Abraham Ruelas is a social science teacher at Patten Academy after serving three decades as a professor of communication and psychology and a dean at Patten University. He previously served as girls varsity coach, athletic director and school bus driver at Patten Academy.
His education includes a BA in Biblical Studies from Patten University, a BA in Mass Communication from CSU East Bay, and a PhD degree in Communication Research from Stanford University. Ruelas recently received his Single Subject Social Science Preliminary Credential after having completed the credential program at Alliant International University.
Ruelas became involved in the Chicano movement in his high school years and his commitment to civic engagement continues through this community involvement in Oakland, the city where he and his family live and work.
Ruelas is the author of two books, Women and the Landscape of American Higher Education: Wesleyan Holiness and Pentecostal Founders (2010), No Room for Doubt: The Life and Ministry of Bebe Patten (2012), and co-author of another, The Role of Female Seminaries on Road to Social Justice for Women (2015). He has written 10 biographical entries on significant women of faith for the Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States (2016). His articles, How African Americans Emerged from Slavery with a Hunger for Education and The Oakland Pentecostal Women Who Defied Convention to Change their Church and Communities, was published by Zocalo Public Square.
My mother, Rev. Teresa Ruelas, although a US citizen, her three brothers (also US citizens) and her parents (documented workers) were deported as part of the Mexican Repatriation of the 1930s. Including this part of the history of the US as part of "regular curriculum" is gaining traction for which I am grateful. History and other courses in the scope and sequence of social studies need to be taught in a way that students get the whole picture and not just the standard US narrative I grew up learning. We are currently in a pandemic and that is impacting how we teach and it is also impact the mental and emotional health of teachers and the students and their families. I just want to be part of the efforts to teach both history and HERstory along with inclusion of the pespectives of people of color.