The Education for Liberation community joins many siblings across Turtle Island in grieving the loss of our beloved Antonio Nieves Martinez. Ed4Lib family member Patrick “Cam” Camangian wrote the loving tribute below.
Dear People’s Community, friends, colleagues, and allies,
In case you do not already know, it saddens me to share news about the untimely death of our good brother, committed comrade, loving community member, and dear friend in Antonio Nieves Martinez last Tuesday, July 11, 2017. The People’s Education Movement was first conceptualized at a coffee shop meeting between Antonio, Carolina Valdez, and myself in Koreatown, Los Angeles in January 2013. Through Carolina, his wife and exceptional educator, Jerica, and Antonio’s organizing efforts with other founding members in LA, People’s was established during a summer retreat in July 2013. During this summer retreat, I was encouraged to organize People’s Education Movement, Bay Area with other like-minded educator-organizers.
Here is the Facebook announcement for the bay area celebration and memorial of Antonio’s life: https://www.facebook.com/events/619000538296678/?active_tab=about. And here is the information for a gathering in NYC on July 26th.
Donations can be made here: https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/wod57w/donate/.
Antonio has long been involved in multiple community projects and coalition of educators, activists, community members, and researchers working towards liberatory education: He was also a former council member of the Association of Raza Educators and board member of the Education for Liberation Network (EdLib). Antonio’s commitments with both People’s and EdLib led him to take on leadership and committee roles for the Free Minds Free People (FMFP) national conferences held in Chicago in July 2013 and Oakland in July 2015. Before moving back to the SF Bay Area, Antonio and Jerica were engaged in establishing equitable, restorative educational spaces in the Holyoke community of Western Massachusetts.
As a scholar, Antonio studied the importance of teachers collectivizing to transform larger systemic issues undermining the humanity of people in culturally wealthy communities of color. Through this work, Antonio helped further establish the importance of developing popular education programs to challenge some of the more colonial, deficit, and neoliberal narratives and practices reproduced in society. Antonio argued why and showed how the concerns of students, families, community members, and critically conscious teachers should inform the type of education needed to transform dehumanizing social conditions. Antonio also took on leadership roles within the Critical Educators for Social Justice (CESJ), Special Interest Group for the American Educational Research Association. A colleague who worked closely with Antonio in this capacity said, “He was fiercely dedicated to social justice and supported CESJ however he could. In fact, much of the growth and more communal nature of the grad forum can be attributed to Antonio.”
Attached is a research article titled, “Solidarity with the People,” which he co-wrote with Carolina Valdez and another People’s founding member, Stephanie Cariaga. Solidarity EEE
Thank you for your positive thoughts and prayers for Jerica, their wonderful daughter Huitzin, and Antonio’s family at this time of unimaginable loss.
In sincere community solidarity,
Patrick “Cam” Camangian