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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Teachers 4 Social Justice Conference


Mission High School
San Francisco, CA
by Glenn Robinson

Teachers 4 Social Justice Conference is an annual free event held in San Francisco, California

The event is open to anyone and everyone; not just teachers.

This year they had two keynote speakers. The morning keynote speaker was Sean Arce, former Director of Mexican American Studies in the Tucson Unified School District. The evening speaker was Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita of Language, Literacy and Culture at the School of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

After the first keynote speaker the audience broke out into different classrooms. This was held at Mission High School, so you actually sit in a high school classroom to learn your topic of Social Justice. The list of classes offered in 2012 is here.

Dolores Park with view of Mission High School
San Francisco, CA
Photo from Taj M. on Yelp

Photo from Dave H. on Yelp
After your first class you break for lunch and either wait in the long line for the free vegetarian lunch or go across the street for a bite at Dolores Park Cafe.

When you return from lunch you see the second keynote speaker. After that you breakout into your workshop in another classroom.


I attended "Rethinking The 'Line Between Us' Bringing History Alive In The Classroom" which was taught by none other than Bill Bigelow, author of the banned book "Rethinking Columbus" and a Social Studies teacher for almost 30 years who had taught in Oregon. And yes, he taught about the U.S. Mexico boarder even though he was one state away from the border.

In class he had us read a couple paragraphs from a slip of paper about a real character from the Mexican-American War. He had us assume the role of that person, name tag and all, then go around the class and find another real character who had something to gain from the war; who had something to loose from the war; and someone who didn't care either way.

I really enjoyed the day and hope to make it back every year.

You can follow Teachers 4 Social Justice on FacebookTwitter and WordPress

Although their conference is free they do ask for at least a $5 donation.



Glenn is of the Irish, German, Dutch, English, and Austrian diaspora; taken by Charo who is of Spanish and Amerindian heritage. They have two children (made in California). He likes sociology, anthropology, psychology & history. Check his work and connect with him at CommunityVillage.US