Tonight at the Centro Civico Mexicano, the Salt Lake Dream Team will be hosting a celebration of Mexican-American culture as part of a nationwide protest against an Arizona law.
The Dream Team, which works to support undocumented folks living on the Wasatch Front, along with fighting for the eventual safe passage of the Dream Act, is joining groups in 50 other states that oppose Arizona's House Bill 2281. That law eliminated the Mexican-American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District this year, the Dreamers say.
The bill banned teaching at schools of any courses that not only promoted the overthrow of the U.S. government, but also advocated for solidarity with a particular group or in some form catered to a particular ethnic group.
"Mexican-American history and culture is a significant part of American-history culture," Dreamer Allie Schulte said in a press release. "Prohibiting them from being taught in public schools should outrage us as much as if teachers were prohibited from teaching about Martin Luther King, Susan B. Anthony or Thomas Jefferson."
Across the United States tonight, the 50 Freedom of Speech program in 50 states will feature readings from several of the 80 books the Dreamers say were banned in Arizona through HB2281, including Shakespeare's The Tempest and Sandra Cisneros' House on Mango Street.
Local activists, immigration attorneys, professors and community leaders will be reading from some of the banned works tonight at Centro Civico, 155., 600 West, Salt Lake City, from 6 to 10 p.m.
It's free, although a donation is suggested of $2 a head or $5 for a family to go to the Raza Defense Fund to provide support for two Mexican American studies teachers in Arizona currently facing a defamation lawsuit from a former social-studies teacher who supports HB2281.
Along with food and art, there will be a Latin dance program after the event.