The dean of San Francisco State University’s College of Ethnic Studies is presiding over an international conference about race in the classroom, with 120 panelists and workshop sessions through Saturday. The conference is called “Ethnic Studies 40 Years Later: Race, Resistance and Relevance.”
Which discussion would you recommend to a friend? I would say if someone could only go to one discussion, when they look at the titles and something in them said, “That’s me,” and it’s not my telling [them] to say that, then that’s the one.
How can you apply ethnic studies to everyday life? Keep the question open, “Does race, ethnicity or culture potentially have a place here?” Put that question right out there and ask some people, “How could race play a part here?” It can also interact with gender and sexuality and disability and location region and geography.
What’s a prime example of media coverage that has lacked ethnic awareness? Stalking the president, telling him to explain his own race and explain his race in America and we’re going to make that his job. That isn’t his job right now. His job is to run the nation. There are thousands of experts who could answer that question.
Why are you encouraging students to get an ethnic studies degree? The first thing to know is that it’s different, but it’s not that different. We are like any other liberal arts degree. It doesn’t guarantee a job in anything, but it prepares you for almost anything.
— Kamala Kelkar