Ethnic studies program celebrates 18 years by looking at past, present, future

NAU ethnic studies logo

The Ethnic Studies program at Northern Arizona University hosts three scholar-activists at “Fifty Years of Ethnic Studies: Past Present Future,” a panel on scholarship, social justice and the academy. The discussion will center on the historical significance of ethnic studies and its position moving forward as a university focus that brings together community engagement and academic achievement. The event takes place 6:45-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, in the Social and Behavioral Science-West building (building 70), room 200.

Panel contributors have diverse experience in both activism and education. Ramona Tascoe was a leader in the historic 1968 student strike at San Francisco State University, which led to the creation of the school’s College of Ethnic Studies—the first of its kind in the country. Antonio De La Garza is a professor at California State University-San Marcos as well as an NAU alumnus, earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and a graduate certificate in ethnic studies from the university. Areas of research include immigration rhetoric, ethnography and critical race theory. Taelor Smith is an ethnic studies and disability studies student, artist and performer who has acted with the NAU theatre and Black Student Union historical celebration.

In addition to informing and inspiring through discussion, the event is a celebration of NAU’s Ethnic Studies program, commending its 18-year anniversary this month. The program is the only university-recognized ethnic studies degree program in Arizona.

Before the panel begins, a reception will provide attendees the opportunity to meet faculty and students in the ethnic studies program, visit classrooms and engage in question and answer sessions with the panelists. The reception is held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in room 100 of SBS West.

Cheyenne Jarrette