from Dr. Ore’s and eyewitness accounts. Officials at ASU, in response to questions about the incident and possible racial profiling, have sought to distance the University, stating that 1) because the incident occurred on a public street between parts of campus, it was technically “off campus,” so Dr. Ore was a private citizen; and 2) although they will comply with any investigation, there is no evidence of racial profiling. We find these responses insufficient. First, the officer involved was an ASU police officer and the University is responsible for the conduct of its employees, including its police force. Second, whether as a private citizen or as a member of the ASU community, Dr. Ore has the right to expect dignified and humane treatment by ASU’s police officers. ASU, as a public institution, has a responsibility to ensure this occurs. Third, ASU has not undertaken a thorough investigation into the matter, so how can officials claim that there is an absence of racial profiling? In a state and metropolitan region in which racial profiling has been proven to be widespread, the ASU administration’s lack of concern for the well-being of an ASU community member of color is unacceptable.

Given that the mission of the ASU Police Department is, “To enhance the quality of life by providing a safe and secure environment through professional and proactive law enforcement services in partnership with the University community,” this incident clearly warrants further inquiry from ASU.  We ask the ASU administration to conduct a comprehensive investigation into this matter as well as an audit on the conduct of its police force vis-à-vis racial profiling.  How can ASU ensure a safe, secure, and just environment for its faculty, students, and staff if it disclaims any responsibility for the actions of ASU police officers? The following questions should be starting points for its audit: In the ASU Police Department, what training is in place to ensure that its police officers are knowledgeable and well-trained to be in compliance with laws prohibiting racial profiling and excessive force? What monitoring systems exist to ensure accountability? How does the department respond to racial profiling complaints?

Dr. Ore, the ASU community, and the broader public deserve a full and just investigation into this incident.

Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies is a network of college and university educators and independent scholars throughout Arizona.

Contact: AZCriticalEthnicStudies@gmail.com

Cosigned by:

National Council of Teachers of English/Conference on College Composition and Communication Latino Caucus

National Council of Teachers of English/Conference on College Composition and Communication Black Caucus

National Council of Teachers of English/Conference on College Composition and Communication American Indian Caucus

National Council of Teachers of English/Conference on College Composition and Communication Queer Caucus

National Council of Teachers of English/Conference on College Composition and Communication Asian/Asian American Caucus

National Association of Multicultural Education

National Association for Multicultural Education, California Chapter

Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Kalamazoo College

Asian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona

Greater Phoenix Urban League

American Friends Service Committee of Arizona

Critical Ethnic Studies Association Working Committee

Pittsburgh Collaborative for Working Class Studies

Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Oregon State University

Third Woman Press Collective

SAFE Groups (Sexual Assault Forums for Every Veteran and Civilian)

Save Wįyąbi Project

Grandmothers of the Light, Inc., A California 501(c)3 charity

Facundo Element

Against Equality

LGBT Books to Prisoners

Multiracial Americans of Southern California

Reflections: A Journal of Public Rhetoric, Civic Writing, and Service Learning

Association of American Indian Premedical Warriors

 

