DrLaraLara Dulcinea, PhD, of New Mexico State University, will discuss the importance of ethnic studies and oral histories in shaping New Mexico's educational curricula as part of the Silver City Museum's ongoing educational programming.The Silver City Museum's next community conversation, titled  "Ethnic Studies, Oral History, and a New Way of Learning in New Mexico" features Dulcinea Lara, PhD, who will discuss the importance of ethnic studies in the shaping of education in New Mexico.  This educational event is free of charge, and takes place Wednesday from noon to 1 pm at Harlan Hall, Room 219, on the campus of Western New Mexico University. All community conversations are held in partnership with WILL (The Western Institute for Lifelong Learning.)

Dr. Lara will discuss the importance of ethnic studies and oral histories in New Mexico's educational system, especially in this time of heightened political and social polarization.  The state's new social studies standards for K-12 curricula now require the inclusion of ethnic and cultural identities for all students. Dr. Lara's work supports these new standards through the telling of oral histories and previously omitted narratives, which help create a more complete picture of what it means to be a New Mexican. Her discussion will feature activist-educator Elisa Sanchez's story about being a young child during the Empire Zinc Mining Strike of the 1950s, the true story that the quintessential film, Salt of the Earth (1953), is based on.

Born and raised in a southern New Mexico colonia, Dr. Lara earned her doctorate degree in comparative ethnic studies from the University of California at Berkeley. She is now the inaugural department head of the Borderlands and Ethnic Studies Department at New Mexico State University (NMSU), a department which was only realized after many decades of activism by the community, students and faculty.  Dr. Lara’s areas of interest include visual cultural studies, decolonial studies in service to understanding borderlands colonias, and museum and representation studies.

This public education program is also part of the WILL lunch and learn series. For more information, please contact Brittany Beers, community engagement manager at the Silver City Museum, (575) 597-0230 / communityengagement@silvercitymuseum.org .

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