A Call to Action

Posted: May 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

Dear Communities of Color,

In the 1960s, students of color came together to create departments and programs for underrepresented communities at the UC Davis campus, and around the nation. Even though these programs have been present on our campus for more than 40 years, we are currently facing the risk of being systematically dismantled and homogenized into a single ethnic studies program. This vision fails to realize the diverse needs of the different communities. Since the programs’ inception, we have been constantly under attack and we see this once again with the budget cuts and student fee increases that have hurt the communities of color the most. Along with that, inadequate funding hinders our departments’ ability to function and fully support us as students and communities of color.

These cuts are being placed upon our communities because administration fails to realize the importance of our various ethnic studies departments and programs. These programs differ from other programs on campus as they not only educate but provide a sense of community for UC Davis students. In addition, HB2281, a law passed in Arizona against ethnic studies prohibits these courses from being taught; while this law does not apply to colleges or the state of California, it shows the political climate against communities of color. The Dean of the College of Letters and Science, who is up for review this year, has shown a lack of interest and support toward our programs. Given this political climate, the time to rise up is now!

Today, we call upon communities of color to come together and secure the existence of our diverse ethnic studies programs and departments. A townhall is scheduled for Wednesday, May 19 from 5-7pm at 1150 Hart Hall. The townhall will address the current situations of our ethnic studies programs and departments and propose a plan of action. Given that administrative change occurs during the summer, we ask students, faculty, staff, and other concerned members of the community to come and give ideas and input in order to create change.

STUDENTS:
• Organizations: Please send at least one representative from your group, because together we
can make change happen.
• Community members: Feel free to come and give your input, as you are the community.
Departments and Programs:
• Please bring your knowledge about the situations affecting your respective department or program.
• Please let us know who will be speaking on behalf of your program or department by emailing us by Tuesday at 5pm at peopleofcolorunite@gmail.com
• We also ask that professors and lecturers speak on these issues and/or allow for brief class presentations to take place in regards to these issues.

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