“Stastics are just numbers.People aren’t really seeing the reasons why students of minorities are dropping out or not even going to college, or graduating. That’s because the system is pushing us out. There are not even people to engage us to keep on going and keep fighting for our dreams and fighting for a better future. Instead they just give up on us.”- One of the Youth Activists from ExpresARTE on our education system in the U.S.
Wisconsin public schools have one of the highest graduation rates in the country; however, we also have one of largest gaps between White and Latino graduation rates. With rates like this, organizations like Madison’s ExpresARTE are a crucial part in closing the gap between White and Latino students. On Wednesday July 31st, host Karma Chavez sat down with youth activists from Madison’s ExpresARTE to talk about their work and the influence the group has had on the minority youth of Madison. Madison’s ExpresARTE is an independent group of Latino youth activists who uses creative expression along with storytelling to advocate for social change and social justice. Through a variety of art forms, the group promotes knowledge, leadership, pursuing higher education, and addresses issues that are affecting not only the Latino community, but also other minorities.The group focuses on storytelling and creativity to help their peers gain a better understanding of how they are affected by the various social systems in our community, such as the education system, juvenile justice system, etc. Over the course of the show, Chavez and the youth activists talked about the struggles they face at school such as not getting help from councilors, not having student organizations to encourage high school students to go to college, and not having multi-cultural groups at their schools. Despite these setbacks, the organization discusses these issues and how they can improve them for future students. The organization also inspires youth to encourage each other to pursue not only their plans for higher education, but also their life goals.
You can like ExpresARTE on Facebook as well as checkout videos of them telling their stories on YouTube! Madison’s ExpresARTE is located at the MEChA House on the UW-Madison campus and they meet every Friday from 5pm-7pm.