Dr. Suzi SooHoo’s Critical Pedagogy Ph.D. students facilitated an inspiring debate at the screening of the documentary “Precious Knowledge” last month.  This 2011 political documentary, directed by Ari Palos and produced by Eren Isabel McGinnis, focused on the ban of the Mexican American Studies (MAS) Program in Arizona’s Tucson Unified School District (TUSD).  The banning of the MAS program goes hand-in-hand with the banning of an extensive list of rich literature.

At the conclusion of the screening, the question was asked – “what’s next?”  Dr. SooHoo’s students hoped to continue the dialogue as they recognized the importance of including culturally rich literature (including certain banned books) in education.  As they actively began reading books from the banned list, the concept for the 1st Annual Book Bash evolved – A community gathering raising awareness about literacy.

Most importantly, this first year will focus on the books banned in TUSD as a result of the dismantled Mexican American Studies Program.  The 1st Annual Book Bash will be held Thursday, May 3rd from 5-7pm in the Attallah Plaza.  Guest speakers include Luis Rodriguez, Author of the banned book Always Running, and Presidential Fellow Rueben Martinez.

We hope you will join us for a read-in, free food, free raffle, and a cultural performance.

Event Organized by PhD Students:  Nicol Howard, Jon Levin, Chris Lewis, Kevin Ross, Jose “Paolo” Magcalas, and Henry Santos-Metcalf