- Views America as a nation rife with racism and discrimination
- Emphasizes the role schools can play in teaching students to “critique society in the interest of social justice”
Established in 1991, the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that “advances and advocates for equity and social justice through multicultural education.” NAME defines multicultural education as a “philosophical concept” that promotes “the ideals of freedom, justice, equality, equity, and human dignity” within the toxic millieu of an American culture rife with “racism, sexism, classism, linguicism, ablism, ageism, heterosexism, religious intolerance, and xenophobia.”
Emphasizing “the role schools can play in developing the attitudes and values necessary for a democratic society,” NAME strives to combat America’s allegedly ubiquitous flaws by teaching students to: “critique society in the interest of social justice”; “critically analyze oppression and power relations in their communities” and elsewhere; “challeng[e] all forms of discrimination”; “work actively toward structural equality in organizations and institutions”; and advocate for “the redistribution of power and income among diverse groups.” The Association promotes these values via its website, position papers, policy statements, press releases, and political advocacy activities.
Citing the many positive “contributions” that illegal aliens have made to the United States, NAME affirms its “deep opposition” to state laws “designed to drive out undocumented immigrants” and “create a hostile climate for Latino students, whether documented or not.” The United States bears “complicity in the reasons why” people from Central America violate U.S. immigration laws, says NAME, charging that the North American Free Trade Agreement “has enabled the U.S. to flood Mexico with cheap, subsidized produce that has shut down many Mexican farms and displaced millions of rural Mexican farmers, while turning profits for large agricultural corporations.”
Another of NAME’s chief concerns is the issue of “environmental injustice,” a reference to “the disproportionately high degree to which communities of color are exposed to pollution (and the corresponding low level of environmental benefits they enjoy).” These inequities, says NAME, result from “deep societal racism and classism” whose hallmarks are “disparities of wealth” and inequitable “resource distribution.”
Rejecting the notion “that the U.S. is a race-neutral society,” NAME contends that a multitude of “barriers to employment and promotion still exist for people of color, women, and other … groups.” Thus the Association strongly supports affirmative actionin the realms of business and academia. Preferential policies, NAME explains, help “provid[e] people of color, women and other protected groups educational and workplace opportunities” they would not otherwise have.
NAME also condemns the “heterosexism” of Western culture as a form of “oppression” that results in “the exclusion of lesbians, gay males, bisexuals, transgender[s], and queer people (LGBTQ) in every aspect of the individual, cultural, and institutional aspects of life.” The organization is committed to “eliminating heterosexism” through the development and implementation of educational material and programs “promoting an inclusive society.”
NAME has chapters in every region of the United States, and its 1,500+ members consist of professional educators, administrators, and school-affiliated specialists such as psychologists, social workers, counselors, curriculum developers, librarians, and researchers.
In December 2012, Rick Ayers, a teacher-education professor at the University of San Francisco, was elected as NAME’s co-president. He is the brother of Bill Ayers, the former Weather Underground terrorist-turned education professor. Bill Ayers himself was a keynote speaker at NAME’s November 2011 international conference in Chicago, along with critical race theorist Patricia Williams and several others.
For additional information on NAME, click here.