Tomorrow: Freedom Summer Rally Outside TUSD Back to School Assembly


While Tucson Unified School District employees sit inside the Tucson Convention Center arena tomorrow for the Back to School Assembly on Tuesday, July 31, supporters of the dismantled Mexican-American studies program are expected to make a lot of noise outside at a press conference and rally beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The rally that morning, and a B-Side Players concert at the Rialto Theatre in the evening, mark the end to Freedom Summer — a summer-long pro-MAS project that brought students, teachers, activists and artists to Tucson from California, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Texas to canvas, organize education, cultural and community events, and fund-raise for a teacher-defense fund.

According to Ernesto Mireles, a main organizer and Chicano studies adjunct professor at the University of Michigan, Freedom Summer volunteers knocked on more than 1,000 doors canvassing south-side and west-side neighborhoods this summer, alongside other Tucson volunteers and students from UNIDOS. The canvassing and education weekends are expected to continue into the fall.

The TUSD Back to School Assembly is an employee-only event where district staff hear presentations from other staff on the new school year. The assembly starts at 9:30 a.m.

From the UNIDOS/Freedom Summer press release:

We, UNIDOS, Tucson Freedom Summer and our allies from across the United States gather today at TUSD’s “Back to School Assembly” to deliver a message to Tucson Unified School District’s board and the world.

Our resilient community has persevered through this struggle in defense of human rights. Once again we are here to assert our right to culture, history, identity, language and education. This struggle is about the affirmation of our humanity and your responsibility to represent the majority of students in TUSD as well the minority. We invite you to finally and truly embrace your responsibility to represent the majority of this community. You have that voice. You have that privilege.