Lecturer to discuss xenophobia in classrooms


Courtesy of Cati de los Rios

Cati de los Rios is presenting a lecture titled “Literacy as Action in Enduring Climates of Xenophobia” which will focus of xenophobia in classrooms on September 17, 2019

Madison Mason

In the United States education system, the status of immigrant students is prevalent all across the nation. Cati de los Rios of the School of Education at the University of California, Davis, is giving a lecture titled, “Literacy as Action in Enduring Climates of Xenophobia” at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.

Xenophobia is defined as a dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries, according to Dictionary.com. In American society, xenophobia is apparent especially within classrooms where there is a lack of initiative to make those who are immigrants feel safe in American classrooms all across the nation.

De los Rios’ lecture is a response to Leigh Patel’s call to action to make literacy and schools sanctuaries for immigrant communities, in order to not only provide a concrete network for these communities, but also to stand in solidarity with them. De los Rios will talk about a high school’s ethnic studies program and how it affected immigrant families’ literacies in the community, describe the relationship between a university researcher and the ethnic studies program and talk about different theories of cultural weaving.

“This talk asks A: What do literacies look like in an ethnic studies course that designed learning around local community knowledge and sanctuary? B: How do students respond to such curricular designing?” de los Rios said.

This lecture is not only supposed to present attendees with this information, but also provides a chance for them to analyze this idea of literacy refuge that de los Rios offers as a solution. She will cover how this classroom approach can affect the future of migrant communities that live in this sociopolitical climate and offer them a discussion in order to better classroom practice and extend research on the topic.

De los Rios said she is speaking about this topic to extend ethnographic understanding in school based participatory projects and also to show intergenerational growth, sociopolitical awareness and to magnify social movements that are specifically for those that are a part of the Latinx community and immigrant families.

“Literacy as Action in Enduring Climates of Xenophobia” is a part of the 2019 Helen LeBaron Hilton Chair lecture series and is sponsored by the School of Education, the Committee on Lectures and the Helen LeBaron Hilton Chair lecture series.