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Ethnic Studies

Seeking answers to the most timely and important social justice issues, Ethnic Studies empowers every student with a vital understanding of their changing world.

One of the oldest programs of its kind, Ethnic Studies, examines the legacy of racial and ethnic inequalities in the U.S, sources of resistance and transformation, and the contemporary impacts of these changes. Rooted in the lives of African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islander Americans, Chicanas/os and Latinas/os, and Native Americans/American Indians, Ethnic Studies provides both in-depth study of key populations and comparative analysis.

Through a range of courses taught by award winning faculty Ethnic Studies addresses such issues as: changing demographics, civil rights, educational inequality, economic development, identity and empowerment, immigration, gender and intersectionality, labor and employment conflicts, media, music and popular culture, multi-racial communities, social movements, sovereignty, voting rights and political representation, and much more.

Dr. Jesica Fernández leads students in discussion in an upper division Ethnic Studies seminar. Photo by Greg Ramar.

Dr. Jesica Fernández leads students in discussion in an upper division Ethnic Studies seminar. Photo by Greg Ramar.

Mural created with predominantly 4th & 5th grade Latina/o youth involved in the Change For Good after-school youth Participatory Action Research program.

Mural created with predominantly 4th & 5th grade Latina/o youth involved in the Change For Good after-school youth Participatory Action Research program.

Our interdisciplinary program offers a stand-alone majorcompanion majorminor,and multiple pathways. We also work closely with the Ignatian Center and our local community partners to offer students practical forms of community based learning and collaborative research opportunities to expand their classroom experiences. From quarterly workshops, to work with the Multicultural CenterOffice of Multicultural Learning, and a wide variety of student clubs, to bringing in the best and brightest for our Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series, we expose students to a range of dynamic opportunities both in and out the classroom.

Ethnic Studies is one of the only disciplines that complements every major or minor by placing a spotlight on timely and important social justice issues. Whether it’s applying to graduate school, starting a business or non-profit, or seeking employment with an existing entity, our degree demonstrates that students have a real commitment to social justice and the relevant coursework and skills to support that commitment. We’ll prepare student to go into a wide variety of careers equipped not only with the cultural competence, critical thinking and writing skills to succeed, but also the ability to thrive in diverse workplaces and successfully address complex societal issues.

Jesica Fernández received a $4700 University Research Grant for her new project "Sociopolitical Justice-Oriented Citizenship in the Context of the Unity 4 Student-led Movement" as well as a Faculty-Student Assistant grant for $1,000.

James Lai received a $5,000 University Research Grant to support field research as part of his project "Asian American Politics within the Cosmo-Nations: Politics, Place, and Identities in Transnational Communities."

Anothony Hazard was selected to become a faculty fellow, supported with research funds, as part of the 2016-2018 Bannan Institute on Racial and Ethnic Justice.

Anna Sampaio's book Terrorizing Latina/o Immigrants: Race, Gender, and Immigration Politics in the Age of Security, received the 2016 American Political Science Award for the best new book in Latina/o politics.