NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public Relations Committee Chair
February 23, 2012- REFORMA Passes Resolution in Support of the Students of the Outlawed Mexican American Studies Program in the Tucson Unified School District
Rockville, MD- REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking, has passed a resolution to condemn the dismantling of the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) Mexican American Studies (MAS) program, and removal of textbooks from the classrooms. Established in 1971 as an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), REFORMA has actively sought to promote the information needs of the U.S. Latino population for the last forty years.
The recent actions taken by TUSD are a violation of REFORMA’s core principles of intellectual freedom and equity of access. Since the inception of the state of Arizona legislation that challenges Ethnic Studies, REFORMA members have continued to voice concern and raise awareness over these issues “Through this resolution, REFORMA strongly asserts Tucson students' right to intellectual freedom, and their right to read books important to their understanding of their history and culture,” said President Maria Kramer.
REFORMA members have long lead advocacy efforts related to diversity and censorship, and were instrumental in developing ALA’s recent Resolution Opposing Restriction of Access to Materials and Open Inquiry in Ethnic and Cultural Studies Programs in Arizona. "The ALA resolution carries incredible weight in that it makes a powerful statement by a leading national organization of librarians who understand full well the meaning of the First Amendment," said Past REFORMA President Oralia.
Kramer further expressed REFORMA’s resolve: “The fight is not over yet, but I am proud that REFORMA took the initiative and that the ALA Council passed the resolution.”
With the recent decisions made by TUSD, the association plans to take additional steps to best support these stakeholders in a meaningful way. This includes creating educational programs about the value and meaning of intellectual freedom and censorship, and creating resources in support of the students of the MAS program to further their pursuit of learning.
To read the Resolution in Support of the Students of the Outlawed Mexican American Studies Program in the Tucson Unified School District, click here