Ethnic Studies 1a: Introduction/1b: Embracing Cultures

Semester A: This course explores the academic discipline of Ethnic Studies, including the histories, experiences, cultures, and issues of racial and ethnic groups that fall outside the usual culture of the United States. The discussion begins with an examination of the concepts of identity, dominant culture, and perspective (including bias, stereotyping, discrimination, and prejudice). You’ll then learn about the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, which provides key background information on which to build a more detailed understanding of Ethnic Studies from the point of view of Indigenous/Native Americans, Latinos, Blacks, and Asian-Americans. Additionally you will learn about communities who are not usually part of the conversation, but should be: Arab and Muslim Americans, Jewish Americans, Sikh Americans, and Armenian Americans.

Semester B: You have studied the big picture of diverse cultures around you, but now it’s time to zoom in and investigate what ethnic studies means to the individual. In this course, you will explore how knowledge of different cultures shapes our views of ourselves, our communities, and the world around us. You will examine the reasons for and outcomes of people moving place to place, mitigation and healing of intergenerational trauma, social movements, alternative futures for marginalized groups, and more. Let’s work to develop a deeper understanding of ethnic studies for ourselves and our peers.


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