parent - educator - scholar - activist

Author: emayorga (Page 1 of 15)

Edwin Mayorga is a parent, educator, scholar and activist. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and the Program in Latin American and Latino Studies at Swarthmore College (PA). He is director of the Education in our Barrios @BarrioEdPHL, youth participatory action research collaborative in Philadelphia, and #CritEdPol, an undergraduate/community focused online journal of critical education policy studies.

Podcast: Attack on Critical Race Studies, a conversation amongst educators & scholars


Dating back to the Trump administration, where we saw a 1776 Commission Report that was designed to offer a framework for a “patriotic education” to counter “false and fashionable” histories, and an “equity gag order,” (Executive Order 13950) which forbade so-called “race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating,” the last several months, including during the Biden/Harris administration has seen an intensification of well-funded, orchestrated campaigns by conservative legislator and right-wing groups across the U.S. against critical race theory, intersectionality, and other forms of racial and gender justice efforts in a range of sectors, including education. To provide our viewers some insights on this issue I’m pleased to have Dr. Leigh Patel, Dr, David Stovall and educator Ismael Jiménez on encuentros políticos/political encounters.

Listen to the rough cut of this interview on Soundcloud:

*This is a rough cut version of an upcoming episode of encuentros políticos/political encounters podcast.

Black Lives Matter at School: Philly Edition – Live Stream 1.13.21 – 5p EST

The next episode of encuentros políticos is a live streaming collaboration with Haymarket Books,  Black Lives Matter Week of Action​ + USALA Radio​

Black Lives Matter at School: Philly Edition

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 5p EST

Activists, educators, and contributing authors to the book Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice (Haymarket Books) Tamara Anderson​, Jesse Hagopian​, Ismael Jimenez​, and Dana Morrison​ join Edwin Mayorga​ for a conversation about the struggle against systemic racism in schools, how we can win real educational justice and the lessons from Black Lives Matter at School organizing in Philadelphia and beyond.

***Register through Eventbrite to receive a link to the video conference on the day of the event. This event will also be recorded and have live captioning.***

To register visit the eventbrite page:



Tamara Anderson is an advocate for children and teens, an antiracist trainer, a professional artist, an editor, a freelance journalist, and a blogger with over twenty years of experience as an educator. She supervises middle and high school pre-service teachers at La Salle University and serves as an adjunct at West Chester University. Her work with juvenile justice led to her being the recipient of the Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant.

Jesse Hagopian is a member of the national Black Lives Matter at School steering committee and teaches Ethnic Studies at Seattle’s Garfield High School. He is the co-editor of Black Lives Matter at School, an editor for Rethinking Schools magazine and is a co-editor of Teaching for Black Lives.

Ismael Jimenez is a dedicated educator, who for the last fifteen years has worked with students in Philadelphia from preschool age to high school. Ismael assisted in the development of the updated social studies curriculum for the School District of Philadelphia. Ismael is a core member of the Racial Justice Organizing Committee and Black Lives Matter Philly, a founding member of the Melanated Educators Collective and a co-founder of the Philadelphia Black History Collaborative.

Dana Morrison is an Assistant Professor in West Chester University’s Department of Educational Foundations and Policy Studies. She began working on higher education outreach for the week of action in Philadelphia in 2017 and has since organized Black Lives Matter events with students, faculty and staff throughout the PA State System of Higher Education.

Edwin Mayorga (moderator) is a parent, educator, scholar-activist. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and the Program in Latin American and Latino Studies at Swarthmore College (PA). He is host of the podcast Encuentros Políticos/Political Encounters on USALAmedia.


This event is sponsored by Haymarket Books and USALAmedia. While all of our events are freely available, we ask that those who are able make a solidarity donation in support of our important publishing and programming work.


Information about the book

Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice, connects thousands of educators around the country who are fighting racial and economic inequality in schools.

Black Lives Matter at School is an essential resource for all those seeking to build an antiracist school system.”
—Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

Black Lives Matter at School succinctly generalizes lessons from successful challenges to institutional racism that have been won through the Black Lives Matter at School movement. This book will inspire many more educators and activists to join the Black Lives Matter at School movement at a moment when this antiracist work in our schools could not be more urgent and critical to education justice.

