The Department of Ethnic Studies: Fifty Years of Igniting the Future!
On March 5th and 6th of 2020, Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley celebrated the 50th anniversary of the founding of our department. Over the course of two days, we heard participants speak passionately about the indelible legacy and influence of Ethnic Studies in redefining not only public education, but the very foundations of how we understand knowledge. Attendees were welcomed by a range of senior Administrative leaders including the UC Board of Regents President John A. Pérez, Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Oscar Dubón, Jr., Social Science Dean Raka Ray, Department Chair Juana María Rodríguez, and the incredible event co-Chairs, Laura Pérez and Lok Siu. We celebrated our faculty emeriti, some of whom shared first-hand accounts about their involvement as student leaders in the Third World Liberation Front and whose activism led to the Department’s founding. At the same time, our own amazing graduate students vocalized their current conditions and needs and called for broad support. Over the course of six panels and thirty-eight speakers, our alumni articulated in myriad ways the ongoing academic and creative contributions of Ethnic Studies as a field and as a movement for educational democracy. The occasion offered the opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues, old and new, and to reflect on our shared spirit of intellectual innovation, imagination, and social justice. Those of us lucky enough to gather were inspired and affirmed by the ongoing vitality and brilliance of new generations of scholars dedicated to advancing Ethnic Studies scholarship.
We invite you to check out the attached program, photos from the event (with apologies for any omissions), and a link to an amazing archive of resources on the TWLF created by our outstanding Ethnic Studies Librarians.
Onward to another 50 years of Ethnic Studies igniting the future!