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With dozens of applications from early-career and future educators coming in from Martinez Fellowship hopefuls, let’s take a minute to focus on what the fellowship offers. A good example of two of the benefits of the fellowship were on display earlier this month at Martinez Seminar #4 on Western Washington University’s campus. There, assembled fellows got BIPOC-designed professional development and like-minded community.

Each year the Martinez Fellowship hosts four seminars to give fellows the opportunity to check in, connect with other fellows, and learn more about working towards liberation education. This month’s Seminar #4 focused on ENGAGE, the fourth component of Liberation Pedagogy.

The day began with guest facilitator Miguel Perez, Director of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership with Mount Vernon Schools. He focused on identity with the fellows. Students and teachers alike have very obvious and visible aspects of their identity alongside less obvious or even intentionally hidden aspects. Fellows took time to think through their whole identities and how all of it can be helpful in connecting with students and advocating for equity.

That section ended with wildly helpful advice for fellows on how to approach interviewing for teaching positions and navigate workplace issues in their early teaching years.

By then, it was nearly time to engage with Western Washington University’s Native American Student Union 2024 Spring Competitive Powwow.

Before heading out for lunch and the powwow, Dr. Longoria (from our first Martinez cohort) provided some context about powwows and how to participate respectfully.

The fellows then had about two hours to get lunch and engage with the powwow.

Fellows stood for the day’s grand entry, participated during the inter-tribal portion, and supported Indigenous vendors selling a wide variety of handmade items.

It was fun, but as the fellows reflected before closing out the seminar, it was also a learning experience. Many had never attended a powwow previously, and they learned by engaging with Indigenous folks.

We hope that these fellows will seek to engage their students with the diverse communities they represent and live near as they begin their teaching journeys.

Know someone who might be interested in applying to the Martinez Fellowship? Contact our Martinez Fellowship Program Manager Tiffanie, tiffanier@techaccess.org.


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