Contributors include Opal Tometi, who wrote a moving foreword, Bettina Love who shares a powerful chapter on abolitionist teaching, Brian Jones who centers Black Lives Matter at School in the historical context of the ongoing struggle for racial justice in education and prominent teacher union leaders from Chicago to Los Angeles and beyond who discuss the importance of anti-racist struggle in education unions. The book includes essays, interviews, poems, resolutions, and more from educators, students and parents around the country who have been building Black Lives Matter at School on the ground.

To purchase the book at a reduced price visit Haymarket Books:

Virtual Keynote: Praxis of Joy, Healing, and Transformation – Sat Nov 7, 10a EST

Folks, I’ll be speaking about joy, healing and transformation in the midst of COVID-19 and Racial Injustice this coming Saturday at 10am EST

Hosted by the SUNY New Paltz Humanistic/Multicultural Education Program

Registration concludes tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov 4, 2020)

Praxis of Joy, Healing, and Transformation in the Midst of Dual Pandemics

Saturday, November 7, 10am-11:30 am (virtual event)

Educators, youth and families face even more challenges in 2020, as we live through a global pandemic and ongoing insurrections against racial injustice and antiBlackness. In the midst of dual pandemics, it is particularly important we attend to visions and practices of healing, joy and transformation as we collectively work toward social and educational justice.

In his keynote, Dr. Edwin Mayorga invites participants to make connections across our learning spaces, to consider what pandemic praxes for joy and healing look, sound, and feel like for social justice educational communities. What role do healing and joy play in our work toward abolitionist teaching, decolonization, and racial & ethnic studies? What resources and interconnections can we draw upon that center our humanity and our relationship to the land that can amplify our work at a historical moment where the earth is on fire, we are physically isolated, and our streets are resounding with calls for racial justice? How can we look to each other–particularly those who have been historically disappeared by systems of oppression– in order to enliven the praxis of healing and transformation that are so necessary today?

Edwin Mayorga, Ph.D. (he/him/his) is a parent-educator-activist-scholar, and Associate Professor of Educational Studies and Latin American/Latino Studies at Swarthmore College (PA). Edwin teaches and writes about racial neoliberal urbanism, scholar-activism, participatory action research (PAR) entremundos, decolonization, critical racial/ethnic studies and community+school collaboration.

Hosted by SUNY New Paltz Humanistic/Multicultural Education Program.

Registration for this event is on a sliding scale (pay what you can), starting at $0. If you are able, please consider donating $10, $20, $30 or any amount you are comfortable with.

Registration is required and closes at the end of the day Wednesday, November 4.

Go to:


#miseducAsian twitter chat Wed, Nov. 4


Wednesday, the day after the election,  is gonna be a trip any which way you slice it, so why not be in loving community with me [@eimyorga] and the brilliant Tiffany Wang  [@tiffanyyy_wang] on the #miseducAsian chat at 8p EST/7p CST/6p MST/5p PST).

We are centering Asian American (hi)stories “east of California” to hold space for one another, open up some histories of Asians in the US that still don’t get enough attention, and collectively think about the henceforward. #comethru

Political Organizing Beyond the Election: An Interview with Rosa Saavedra

In October 2020, just before the national election, I interviewed political organizer Rosa Saavedra from North Carolina for Metropolitics, a peer-reviewed online journal that publishes short-form work about cities and urban politics.We spoke about the political landscape in North Carolina as the 2020 US presidential election is taking place.

Originally from Chile, Rosa has resided in North Carolina since 1980. Rosa has worked for over two decades in various state, regional, and national organizations developing and executing strategic community-engagement plans designed to maximize the input and involvement of marginalized populations. She is experienced in working with disenfranchised community members to build leadership from within, utilizing asset-based and participatory methodologies.

We discuss the political landscape and community organizing beyond voter mobilization in North Carolina.

A lightly edited transcript is published below.

Link to the interview:

An extended version of the interview will be posted on encuentros políticos soon.


Interview Transcript

Edwin Mayorga: Buen día, I’m Edwin Mayorga, an associate professor of educational studies at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and a member of Metropolitics.

I recently spoke with political organizer Rosa Saavedra about the political landscape in North and South Carolina as the 2020 US presidential election is taking place. Originally from Chile, Rosa has resided in North Carolina since 1980. Rosa has worked for over two decades in various state, regional, and national organizations developing and executing strategic community-engagement plans designed to maximize the input and involvement of marginalized populations. She is experienced in working with disenfranchised community members to build leadership from within, utilizing asset-based and participatory methodologies.

I began by asking Rosa to talk about her current work and what she sees as political mobilization and organizing in North Carolina.

