On Saturday, April 4, 2020, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Chapman University will be holding its 5th Annual Education and Ethnic Studies Summit on the theme “Ethnic Studies Narratives: Situating the Personal as Political.” Featuring a day full of interactive workshops, live performances, art exhibitions, and keynote speakers, including Dr. Miguel Zavala (former Attallah College Associate Professor and current Director of the California State University, Los Angeles Urban Learning Program), the event will focus on the purpose of Ethnic Studies and explore the ways in which our personal histories and ethnic backgrounds are critical elements of today’s part of the political spectrum.

The movement for Ethnic Studies emerged from student activism, as students demanded that their universities take steps to expand their curriculum.  Pushing back against the dominant, Euro-centric narrative that is prevalent in the curricula of many K-12 schools and universities, Ethnic Studies advocates for the inclusion of diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives, centering on the study of the identities of historically marginalized communities such as Black studies, Chicano studies, Asian American studies, and LatinX studies.

The movement for Ethnic Studies is still ongoing, and Chapman students are eager to participate.  The Leadership Studies Program at the Attallah College of Educational Studies  is currently offering an empowering course for undergraduates called LEAD 384: Ethnic Studies Activism.  Taught by Assistant Professor Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, the course focuses on social activism and community engagement, with students actively helping to co-design the Ethnic Studies Summit.  In addition to coursework, the class itself features a variety of guest speakers such as current and aspiring educators, local youths, elected officials, and community organizations as a way of connecting Chapman with local stakeholders.

In addition to the goal of planning and executing the summit, there are several other goals that the Ethnic Studies Activism course aims to achieve, some of which include building infrastructure with youth in the local community, deepening relationships with community organizations, establishing connections with elected officials, and supporting statewide initiatives for Ethnic Studies. Most importantly, a major goal of the LEAD 384 class and summit is to make progress toward establishing Ethnic Studies at Chapman as its own major and minor.

Visit here for more information on Chapman’s 5th Annual Education and Ethnic Studies Summit!