A Chicano Educator is one who is dedicated to transforming the lives and community of the students he serves. He is first and foremost a servant who places his community before anyone else. His politics are grounded in the Chicano Movement, a movement of "Mexican Americans" who took a stand for their land, Aztlan, and the liberation of his people. That is not to say he is not dedicated and in solidarity with other marginalized groups, however, he is one who believes in self- determination. Which means it is his role to place his community at the center of the struggle, while simultaneously standing in solidarity with others.
A Chicano Educator has pride in himself and his community. He stands a little taller than some of his peers because he knows his heritage, history, and is politicized. He is not afraid to call out injustice and teaches critical consciousness with his students. He knows that power is always is negotiated and that Gringo Nativism will not easily go away, not even on native indigenous land.
He understands that we all have colonized minds and that it is our duty to struggle with those most marginalized in society though educational attainment. This means preparing our youth to go to college for the very purpose to transform themselves and the institution itself.
A Chicano Educator is a scholar warrior, a hope dealer, a decolonizer and most importantly, teaches and organizes to liberate minds and transform the material conditions of his community. He plays a pivotal role as an educator, to work with students and families to organize for a better tomorrow.
A Chicano Educator understands the dialectical nature of the struggle, does allow identity politics dictate the work that needs to be done so that his people, and all people, become free to determine their own destiny and not continually be marginalized by legalization status, language, or social economic class etc.
Last, but not least, a Chicano Educator goes beyond the four walls of the classroom and is part of authentic organizations dedicated to the principals he upholds to help the generation of Raza students fulfill their destiny.
?íQue Viva La Raza! ?íQue Vivan Los Maestros! ?íTierra o Muerte Vencermos!
Jose Lara has been teaching in South Central Los Angeles for over a decade. He is proud to be the advisor for MEChA and GSA student clubs on campus. Follow Mr. Lara on twitter @josedelbarrio