POC ZINE PROJECT

SAVE THE DATE: October 14, 2013 #RaceRiotTour in Tucson, AZ!<br />
Much love to Adela, Sarita, Lizeth and everyone else in Tucson who has helped to coordinate our AZ date &lt;3 Please support these folks by clicking on their names and learning more about what they do. They are amazing.<br />
Both of our Tucson events are free and we do accept donations. Please give what you can-funds go toward gas and other essential tour costs.<br />
VENUES, TIMES &amp; ADDRESSES<br />
Both events are on October 14, 2013<br />
ON CAMPUS: University of Arizona - SIRLS department - 1515 East First Street, Tucson, AZ 85719<br />
NOON - 2:30pm (there will be tabling space! bring yr materiality &lt;3)<br />
IN COMMUNITY: Skrappy’s Youth Collective - 191&#160;E Toole Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701</p>
<p> 7pm-9:30pm (Bring yr materiality, we&#8217;ll have free tabling space &lt;3 and the venue is wheelchair accessible)<br />
- Featuring a performance by Shining Soul, plus other special guests!<br />
Here is the Facebook invite for both events. RSVP if yr coming - it gives us an approximate sense of what to expect &lt;3<br />
COMMUNITY: We were invited to table at the Punk Swap Event at Skrappy&#8217;s from 5-10pm on October 12, 2013. We&#8217;re in! Hope to see you there too to support Skrappy&#8217;s, who donated their space to us. Free tabling for POC.<br />
Punk Swap event info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/522666497807562<br />
#RaceRiotTour Image credit: Adela C. Licona, author of Zines In Third Space.<br />
______________<br />
WANT MORE?<br />
Meet the first-ever #RaceRiotTour wellness team &lt;3<br />
Meet Tracey Brown, 2013 #RaceRiotTour dedicated driver/mediator! &lt;3<br />
Meet Nyky Gomez, POCZP distro partner &amp; 2013 #RaceRiottour member<br />
Meet Nia King, 2013 #RaceRiotTour member<br />
Meet Anna Vo, 2013 #RaceRiotTour member<br />
We will share more 2013 #RaceRiotTour member bios between now and our kickoff date, October 3, 2013 in NOLA. We have 19 confirmed touring members so far &lt;3 Bookmark our #RaceRiotTour landing page, as we will update it with all bio links and other important information in the coming days.<br />
______________<br />
SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT<br />
If everyone in our community gave $10, we would more than meet our fundraising goal for 2013. If you have it to spare, we appreciate your support. All funds go to our 2013 tour, the Legacy Series and the poverty zine series.<br />
DONATE link via PayPal: http://bit.ly/SHdmyh

SAVE THE DATE: October 14, 2013 #RaceRiotTour in Tucson, AZ!

Much love to AdelaSaritaLizeth and everyone else in Tucson who has helped to coordinate our AZ date <3 Please support these folks by clicking on their names and learning more about what they do. They are amazing.

Both of our Tucson events are free and we do accept donations. Please give what you can-funds go toward gas and other essential tour costs.

VENUES, TIMES & ADDRESSES

Both events are on October 14, 2013

ON CAMPUS: University of Arizona – SIRLS department - 1515 East First Street, Tucson, AZ 85719

NOON – 2:30pm (there will be tabling space! bring yr materiality <3)

IN COMMUNITY: Skrappy’s Youth Collective - 191 E Toole Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701

October 14, 2013 flier for our community #raceriottour event in Tucson, AZ

 7pm-9:30pm (Bring yr materiality, we’ll have free tabling space <3 and the venue is wheelchair accessible)

- Featuring a performance by Shining Soul, plus other special guests!

Here is the Facebook invite for both events. RSVP if yr coming – it gives us an approximate sense of what to expect <3

COMMUNITY: We were invited to table at the Punk Swap Event at Skrappy’s from 5-10pm on October 12, 2013. We’re in! Hope to see you there too to support Skrappy’s, who donated their space to us. Free tabling for POC.

Punk Swap event info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/522666497807562

#RaceRiotTour Image credit: Adela C. Licona, author of Zines In Third Space.

______________

WANT MORE?

We will share more 2013 #RaceRiotTour member bios between now and our kickoff date, October 3, 2013 in NOLA. We have 19 confirmed touring members so far <3 Bookmark our #RaceRiotTour landing page, as we will update it with all bio links and other important information in the coming days.

______________

SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT

If everyone in our community gave $10, we would more than meet our fundraising goal for 2013. If you have it to spare, we appreciate your support. All funds go to our 2013 tour, the Legacy Series and the poverty zine series.

DONATE link via PayPal: http://bit.ly/SHdmyh

Why does ethnic studies matter to Western history? | showdownontheborder

Posted on October 2, 2013

SHOWDOWN ON THE BORDER: CIVIL DISCOURSE FOR UNCIVIL TIMES

When: 2:00pm – 4:00pm 10/12/13

Where: Tucson Meet Yourself, Community Matters Stage, El Presidio Park, downtown Tucson

Why does ethnic studies matter to Western history? Come explore this question as part of the Showdown on the Border: Civic Discourse in Uncivil Times. Join your neighbors along with nationally recognized scholars who will put contemporary Arizona politics into historical context. This free public forum is the second of a two-part series; the first forum will be held October 9th at the Westin La Paloma at 4:30PM. This event is organized by the University of Arizona history department and has been made possible by the Arizona Humanities Council.

