Founded on the principle of liberation via self-determination, The College of Ethnic Studies emerged from a collective struggle begun over 50 years ago by the Third World Liberation Front and the Black Student Union during the 1968 Strike.
We educate, create, and seek wisdom and knowledge in order to critically assess legacies of colonization and empire.
We empower our students to become ethical, effective, social justice artist-activist-scholars and empathetic leaders who speak truth to power.
We collaborate with our students, colleagues, and communities to liberate ourselves and create conditions for the liberation of others from systemic, intersectional, and hierarchical oppressions; in doing so, we foreground healing and transformative justice work.
College of Ethnic Studies Shared Principles
Where, Who, Why, What and How
In Fall 2019, upon the 50th anniversary of the founding of the College, a committee of representatives of each department was convened to begin the process of revising the college’s mission and purpose statements. We determined that an open, consultative process was the only way to move forward. Rather than beginning with a draft, we asked questions of one another, until we determined which questions to ask of the College as a whole. In January 2020, at the all-college meeting, we facilitated a dialogue based on these questions. Taking notes from this meeting, we then developed and shared a draft of what we called our “shared principles” with the College Council.
- Wei Ming Dariotis, Committee Chair and Professor, Asian American Studies
- Mai-Nhung Le, Assistant Dean and Professor, Asian American Studies
- Nicole Leopardo, Lecturer Faculty, Race and Resistance Studies
- Katynka Martinez, Chair and Professor, Latina/Latino Studies
- John-Carlos Perea, Associate Professor, American Indian Studies
- Johnetta Richards, Professor, Africana Studies
- We are located on the land of the Ramaytush Ohlone who live in and actively cultivate and manage the coastal areas in what are now known as San Francisco and San Mateo Counties, and have done so for over 10,000 years. Ohlone peoples are part of the present and future community of the Bay Area.
- We are located on the southwestern edge of San Francisco near the Paciﬁc Ocean, between several neighborhoods that were established as and have continued to be largely racially segregated through redlining policies and practices.
- We are also deeply located in a variety of other ethnically and racially diverse neighborhoods throughout San Francisco and the extended Bay Area through our community partnerships
- Founded in 1969, the ﬁrst College of Ethnic Studies consists of ﬁve departments, each with a major and minor program (Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, Latina/Latino Studies, and Race and Resistance Studies), two MA programs (Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies), one Arab and Muslim Ethnicities in Diasporas program, one Ethnic Studies post-baccalaureate certiﬁcate program, and the following minors: Critical Oceania and Paciﬁc Islander Studies, Critical Mixed Race Studies, and Queer Ethnic Studies.
- Our community is transnational, multi-generational, and ﬂuid, and is inclusive of emerging racial, ethnic, sexuality, gender, class, ability, and other identities as expressed through a myriad of academic disciplines in liberation studies and beyond.
- We have survived––and continue to ﬁght against––cultural, ethnic, and racial genocide.
- With resistance and freedom at our core, we educate, create, and seek wisdom and knowledge in order to support and empower students to critically assess legacies of colonization and empire. With this foundation, they have the opportunity to become ethical, effective, social justice artist-activist-scholars and empathetic leaders that speak truth to power.
- The College of Ethnic Studies is a continuing collaborative process emerging from a collective struggle begun over 50 years ago by the Third World Liberation Front and the Black Student Union during the 1968 Strike.
- Founded on principles of community-based research and teaching, student leadership, and activism, the College continues to be guided by these values in its journey towards liberation via self-determination and collectivism.
- We create, examine, and educate about empowerment as artistic, scholarly, political, spiritual, economic, social, and cultural work.
- We collaborate with our students, colleagues, and communities to liberate ourselves and to create conditions for the liberation of others from systemic, intersectional, and hierarchical oppressions through healing and transformative justice work. Uniting theory and practice in the praxis of organizing, we dream a liberated future.
- We document and honor these acts to cultivate spaces for community gathering and growth, and to resist the erasure of our communities by colonial projects.
- Accountability and empathy to the ancestors, founding Strikers, our ever evolving communities, and future generations guide every action. Relationality through radical love and giving care with grace forms the foundation of our work, which is the work of constantly forming and transforming community.
- We engage consensus and coalition as iterative processes in order to imagine-create-reimagine the College of Ethnic Studies as a series of spaces in which transformational justice and education dismantle oppression in all aspects of society, within the United States and beyond.