Roxana Dueñas is an Ethnic Studies and History teacher at the Math, Science and Technology Magnet at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Height. The first in her family to attend college, Roxana graduated from UC Santa Barbara with Bachelors in Women’s Studies and Chicana/o Studies. It is her gender and ethnic studies coursework that inspired and influenced her to pursue a teaching career with a specific emphasis on social justice and transformative education in urban schools.
In 2009, she graduated from UCLA’s Teacher Education Program with a Masters in Education and a teaching credential. In 2014, Roxana helped co-create the curriculum for an ethnic studies course titled Boyle Heights and Me. The course places an emphasis on community history, student activism, and civic and artistic engagement, particularly with local organizations. Additionally, the course focuses on developing a critical analysis of systems of oppression, methods of empowering transformative resistance and resilience. Over the last four years, students in the course have published various books with the support of the nonprofit organization 826LA. The books, which often include personal narratives, testimonies and reflections on the themes: resistance, resilience and reimagination, have become part of the course curriculum. To date, students in the course have published three books: “This Is My Revolution,” “You Are My Roots,” and “We Are What They Envisioned.”
She is currently part of LAUSD’s Ethnic Studies Leadership Team, which helps to develop resources for teachers and schools as they implement Ethnic Studies at their respective school sites. One of her many goals is to ensure schools have meaningful critical ethnic studies courses to offer students who do not always see themselves represented and empowered in their history courses.