Participating scholars include: Kelly Lytle Hernandez, UCLA; Evelyn Hu-deHart, Brown University; Patricia Nelson Limerick, University of Colorado; Quintard Taylor, University of Washington.

via Why does ethnic studies matter to Western history? | showdownontheborder.

Workers on the Rise

from Michelle Tellez

You can purchase the 25:40 minute video, please visit: azworkerrightscenter.org/

Through interviews and documentary footage Workers on the Rise follows the history and work of the Arizona Worker Rights Center, a local non-profit organization that tracks labor rights violations, challenges abusive employers, promotes worker friendly legislation and develops worker leadership and community in Phoenix.

Por medio de entrevistas y grabaciones Workers on the Rise (Trabajadores en La Lucha) sigue la historia y trabajo del Centro de Derechos Laborales de Arizona, una organización sin fines de lucro que documenta violaciones de derechos laborales, enfrenta empleadores abusivos, promueve legislación a favor de los trabajadores, y desarolla liderazgo y comunidad en Phoenix.

via Workers on the Rise Trailer on Vimeo.

DREAMzone Ally Certification Program | School of Transborder Studies

DREAMzone Ally Certification Program

DREAMzone is a comprehensive professional development workshop at Arizona State University that provides student leaders, staff, and faculty with the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to effectively respond to the presence and needs of undocumented students at institutions of higher education. DREAMzone’s primary objective is to create inclusive and supportive campus environments conducive to the educational success of undocumented students.  Modeled after successful Safe Zone programs across the country, DREAMzone is a 4-hour ally certification training designed to establish a visible support network for undocumented students at Arizona State University.

DREAMzone emerged out of the DREAMer Research Initiative, a collaborative effort amongst faculty, staff, and administrators garnering support for a comprehensive response to the unmet social, cultural and academic needs of undocumented students at institutions of higher education. The name DREAMzone is derived from the alias “DREAMers,” which undocumented students have adopted, as potential beneficiaries of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

DREAMzone prepares participants to effectively respond to the presence and needs of undocumented students by:

Challenging participants to identify and deconstruct their preconceptions of undocumented student populations

Increasing participants’ content knowledge regarding federal, state, and institutional policies directly affecting the undocumented college student experience

Providing participants the opportunity to engage in dialogue with a panel of undocumented students

Helping participants develop competencies and skills for working with undocumented students, and serving as allies

DREAMzone Facilitators

If you have any questions about DREAMzone, or would like to host a workshop for your department, college or university, please email Jesus.Cisneros@asu.edu or Davier.Rodriguez@asu.edu.

via DREAMzone Ally Certification Program | School of Transborder Studies.

Interest in ethnic studies jumps after Arizona ban – latimes.com

by: Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times

Chicano and Latino literature libraries are springing up nationwide, and students are gravitating toward the topic after a law dismantled Tucson schools’ Mexican American studies program last year.

People protest in front of Tucson Magnet High School.

People demonstrate in front of Tucson Magnet High School in 2010, protesting an Arizona law banning Mexican American studies at Tucson public schools. (James S. Wood / March 23, 2013)

TUCSON — Arizona lawmakers passed a law to dismantle a Mexican American studies program in Tucson schools, but the legislation has had an unintended effect: The controversy is renewing interest in the state and nationwide in ethnic studies and Chicano and Latino literature.

Some Tucson students have found new ways to study the subject while receiving college credit to boot. Others who had no interest on the topic say they are now drawn to the material.

“Underground” libraries with Chicano literature are popping up across the Southwest and are set to open soon in unexpected places such as Milwaukee and Louisville.

“I guess the irony is … that we have banded together and created a new civil rights movement, a renaissance in Latino literature. Now there are people in Louisville, Ky., who will be enjoying Chicano literature,” said Tony Diaz.

Diaz heads Librotraficante, a group that raises money to buy books and open libraries to keep Mexican American studies alive. The state ban was the impetus for Librotraficante — whose name is Spanish for “book smuggler.”

continue reading: Interest in ethnic studies jumps after Arizona ban – latimes.com.

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