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Relational and Responsive Inclusion

Contexts for Becoming and Belonging


Edited By Mere Berryman, Ann Nevin, Suzanne SooHoo and Therese Ford

Socially unjust circumstances continue to perpetuate inadequate classroom, school and system-level responses to longstanding social justice imperatives, shutting out power-sharing solutions to educational disparities and marginalizing populations of Indigenous and minoritized peoples. To address these educational disparities, this book proposes a relational and culturally responsive framework, from within a critical and indigenous paradigm that is designed to foster one’s sense of becoming and belonging in the world with all people, and thus promotes inclusion. Praxis such as this challenges traditional paradigms that marginalize or dehumanize those with whom we seek to work. Social justice in education must be concerned with recognizing, respecting and being inclusive of the diversity of all students. Social justice is about valuing and including all children for the potential they arrive with and for the families that stand beside them, rather than on what we might aspire to change and mold them into being.
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Chapter Eleven: The Maintenance and Transmission of Indigenous Languages and Cultures by Immigrants to the United States


← 202 | 203 → CHAPTER ELEVEN

The Maintenance and Transmission of Indigenous Languages and Cultures by Immigrants to the United States



My experience with belonging and feeling included helps me explain the content of the study and allows me to speak in the first person. I was born in Compton, California in the early 1970s where my family has lived since the 1950s. My parents are immigrants from central Mexico from humble backgrounds who wanted to provide a better life for their children. I learned from my parents’ experiences, struggles, and strong work ethic that although there are injustices in the world, there are also opportunities to do well. I learned of my mixed ancestry: my father was of dark complexion and my mother fair-skinned, which is indicative of the European and native characteristics of my genealogical background. I am American of Mexican desent. My ethnic background is Spanish, Portuguese, and Native. In Compton, the population was comprised of African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Samoan Americans. My lens as researcher was shaped by my memories and what I heard and witnessed from childhood to the present. I do not know exactly when I became aware of racial segregation, ethnic discrimination, and socioeconomic inequality, but I believe I became aware of these social ills at an early age. Perhaps the first time I noticed something was wrong and that living conditions were unequal was when my parents took...

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