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- Geohistorical Macroscales of Ethnic Studies: A perspective put forward by Tolteka Cuahutin to describe the dynamic principles that guide Ethnic Studies scholarship in terms of scope and approach:
- Indigeneity and Active Roots,
- Coloniality, Dehumanization, and Genocide,
- Hegemony and Normalization; and,
- Decoloniality, Regeneration, and Transformational Resistance.
- Coloniality, Dehumanization, and Genocide: Systems of oppression that are carried out through political, cultural, and militarized means, leading to the assault on Native and Indigenous lifeways.
- Double-consciousness, the sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others
- Hegemony: Systems by which violence and exploitation are maintained in regular patterns to advantage socially dominant groups and maintain the oppression of Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities, including women and non-binary people, as well as people of diverse faiths, abilities, and immigration statuses.
- Decoloniality, Regeneration, and Transformational Resistance: Going beyond revealing and examining violence and pain to bring students and education into the work of transformation, resistance, and social change.
- Native and Indigenous Pedagogies: Diverse perspectives in tribal communities that are commonly place-based and incorporate the cultural, historical, environmental, economic, and literary context of local Indigenous realities.
- Colonial Education: Settler institutions that have attempted erasure and genocide of Indigenous lifeways, including the government and Church-run Boarding Schools in the United States and Canada.
- Third World Liberation Front (TWLF): A multi-ethnic coalition of students that were awoken to the fact that they were being taught in ways that were dominating and irrelevant to themselves (Maeda, 2012), and included a coalition of the Black Student Union (BSU), Latin American Student Organization (LASO), Intercollegiate Chinese for Social Action (ICSA), Mexican American Student Confederation, Philippine (now Pilipino) American Collegiate Endeavor (PACE), La Raza, Native American Students Union, and Asian American Political Alliance
- General Education Graduation Requirement: A type of course that all students are required to take as part of their degree. In California, Ethnic Studies has become a general education graduation requirement in all public high schools and colleges.
- Critical Race Theory: A legal perspective put forward by scholars to identify the link between U.S. laws and the structure of racism, with the goal of better ending racial discrimination and disparities. This perspective has been misrepresented by conservative activists.
- Sociology is the systematic study of society and social interaction.
- Sociological imagination a tool to help people step outside subjective or personal biography, and look at objective facts and the historical background of a situation, issue, society, or person.
- Minoritized a term used in place of minority (noun) to highlight the social oppression that minoritizes individuals. The term minoritized uses active voice to reveal the system of social oppression that is often rendered unseen through the use of passive voice within the term minority.
- Review some of the demands from the Third World Liberation Front in Section 1.2 of this chapter. Do any of these resonate with your experience on our own campus? What demands would you make of your administration? How would you modify or update these demands for your own context?
- Ethnic Studies as a field has grown in tandem with the constituent disciplines. What are the advantages of focusing on specific community formations, such as in Black Studies, Chicanx and Latinx Studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Arab American Studies, or Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies? What are the advantages of a comparative Ethnic Studies perspective?
- The field of Ethnic Studies is deeply rooted in activist traditions. This has included linking the work happening in classrooms and through education to the diverse struggles of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color groups. Reflecting on the students, families, and individuals that you learned about in this chapter, what are some strategies that lead to social change? Consider how these strategies relate to your own life or the things you have witnessed around you.
- For a more focused exercise, consider directing the prompt to a specific activist group. For example, you may want to focus on the San Francisco State College Strikes for Ethnic Studies in 1968-1969.
- You can access more primary documents and digital recordings from the Strike from the SFSU Diva Archive and SF State College Strike Collection at the SFSU Library.
- To see the full Black Studies Curriculum from Spring 1968, you can visit the SFSU Digital Collections.
- Educational institutions can promote freedom, self-determination, and justice, but they have also been places of elite domination, white supremacy, and settler-colonialism. Considering the schools you attended and where you have lived, what patterns have you witnessed? You may want to focus on examples of barriers and exclusion, positive work for inclusion and equity, or both.
- Be sure to verify assumptions about the demographics of a school or neighborhood. For colleges and universities, you can find racial demographic information on websites like College Factual or by searching your school’s website. You can look up information about demographics in a specific place by using the US Census website.
- The time period we live (history) and our personal life experiences (biography) influence our perspectives and understanding about others and the world. Our history and biography guide our perceptions of reality reinforcing our personal bias and subjectivity. Relying on subjective viewpoints and perspectives leads to diffusion of misinformation and fake news that can be detrimental to our physical and socio-cultural environment and negatively impact our interactions with others. We must seek out facts and develop knowledge to enhance our objective eye. By using valid, reliable, proven facts, data, and information, we establish credibility and make better decisions for the world and ourselves.
- Consider a socio-cultural issue you are passionate about and want to change or improve.
- What is your position on the issue? What ideological or value-laden reasons or beliefs support your position? What facts or empirical data support your position?
- What portion of your viewpoint or perspective on the issue relies on personal values, opinions, or beliefs in comparison to facts?
- Why is it important to identity and use empirical data or facts in our lives rather than relying on ideological reasoning and false or fake information
Role Play Discussion: Strategizing for Social Change
- For this activity, divide the class into three groups. Each group will represent a different constituency in the strike for Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State College: the Third World Liberation Front, the faculty union, and the anti-war groups who supported the strike.
- In these groups, the class will address a series of scenarios that mirror the experiences of the strikers and the college.
- Students should situate their responses to the circumstance based on their understanding of the text and historical examples referenced in the chapter and course material. Consider priorities, tactics, and context.
- A local newspaper ran coverage of a demonstration where a number of strikers were arrested. In the description of the events, they negatively characterized the students that were arrested and consistently called the strikers violent. Another demonstration is planned for the next day, and many student activists want to respond to the newspaper directly. Others have suggested focusing the demonstration on more peaceful tactics to avoid arrests and being called violent again. Your three groups are tasked with how to move everyone forward. What options would you consider? How would you decide who will do what? Take into account that there is limited time to communicate messages to your supporters.
Ethnic Studies is…
- Each student will provide a creative response to the prompt, “Ethnic Studies is…” that is rooted in what you have learned from this chapter and the class. The response should be brief, about one sentence, and may highlight a definition of Ethnic Studies or what Ethnic Studies means to that individual.
- This could take on different formats for different learners and styles. For example, using an Online Discussion board in an online course, students could post their short replies to the prompt and have an opportunity to view one another's. You can also have students provide their brief reply with a video recording or by completing a template image.
- Based on the format option(s) that individuals can submit, the group’s collective responses should be compiled and made available for discussion.