Donor Spotlight: Ethnic Studies Leader Guadalupe Carrasco Cardona
Our donor Guadalupe Carrasco Cardona just celebrated a great victory. In November, California became the first state in the nation to require ethnic studies as part of the curriculum. A leader in this movement, Lupe has been an Ethnic Studies educator for 21 years in three states - California, Arizona, and Texas - and now teaches at Edward R.Roybal Learning Center.
Through her dedication to the development of a curriculum that centers the voices of people of color and furthers a student-centered classroom environment based on mutual respect, critical thinking, and collaboration, she played a significant role in influencing the California State Board in making this major change. Building on her example, students will be required to complete a semester-long course in ethnic studies to earn a high school diploma starting with the graduating class of 2029-30 and schools will be required to offer courses starting in the 2025-26 school year.
Lupe has been tapped as a spokesperson on this landmark decision given her passion in promoting the importance of ethnic studies in the school curriculum. She chairs the Association of Raza Educators (Los Angeles chapter) along with being co-founder of XOCHITL Los Angeles, a member of LAUSD’s Ethnic Studies Curriculum Committee, a member of Ethnic Studies Now Coalition’s Coordinating Committee, and a founding member of the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Coalition.
Critics of ethnic studies programs have raised concerns about students feeling guilty for what their ancestors may have done. Lupe responds by saying “the actual student has not done it, so that’s really important. No student should leave feeling as if we’re personally blaming them.”
She says rather, the core of ethnic studies is to show students how to love and understand different communities. She says her current courses help students “uplift and transform” neighborhoods around them. This is music to our ears at LA Commons and we are happy to count someone so
Aligned with our values as one of our supporters. Thank you for supporting us Lupe and for supporting students in becoming more connected to their communities!