MECA Marks 70th Anniversary of Landmark Desegregation Case

by Estelle W

On August 19-20, school teachers, university professors and graduate students from throughout California will gather at the Anaheim Convention Center for the Multicultural Education Conference in Anaheim (MECA) to see 30 speakers on bilingual education/ dual immersion, intercultural communications and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Special Guest, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and civil rights activist, Sylvia Mendez will speak on Saturday at 1 pm. 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the historic Mendez v. Westminster civil rights case. This was the first case in which segregation in education was successfully challenged in federal courts, resulting in the desegregation of public schools in California and becoming an example for broader decisions, such as Brown v. Board of Education, in which the United States Supreme Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. Sylvia Mendez is the daughter of Gonzalo Mendez, a Mexican immigrant and Felicitas Mendez, a Puerto Rican immigrant, who fought so that Sylvia could have an equal education. Sylvia frequently speaks on conveying the importance of obtaining an education by encouraging students to stay in school and continue their education.

Anaheim City Council Member Dr. Jose Moreno and Anaheim Union High School District Superintendent Michael Matsuda, who co-wrote the statewide curriculum on Mendez v. Westminster will join in honoring Ms. Mendez, following their individual presentations. Michael Matsuda, who was named the 2017 Administrator of the Year by the California Association of Bilingual Education, will speak on “Strengthening Democracy in Public Schools” on Sat. Aug. 19 from 11:00 am to 11:45 am and Dr. Moreno, who is also an associate professor and former chair in the Department of Chicano & Latino Studies at California State University, Long Beach, will give the Intercultural Keynote Presentation on Saturday at 12:15 pm.

TESOL Featured Speakers include Dr. David Nunan and Dr. Kathleen Bailey, who are former Presidents of the TESOL International Association, the world’s largest language teaching organization. Kathleen Bailey, who was also the 2016 President of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, will give the opening TESOL presentation on Saturday from 9:15 am to 10:00 am, followed by David Nunan’s TESOL Plenary Presentation at 10:05 am to 10:50 am. Dr. Nunan, who is the world’s leading textbook author of over 2.5 billion textbooks with his textbook series Go For It, will do a book signing for his textbook Teaching English to Young Learners on Sun. Aug. 20 from 3:45 pm to 4:00 pm. following his 2:00 pm to 3:45 pm presentations on “Blended Language Learning.” The Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning Executive Director Dr. Sharroky Hollie will also do a book signing for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning (Second Edition) on Sun. Aug. 20 from 12:00 pm to 12:45 pm following his 11:15 am presentation on “Six Ways to Know if you are Culturally and Linguistically Responsive.”

There is no charge for event registrants but online registration is required. The event is hosted by The Academia Foundation (a non-profit public charity (a 501(c)(3) organization)) and sponsors include Anaheim University, California State University Los Angeles, California State University Long Beach, California State University Fullerton, California State University San Marcos, Disneyland Resort, Epson and Sister Cities International. See the event website at http:// www.academiafoundation. org for details.

The Academia Foundation: admin@academiafoundation.org.

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