Ethnic Studies Department Mission Statement
Ethnic Studies is devoted to a rigorous analysis of race and ethnicity. Using a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, our research and teaching focus on the relationship of race and ethnicity to power and inequality, with special emphasis on intersections with structures of class, gender, immigration, indigeneity and sexuality. Ethnic Studies is particularly interested in the historical and contemporary experiences of people of color in the United States. Asian Americans, Chicanas/os, Latinas/os, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, African Americans and other people of African descent have experienced persistent racial discrimination and subordination that gives members of these groups unique insights into cultural, social, and historical dimensions of race and ethnicity. Moreover, because of this persistent discrimination, the perspectives of people of color have been marginalized in many social, cultural, and academic arenas; we therefore center those perspectives in our work. While Ethnic Studies emphasizes innovative research and teaching, we are committed to service that supports communities of color on campus and beyond. We are committed to recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students of color and to curricular changes that help every student and every member of the broader community create a better future for our increasingly heterogeneous society.