Rosa Saavedra: My main employment right now is with Bread for the World as a regional organizer for North and South Carolina. It’s kind of a strange organization for an organizer like me to be in, but for the fact that Bread for the World wants to do a grassroots type of organizing.

In terms of political mobilization and organizing in North Carolina, I have a split view: what I see that is there, and what I see that’s fallen through the cracks. And that’s what I focus on. For example, the efforts that I’m working on come in terms of elections.

I’ve been working with folks for about two years, but it took six months to get them introduced to the idea that you don’t follow somebody—I might be the organizer here, but you don’t follow somebody. They’re ready to follow, and sometimes when people take a leadership role they take on a hierarchical role, and you have to still not do that. So it still means that the integration of regular people isn’t included in this work. It’s difficult. It’s not there yet.

Right now I’m working with a group that just formed, and we’re groups of different people working in different organizations. It’s just beginning to grow, just beginning to bring people in, and finding out how to talk to our city council. This group has already been listed as something, I forgot exactly what it was—you know, next step to terrorists, basically. [Laughs.]

Edwin: A threat.

Rosa: A threat, yeah. And that pissed people off. That’s the best thing that could have happened because it’s just people who are voicing their opinion, and what you’re faced with is “shut up.” That’s the perspective that I see in North Carolina. There’s a wave of how things have been organized and how things continue to be organized in terms of even getting out the vote. The people on the ground are not feeling their power as individuals, but rather they’re being corralled, which they go along with because they understand the reasons why—to vote. That’s a missed opportunity; that’s mobilization. Now, desperation—I understand that. I mean, these are desperate times that call for desperate measures. But we cannot always stay in mobilization.

Edwin: What do you mean when you say mobilization, or staying in mobilization?

Rosa: There’s this mobilization movement going on to register people to vote, get people out to vote, and make sure that voter suppression isn’t happening—all very important. Those are the three main things that have been going on in North Carolina, in both the rural and urban areas. I don’t really know too much about the white community. I know about people who are not going to be Republicans, who are going to be Democrats or even more socialist. So those are the people that I kind of know more about. I think the number of votes is going to be huge—which is great—but this is an opportunity to be able to make sure that we get into the communities, not just “get out and vote,” but how do we handle these problems that we are seeing in our communities? How do we go and have these meetings with elected officials?

When I first started taking Bread for the World folks to visit their members of Congress, because they focus more on the federal level—you’re not beholden to these people [Congress members], and you don’t have to ask them. You have to come in with a dialogue. How are you going to begin this dialogue? What I see from all this is a deficit in civic engagement, and it’s no surprise, it’s nothing new. But when you see it in your face, you cannot believe it—the people that we think we’re going to engage with, we’re not going to engage them with tactics that are more, like, “I’m grateful that you’re meeting me.” No! We have to develop in our communities. Like they do, for example, in asambleas. If you have asambleas and talk about what it is that you want to engage them with, then it’s not just about you going in there saying what you want, and they say whatever they’re going to say, and you leave, and you don’t know what happens. There’s got to be this engagement beyond the election.

Edwin: In talking and thinking about this as a moment of opportunity, are there particular issues that are particularly salient and possible ways to rally people together around their kind of political awareness and engagement?

Rosa: Yes. People are not politicized. Political awareness is very low, and some of that is because our words have kept people dormidos [asleep], like a baby. Your baby will sleep until you make a noise and then the baby wakes up. Well, it’s kind of the same thing. We’re not using the words that will wake people up. It’s beginning to change some spaces. The constant use of “food security, food insecurity.” But when you hear “food apartheid,” it’s “Wait a minute…” There’s a political element. The same thing with mental health. I keep hearing “mental health, mental health, mental health.” You’re familiar with Franz Fanon? If I don’t hear “oppression” in mental health, then I don’t know that it’s political, it can be political. It’s not, “what’s the political impact of mental health?” But, “what is the impact of politics? What’s the impact of oppression on mental health?” And we’re always hearing it the other way around.

So, we’re not hearing things. What do we hear with gentrification? We hear “affordable housing.” But do we understand that it is really an ethnic cleansing? And people who are now called “gentrifiers,” when you become complicit with ethnic cleansing, it doesn’t matter if, after you’ve been complicit in clearing out a black community, you have a Black Lives Matter sign on your front yard, which they do—they are not politicized. For regular people, that creates a lot of, not only anger, but a sense that you cannot work with that, because those people cannot see what you see. You’re seeing something that is not being seen, and then on top of that you’re being told to try to see it from their point of view.

