Poet Diana Khoi.

The 2022 Wilkinson College Engaging the World (ETW): Leading the Conversation on Ethnic Studies, begins with poet Diana Khoi Nguyen, author of Ghost Of, on Tuesday, September 13. Nguyen’s latest poetry collection was a finalist for the National Book Award and L.A. Times Book Prize.

With more than 10 events scheduled for the fall 2022 semester, Dr. Ruben Espinoza, co-director of ETW: Leading the Conversation on Ethnic Studies, shared what he’s most looking forward to on this year’s agenda:

“There are many great events happening in the semester. They are all beneficial and will delve into important discussions. Because of my own scholarship in Latinx Studies, I’m personally looking forward to “A Talk with Lalo Alcaraz” on Tuesday, December 6. He is a legendary Chicano cartoonist that I’ve known about since I was an undergrad in community college. I find it amazing that he will be at Chapman.” 

The fall series will include film screenings, artist talks, lectures and panel discussions focused on race, ethnicity, and indigeneity to highlight diverse histories, cultures, perspectives, and community work of people of color within and beyond the United States. Sample topics include the adoption of an ethnic studies requirement in the Santa Ana Unified School District, the resiliency of the Sikh American community, and Native American art.

Be sure to join us for a very special event on Wednesday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m. with keynote speaker George Takei. The actor turned activist is the author of

2022 ETW Keynote Speaker George Takei.

They Called Us Enemy, a graphic memoir recounting his childhood imprisoned within Japanese American concentration camps during World War II. Tickets will be required for this event.

“I hope the Chapman Community gets a more nuanced understanding of the significance of ethnic studies,” said Dr. Stephanie Takaragawa, Associate Dean of Wilkinson College and co-director of ETW: Leading the Conversation on Ethnic Studies. “My goal is to highlight the importance of ethnic studies to U.S. history and higher education, and to show how it’s integrated into everyday life, and not something separate.”

This year’s Wilkinson’s First-Year Focus (FFC) courses have also incorporated the theme of ethnic studies into the course material and discussion. Dr. Monique Charles, who teaches the FFC course, “Black Music and African Diaspora,” shared what she hopes her student’s will take away from First-Year Focus’s partnership with ETW.

“It is my hope that [the course] will give students insight into many different genres of music and expand their world view… and help them make new connections with music they may already love. I hope that students can engage with the music, but also, more importantly, gain insight into the social, political and contexts that are rooted in or contribute significantly to these art forms and genres.”

In 2020, Wilkinson College committed itself to leading conversations on campus and in our community on issues of humanity, unity, and justice, by undertaking semester-long examinations of key societal issues. After the launch of the inaugural Engaging the World (ETW) series in 2020, Leading the Conversation on the Significance of Race, Wilkinson College introduced the Engaging the World initiative’s second series, Engaging the World: Leading the Conversation on Environmental Justice, in fall 2021. The exploration brought experts like Dr. Robert D. Bullard, the “Father of Environmental Justice,” and author and environmental activist, Leah Thomas, to campus for thoughtful dialogues on the racial and socioeconomic disparities in exposure to environmental hazards and climate disruption.

We hope you’ll join in the conversation. Visit the Engaging the World website to see a full list of events, and mark your calendars!