By Thandeka K. Chapman & Tricia M. Gallagher-Geurtsen
On June 9, 2015, the Board of Education of the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) approved a resolution for an Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee to begin meeting immediately to “develop recommendations as to how ethnic studies can be implemented and accessible to all students in the San Diego Unified School District throughout their K-12 educational experience.”
When students see themselves reflected in what they are learning, their experiences in school become more meaningful helping them to engage more deeply in school. The research shows this to be true: Students who take ethnic studies courses show increased academic engagement, academic achievement and personal empowerment. Ethnic studies also has a positive impact on cross-racial understanding.
In his first few weeks as a freshman at the University of Chicago, Calvin Cottrell was constantly being asked the same questions: Where are you from? What do your parents do?
“I found those conversations kind of hostile, as the first person in my family to go to college. If you’re living with a roommate whose parents are heart surgeons from Connecticut, that feels very different,” he said.
This article is based on the concept that the majority of the world’s population is of mixed heritage due to both (im)migration over millennia and now increased (im)migration due to modern transportation, especially airplanes and ships that easily cross over mountains and oceans.
Extremely isolated groups will not be considered of mixed heritage for the purpose of this article. These groups do not have modern transportation (airports, ships, cars, motorcycles, or bicycles) and do not intermix much with neighboring communities.
Race needs to be understood in different ways, the way that ice, water, and steam are different but still all forms of water.
The lens of society
Society racializes us. A race label is applied to us regardless of our true ethnic heritage.
The lens of sociology
Race is the label used on birth certificates, the census, and school applications. These forms require us to self identify in order to track discrimination, a requirement since the 1964 civil rights act. Race (phenotype) is based on our outward appearance, whereas race (haplotype) takes into account our whole physical identity – inside and out.
The lens of medical science
Most anthropologists describe race (phenotype) as a social construct, often used to discriminate and segregate. Whereas most medical scientists, curing diseases, describe race (haplotype) as real. Medical institutions collect data on self identified race (phenotype). As dangerous as the slippery slope of race-base medicine is, there has been success in finding bone marrow donors through race based donation drives for groups who find it challenging to find a bone marrow match for example. Bone marrow is more difficult to match than say blood. With blood there are four main types (A, B, AB, O). With bone marrow there may be as many types as there are haplogroups on the earth. The bone marrow donor database is in highest need for people of mixed heritage.
The lens of hate
Humans are tribal by nature. Wired into us is a fear of the new that we do not understand and therefore we have a fear of the other. The word for this fear of the foreign is xenophobia. There is a quick slippery slope from xenophobia to racism. Racism can quickly grow out of unchecked fears. Racism is further compounded for people who live in societies that normalize the doctrine of white supremacy. To abolish xenophobia we can start with abolishing the doctrine of white supremacy.
DePaul University’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is pleased to offer the first graduate program in a new and exciting field that utilizes Chicago as a living classroom.
The Master of Arts in Critical Ethnic Studies prepares students for advanced analysis of race and ethnicity in an urban and global context. It provides an interdisciplinary approach to the studies of systematic marginalization of racialized minorities. It also looks at how racialized groups respond to and counter these forces through art, culture, political organization and other forms of social citizenship.
We emphasize social justice and transformation while focusing on U.S. ethno-racial populations through an intersectional, transnational, and urban framework. Students apply critical theories to complex social and cultural issues. The program consists of a combination of core courses and electives and a final project or internship.
A big THANK YOU to the over 600 people who attended Global Mixed Race.
The 2016 conference will be held Nov 10-12, 2016 at University of Southern California and will be hosted by Associate Professor Duncan Ryuken Williams
We are pleased to announce the establishment of the Paul Spickard Graduate Student Paper Award for Critical Mixed Race Studies.
Pursue graduate work in Critical Mixed Race Studies under DePaul University’s new MA in Critical Ethnic Studies. DePaul is currently accepting applications for the first cohort of graduate students to begin in Fall of 2015.
A San Jose State University philanthropy board member and a vice president have resigned after an investigation into anti-Latina remarks attributed to the board member that went unchallenged by the vice president.
Wanda Ginner, a board member on the university’s philanthropic Towers Foundation, and Rebecca Dukes, vice president for university advancement, stepped down on Friday, according to letters university president Mo Qayoumi addressed to the campus community and released to The Huffington Post. Ginner had been accused of saying that Latina students “do not have the DNA to be successful” during a February meeting of the foundation board. Dukes was present at that meeting and allegedly did not condemn Ginner’s comment.
“,… I insisted that he report the incident to the school. His chief concern was not wanting the white students and administrators to think of him as being special, different, or “racial.” That was his word. “If the other kids around here find out that I was called a nigger, and that I complained about it,” my son pleaded, “then they will call me ‘racial,’ and will be thinking about race every time they see me. I can’t have that.”