I see a radical divide between those who are impacted by these issues and those who are less impacted by these issues because of their race—it’s usually race, but sometimes it’s class. There’s a big divide there.

Edwin: How do you think this election is going to turn out, and what work do we have ahead of us?

Rosa: I think that people are not going to vote for Trump because I do believe his base is very small. There are a lot of people who won’t be voting for him, even as Republicans. I don’t know that they would vote Democrat, but I think that that will have an impact, one way or the other. But I also know that there are a lot of people who are voting as if their lives depend on it because he’s shown us that it does. And the good thing is that communities have risen up, and community people have been speaking out. I think organizations have also moved a lot on this.

It kind of reminds me of 2006 when there was this mass immigrant—this beautiful, magical moment. But what didn’t happen was that connection. It was there—it was there because people heard it. All you need is a whisper. That’s where the disconnect came, and there are reasons for that. There are factors that impact that, and a lot of it is financial. The Latino community has been under a tremendous amount of economic oppression. You can’t work two jobs and still do everything else—you can, but you have to do it differently. SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) did it that way. We have to start getting into relationship with each other—and I’m not saying the way of the past, in terms of SNCC, but in the way that humanity moves forward together. It’s in relationship.

Humanity as a whole doesn’t move forward together; humanity suffers from the movement of some people up while the others are oppressed. I feel like this political climate is one that offers opportunity. So the work that I’ll be focusing on after this is going to be very much about building like a telaraña [spiderweb]—they seem very delicate, but they do catch. I’m not saying that’s the solution. I’m saying I’m going to invest my time and my energy in as many ways as I can, and by as many means as I can, to connect regular people with each other. And to exigir [demand]—because that’s the right word—exigir that the institutions—whether they be elected, government institutions, nonprofit institutions, institutions of education—be the ones that the community web catches. There has to be this level of strength that knows that we can enfrentar [confront] what’s coming at us, and it’s not coming to destroy us. We’re going to trap it, wrap around it, and make it conform to what our needs are.

Radio: Credit overdue, examining academic transfer problems for youth in juvenile justice system

Image of man with classes and cap. He has his chin and head propped up by his left hand. Circle with words political encounters and encuentros políticos written inside the circle. name edwin mayorga, ph.d. and USALAmedia logo

Tune in to Encuentros Políticos/Political Encounters, Tuesdays at 4p & Sundays at 5p EST on

Episode: Credit overdue, examining academic transfer problems for U.S. youth in the juvenile justice system

Across the country, more than 48,000 youth are confined to juvenile justice facilities, and one of the overlooked aspects of the broader ecosystem of confinement is formal education. While youth have access to classes within these facilities, questions arise for youth when they leave the facility and return to the school. Credit Overdue: How States Can Mitigate Academic Credit Transfer Problems for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System, is a national report produced by the Juvenile Law Center, Education Law Center-PA, Drexel University and the Southern Poverty Law Center examines this complex, national, problem by taking a national perspective, by focusing on challenges around transferring academic credits between detention facilities and schools. To discuss this issue and the report I’m pleased to have two of the authors of the report, Kristina Moon of the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania and Nadia Mozaffar of the Juvenile Law Center on encuentros políticos.

Download will be available on Spreaker soon

Kristina Moon is a Staff Attorney at Education Law Center Pennsylvania where she is counsel in federal litigation seeking to ensure youth in juvenile justice facilities receive a quality education, and a statewide lawsuit pursuing adequate and equitable school funding in Pennsylvania. Kristina also works to reduce education barriers facing English learners and immigrant students, in addition to supporting ELC’s broad advocacy to interrupt the school to prison pipeline and ensure equitable access to public schools. 

Nadia Mozaffar is a Senior Attorney at Juvenile Law Center. Her work focuses on advancing educational opportunities for children in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems through litigation, policy advocacy, coalition-building, and research. She has also led numerous trainings and presentations for lawyers, advocates, and policy makers on the educational rights of youth in these systems.  


Credit Overdue (Press Release)

Credit Overdue: How States Can Mitigate Academic Credit Transfer Problems for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

« Older posts

© 2023 edwin mayorga

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

 OpenCUNY » login | join | terms | activity 

 Supported by the CUNY Doctoral Students Council.