SDESC Letter of Support for ACR 34

April 20, 2011

Assemblyman Ricardo Lara
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, California 94249-0050

Dear Assemblyman Lara:

The San Diego County Ethnic Studies Consortium enthusiastically supports the co-authored resolution on Ethnic Studies (ACR 34). The Consortium is a collaborative of faculty, staff, students, and community members committed to the study of race, ethnicity, and social justice. We represent autonomous academic disciplines and intellectual traditions, including American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, Black/African American/Africana Studies, Chican@/Latin@ Studies, and Ethnic Studies. Viewing ourselves as distinct and interconnected, we are dedicated to the promotion and advancement of our disciplines through scholarship, teaching, institutional and community engagement, advocacy, and collaboration in K-12 schools and higher education.

As practitioners, advocates and supporters of Ethnic Studies, we strongly endorse ACR 34 and appreciate its recognition of the important contributions that Ethnic Studies faculty, staff, and students – inclusive of Chicana/o Studies, Asian Studies, American Indian Studies, and African American Studies – have made to the development of knowledge, racial equity, ethnic communities, and our state. The resolution acknowledges the origins of Ethnic Studies programs and departments and affirms our historic efforts to democratize institutions of higher education in California.

It recognizes the academic excellence of our scholarship, interdisciplinary methods, and intellectual inquiry. As California becomes one of the most diverse states in the nation, Ethnic Studies has evolved to address the needs of its people and conceptualize a positive vision of its future. The resolution acknowledges the leadership of Ethnic Studies departments, programs, and related projects, and their faculty, staff, and students in promoting equality by empowering diverse populations to play a role in civic life. As educators, we also understand how critical Ethnic Studies courses can be in retaining students of color at all levels of education, thus assuring that more of our youth are prepared to take their place in our social and economic life. The resolution appropriately affirms the continuing need for Ethnic Studies at a time of budgetary crisis.

At a time of when some elected officials are scoring political points by distorting and assaulting Ethnic Studies, your leadership on behalf of Ethnic Studies is deeply appreciated. We thank you and Assemblyman Alejo for your actions, and we stand ready to support your efforts in any possible way.

Sincerely,

San Diego Ethnic Studies Consortium

Black Studies Department, San Diego City College
Chicano and Chicana Studies Department, San Diego City College
Department of Black Studies, San Diego Mesa College
Department of Chicano Studies, San Diego Mesa College
Filipino Studies Program, Miramar College
Department of Multicultural Studies, Palomar College
Ethnic Studies Minor Program, California State University San Marcos
Native Studies Minor Program, California State University San Marcos
Department of Africana Studies, San Diego State University
Department of American Indian Studies, San Diego State University
Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, San Diego State University
Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California San Diego
African American Studies Minor Program, University of California San Diego
Chicana/o and Latina/o Arts and Humanities Minor Program, University of California San Diego
Department of Ethnic Studies, University of San Diego

For more information, please contact:

Gail Perez
Associate Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies & English
University of San Diego

Isidro Ortiz
Professor, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
San Diego State University

Email: sdethnicstudies@gmail.com
Blog: sdethnicstudies.wordpress.com

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