Why teaching about diversity in schools will be a big battle this year

📢 Axios Latino is the newsletter that summarizes the key news for Latino communities in the hemisphere every Tuesday and Thursday. You can subscribe by clicking here.

1. The Topic to Spotlight: The Fight of the Semester in School Districts

Those who promote that schools teach various topics with a diversity approach and the impact of racism is studied, they are getting ready for a new battle against the conservative movements that want to ban those initiatives o delete readings that address those teachings, sometimes known as critical race theory (CRT).

This time they may be better prepared than last year, as students, librarians, academics and other professionals are organizing protests and winning public office in school districts.

why does it matter: About 25% of the Kindergarten through 12th grade students in the United States they are Latino, according to the Census. Half of the entire student body are Hispanic, Black, Asian, or of Native American or Indian descent.

  • Given this growing diversity, several districts have asked school boards to make social studies classes more inclusive.
  • While fights over CRT in schools—although rarely a topic taught at the elementary level—have become so intense in recent years that races to form school boards have seen threats of death against teachers.

Panorama general: In the November mid-term elections, several conservative candidates critical of the CRT, and some were elected to school board seats. People who support subjects that include issues of systemic racism were also voted for.

Protests in January at Great Oak High School in Temecula, California, against attempts to ban teaching on diversity and racism. Watchara Phomicinda/The Press-Enterprise via Getty Images

In figures: In 1,530 school districts in 49 states there were school board members in January who took a stand on CRT in the election, illustrating just how prominent the issue has become nationally, according to the election analysis site Ballotpedia.

  • Candidates for educational positions who are opposed to subjects with CRT they earned almost 28% of the positions at stake, according to these data. Almost 40% of those who support having CRT won.
  • At least 14 states have enacted legislation to limit the teaching of “divisive concepts,” or CRT, in 2021 and 2022, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Current situation: Republican governors like Ron DeSantisof Florida, and Greg Abbott, of Texas, based part of their campaigns on the debate about what to teach in schools after passing measures such as “don’t say gay“, which prohibits talking about sexual orientation or gender identity. DeSantis and Abbott won and have said they study more laws against different teachings.

  • Republican leaders in North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana y Missouri push for bills banning CRT in schools.
  • The Governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, signed this week after a series of executive orders were inaugurated. One of them is, he said, to prevent public schools from “indoctrinating” with CRT. He also prohibited the use of the term in government materials. latinx.

yes but: In other states, such as New Mexico, which has the highest percentage of the Hispanic population in the US, Democrats and supporters of teaching about racism have vowed to block any anti-CRT bill.

  • “These measures will not prosper,” legislator Javier MartĂ­nez, nominated to preside over the state House of Representatives, told Axios Latino.

2. Who is missing from medical schools?

The proportion of Hispanic faculty in US medical schools has declined over the past three decades, even as they have become more diverse, according to a study published in December in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

why does it matter: Latinos are about 19% of the population, but only 3.4% of the faculty of medical schools in 2021, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Illustration of a pencil eraser erasing parts of a medical red cross
Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

In figures: The study, conducted by researchers at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Rochester, found that the representation ratio of Hispanic faculty—their participation in medical schools in proportion to their participation in the total US population—dropped on average one 1.7% each year from 1990 to 2019.

  • The average number of black faculty in medical schools rose 0.5% each year over the same period, and that of Asians by 1.6%.
  • There were no changes for non-Hispanic white faculty.

Yes, but: The percentage of Latino students enrolling in medical schools last year grew four percentage points, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

  • Latinos now represent 12% of all students.

3. The man behind historical showcases

Manny Urquizo, a Peruvian who immigrated to New Jersey when he was seven, is now responsible for some of New York’s most iconic decorations.

Details: Urquizo was named head of Macy’s window and window program two years ago, where he oversees the windows of the brand’s flagship store.

  • Urquizo says he spends almost nine months of the year planning the window displays for the Christmas season. That means that now that the designs set for the holidays of 2022 will change, very soon the team will already be working on this year’s.

Panorama general: Retail stores like Macy’s have diversified little by little who does the jobs at the corporate level, especially in the last two years. But there are still considerable gaps.

4. Summary of key news in Latin America and the Caribbean

1. A Brazilian judge ordered the Anderson Torres arrestformer head of security in the capital, accused of sabotage security operations of Brasilia before the attacks on Congress, the Supreme Court and the Presidential Palace on Sunday.

  • Torres, who was in Florida when supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the buildings, was fired that same day.
  • when pronouncing about the accusations, he said that he has always acted in an “ethical and legal” manner and promised to return to Brazil.

2. The Public Ministry of Peru opened a criminal investigation on the government’s response to the protests that have left 47 dead for a month.

  • The protesters demand that the new president, Dina Boluarte, resign and that there be elections immediately, in rejection of the fact that former president Pedro Castillo was removed by Congress (after he tried to dissolve the legislative body) and is now under arrest.

Pachanga Thursday

Every Thursday we publish our Pachanga to highlight achievements of our readers. If you have just celebrated an anniversary, adopted a pet or had a job success and you want to celebrate it, send an email and photo to axioslatino@axios.com

It’s impressive: Carlota Ortiz Monasterio, an art historian and curator from Mexico City, has just opened her first institutional and international art exhibition.

Photo of a woman speaking in front of two microphones with a red garigole background
Photographic background illustration by Axios Visuals. Photo courtesy of Carlota Ortiz Monasterio
  • Is found in the House of Mexico in Spain, located in Madrid, and presents the works of 14 artists from different parts of Mexico. He tells us that the goal is to celebrate the diversity of contemporary Mexican art.
  • The exhibition began on December 15 and ends on February 12. And, he tells us, more than 900 people turned out on opening night alone. Congratulations!

Thanks for reading us! We return on Tuesday.

Do you want to read any of the previous editions?

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