Working Class Speaker Series set to Launch


Dr. Ana Carolina Díaz Beltrán

On October 14, 2019, Anthracite Unite will kick off it’s Working Class Speaker Series with a ‘virtual visit’ from Dr. Ana Carolina Díaz Beltrán (she will join us via video conference), who is a Clinical Professor of Multicultural Education at Texas A&M University.

The event will take place at The Sage Exchange (11 E. Broad Street; Hazleton, PA). It begins at 6:30 PM. You can find more information about the event on its Facebook page or contact us with any questions. Childcare is available during the event and we’ll provide light refreshments.

Dr. Díaz Beltrán will share findings from her dissertation research, which she conducted in one of Hazleton’s public schools. As many of our readers know, the injustices – racial and otherwise – at the Hazleton Area School District (HASD) have been a point of focus for Anthracite Unite over the past year (see “Solidarity with HAHS Students”; “A Travesty in Hazleton”“Taking on the Establishment”; “Meet Taira Ferreras”; “Someone Who’s Been Through It”; and “Knocking on Doors”).

Her talk is titled, “Am I North American or South American? Latina/o Youth’s Narratives of Citizenship and Belonging in Hazleton”. As she describes it:

Latina/o youth’s identities are multi-layered. They are frequently multi-lingual and are connected to multiple communities within the US and globally. However, the expectation is for Latina/o youth and their families to assimilate into ideas of citizenship dominated by White norms and ideologies about culture, beliefs and behaviors.

In this talk I will: 1) discuss how these expectations for assimilation create deficit narratives of Latina/o youth and their families in one of Hazleton’s public schools, and 2) describe Latina/o youth’s moments of authentic inquiry about their cultural identities, about who they are and where they come from, as well as the ways in which they resist deficit narratives.

With this talk I hope to provide some points of conversation about education and belonging to create paths other than those of cultural assimilation. I will present three stories that come out of my dissertation research in one of Hazleton’s public schools.

The talk will be followed by a discussion with Dr. Díaz Beltrán. She said it is her hope – and it is also ours – that the stories she tells “generate opportunities for reflection and transformative conversations that center the lived experiences of Latinx youth in Hazleton.”

Professor Díaz Beltrán hails from the Andean Mountains of Columbia and is a former social studies teacher. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Universidad de low Andes in Bogotá, Columbia and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the Pennsylvania State University. At Texas A&M in College Station, she is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Multicultural Education, focusing her research on topics of citizenship, curriculum and narrative research. She is also the co-director of the short documentary Schooling Narratives, which shares the experiences of three families of color as they navigate the school system in State College, PA.

The Working Class Speaker Series will pick up steam in 2020, where we will welcome 5-6 additional speakers over the course of the year. Stay tuned for an announcement in the coming months regarding our 2020 schedule. If you have suggestions for speakers and/or topics, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

We hope to see you on October 14!

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One comment

  1. kakisjog133 · ·

    Thanks to Jamie et al (I met Jamie at Wilkes U Sordoni Gallery on Tuesday) who are heading this effort. I want to be a part of it. However, my obligations leave me with little time for this. Please let us know how we can participate online. Oh, I am going to an event on Saturday involving union members and leaders. I will wear my Anthracite Unit button to generate conversation.


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