Western Civilization has been the predominant lens for viewing world cultures for many generations, but the rapidly changing demography of the United States requires a more profound awareness of cultural perspectives by thinkers of color. Ethnic Studies is the interdisciplinary study of the history, cultural impact, socioeconomic concerns, politics, and achievements of racialized peoples in the United States and elsewhere. As a discipline, it was created to study the stories, histories, struggles, and triumphs of people of color on their own terms. Our program encourages students to test traditional assumptions about race in order to make more enlightened choices for themselves and their society. Ethnic Studies also looks at gender among different cultures and how it affects people's experiences of their world. The Ethnic Studies program articulates with and reinforces our Women's Studies program.
American Indian Studies explores the diversity of cultures of Native Americans and the wealth of cultural knowledge among the First Peoples of the Americas. African American Studies encourages students to understand the history of enslaved peoples brought to the Americas from Africa and how the effects of slavery, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow laws still resonate in our society today. Chicano/Chicana Studies trains students to critically examine the contributions of peoples of Mexico and other areas of Latin America to modern U.S. culture.