The measure was opposed by some faculty and students who argued it was too broad and developed without appropriate consultation with ethnic studies faculty.
They contended that adding the social justice option diluted the core mission of ethnic studies, which focuses on the history and experiences of four oppressed groups in the U.S.: African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos and indigenous people.
California Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), has drafted an alternative plan that is currently making its way to the governor’s office, which would more strictly define how the requirement could be fulfilled.
Loren Blanchard, executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, said the new requirement “elevates” the study of the four racial and ethnic groups that traditionally comprise ethnic studies to the same level as arts and humanities as well as life and natural sciences. It also “makes room for the voices and experiences of other oppressed and marginalized groups,” he said in a committee meeting.
The requirement, for instance, could be met with classes in Jewish or Muslim studies, LGBTQ studies or social justice, including courses on social change and social movements in the U.S., historical and cultural perspectives in disability studies, and health disparities in urban communities.
In response, the California Faculty Assn. has formally opposed the chancellor’s proposal and instead have endorsed Weber’s bill.
“This moment of heightened attention to race and systemic inequality and oppression is your time to act in support of AB 1460,” President Charles Toombs, a professor of Africana studies at San Diego State, said at the meeting Tuesday.
“Since the overwhelming number of the ethnic studies faculty are people of color, the lack of inclusion of their voices is a potent and real example of how systemic racism works,” Toombs said. “Ethnic studies faculty and students are tired of battling our own system.”
Read more: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-07-22/cal-state-passes-ethnic-studies-social-justice-course-mandate
(Photo of African American Studies professor Wallace Best and students by Denise Applewhite via princeton.edu)
Credit: Source link