Intersections and Inclusion: Blackness and Bilingual Education

Two of our writers evoked the theme of intersectionality as they considered the field of bilingual education through the lens of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

We reprint a blog post by University of Pennsylvania professor and CUNY Graduate Center Urban Education alum, Dr. Nelson Flores, who answered the call from the #BLM movement to investigate how anti-Blackness gets reproduced in their particular fields. Flores asks the question “Do Black Lives Matter in Bilingual Education?” and interrogates how, too often, in considering the participation of Black students in bilingual education, an #AllLivesMatter frame is applied.

Urban Education doctoral candidate, Maria Cioè-Peña, is in explicit conversation with Flores’ work, considering how the intersection of race, linguistic background, and ability shape the experiences of students who “fall into multiple minoritized group identities.” She analyzes educational policies meant to include bilingual students and special education students, demonstrating how bilingual special education students of color are overlooked. Instead of advancing equity, Cioè-Peña argues, those policies “contribute to an educational system that is already heavily segregated across racial and socioeconomic lines.”

– Sara Vogel