After a couple months of hibernation (as we here at Collage celebrated the holidays and prepared for 2019), we’re back, and we’ve got some big things coming!
To begin with, our second Collage@Odyssey term being this week at Odyssey School of Denver! This term we’ve expanded the course by two sessions, as we dig deeper into issues of immigration, race, class, gender, and more! Collage@Odyssey provides a differentiated and grade-appropriate curriculum that can be tailored to any student’s needs, however we find that generally, the format is most accessible to students in grades 3 and above. Email Cameron or Maníge at email@example.com for more information, or to register your student.
Also, the Shop will be closing in the next few weeks. After a few-month trial run, we’ve decided that merchandise is not a direction we wish to pursue at the moment. We’ll still be producing posters and other materials for homes and classrooms, but we’re considering other avenues to make those available to you.
Finally, because Collage Colorado supports DCTA and Denver teachers, and because we refuse to cross picket lines, we may be forced to make modifications to the Collage@Odyssey syllabus and agenda. We will provide details as they are available.
Keep an eye here for more details soon. Cheers, Fam!
2019 Collage Colorado Women of Power Calendar – Now in the Facebook Shop!
Happy Black Friday! Around here we’re normally not much for the shopping insanity that comes with the day, but we *had* to introduce our 2019 Women of Power Calendar! Each page honors the powerful roles women of color embody in the world; show a fierce woman in your life that you see her strength with this calendar! $15 in our Shop. (Oh, and don’t forget, there are a few days left in our Fall for All sale! Use discount code FALL4ALL at checkout for $10 off any purchase of $40 or more!)
It’s cool outside, the leaves here in Denver, Colorado have all fallen, and kids are out of school on Thanksgiving Break. Given how cozy and quiet this season is supposed to be, it might seem like an odd time to talk about education, immigration, and human rights.
In fact, all three are tremendously important issues, and there isn’t any better time than now to talk about all three and how they intersect – not in spite of the holiday, but because of it. Let me explain.
A Little History
A lot could be said about the Thanksgiving Story, and a lot has over the years – most of it horribly untrue (warning – there is one bad word at the end of the video). The version of the story taught in schools for most parents today was at best horribly culturally insensitive; schools now do marginally better, though they often still gloss over the colonial overtones. Quaint or not, though, every version of the story has a few things in common: people whose lives were threatened in their homeland were forced to leave to find safety, and they arrived in a new place, only to discover that their new home wasn’t especially hospitable either.
Now, as we approach this Thanksgiving in the United States, another group of refugees is approaching the borders of this country. The difference, this time, is that these pilgrims are not colonizers seeking to take someone else’s home for their own, they are colleagues called by the promise of safety, opportunity, and the dignity of basic human rights – ostensibly the promise our nation makes to the world.
pilgrim noun pil·grim | \ˈpil-grəm \ Definition of pilgrim 1 : one who journeys in foreign lands : WAYFARER
There are lots of things we could discuss when it comes to human rights – for example, what’s a right, and what’s a privilege? Does cultural heritage take priority over human rights? How do we protect them?
Nearly every nation in the world has some document that defines the rights that country protects within its borders. Similarly, the United Nations has a Universal Declaration of Human Rights as an outline for a basic quality of life and security for all people, that is theoretically supported by all the member nations. In reality, there are sometimes huge discrepancies between words and actions… and that leads us to the issue today.
human rights plural noun \ˈhyü-mən \ˈrīts Definition of human rights : rights (such as freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture, and execution) regarded as belonging fundamentally to all persons
One of the things we take for granted in this country is access to an education. In fact, education in the United States is compulsory, meaning that at least basic education is expected for everyone, and the legal systems here can take action to compel people to offer or receive it. Besides that, we argue about it, we spend more or less fantastical sums of money on it (mostly less, lately, but still – it’s a big industry)
Given all of that, one would assume that education was a basic human right in the United States… but it’s not!
It’s true… although education is essentially mandatory here in the USA, it is not protected in the US Bill of Rights or any other document here. And while education is the entire focus of Article 26 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as it stands the US has no intention of changing that. But education is protected here, and in fact, the United States protects education in a way many others do not: in the USA, education cannot be restricted based on immigration status.
asylee noun asy·lee | \ə-ˌsī-ˈlē \ plural asylees Definition of asylee law : someone who is seeking asylum (see ASYLUM sense 3b) or who has been granted asylum
Where Immigration and Education Meet: The Case of Plyler v. Doe
While the nation debates what other protections, services, and (upsettingly) consequences the caravans of asylees might face upon arrival, one issue that was settled long ago is that of all children among the caravans are entitled to an education once they are on US soil. How?
The Not-Quite-Right to education for all, regardless of immigration status, was established in the United States Supreme Court Case Plyler v. Doe. The case, originally brought by families in Texas whose undocumented children were being forced to attend schools other than their local public schools, and pay exorbitant and prohibitive tuition. The Supreme Court decided that this was unconstitutional, and in 1982 decided in favor of the plaintiffs (the person suing – in this case the parents).
So, whatever Trump (or any administrations) thinks of those seeking life, safety, and security by making their pilgrimage to the United States, and whatever else happens, we owe the children coming here the sanctuary of school, not the fear of imprisonment.
Last week may have seemed a little quiet around here, but behind the scenes, a lot was happening to gear up for this week and beyond! We can’t tell you all the details yet, but a few things to look out for this week include…
La Frontera: Immigration and Education in Trump’s America – Did you think education was a human right? In the USA it’s not, but it is protected. This Wednesday, find out how, and what that means for us as a country, in our special report about the complex intersection between immigration in the United States today, and the theoretical right to education.
Fall for All Sale – Who needs the stress of Black Friday or Cyber Monday? From Monday, November 19th to Tuesday, November 26th, type in the discount code FALL4ALL at checkout for $10 off any order of $40 or more! Head over to our Facebook shop and check it out. Cheers!
Early Registration for Collage @ Odyssey Spring Session – Collage @ Odyssey’s Fall 2018 course is close to wrapping up, and winter break is fast approaching, and that means that it’s almost time to start registering for the Spring! More details will be posted soon, but if you’re a Denver-area parent, you can take a look at our course overview in the meantime.
Big Black Friday Reveal – We can’t say any more that that right now, but suffice it to say, there’s something big coming at the end of the week. Stay tuned!
Much, Much More!
We can’t wait to share all the things with you; keep an eye out here and on our social media as the week progresses!
We here just needed to take a moment today to say THANK YOU ALL! This week, the Collage Facebook Page topped 200 followers, and our posts are being seen by 20,000 people a month! Thank you all so much for your likes, follows, shares, comments, and more. You are what keeps us going, and keeps our mission moving forward.