Ethnic Studies Panel

“Why Ethnic Studies (Still) Matters”

Tuesday, October 5     4:15-6 p.m.     Russell House     Reception to follow

This session is a critical response to the passage of HR 2281 by the Arizona State legislature, which banned the teaching of Ethnic Studies in public schools. Panelists will present scholarly work drawn from their current research, which speaks to Native American Studies, African American Studies, and Asian American Studies.  The event is part of a nation-wide effort, Ethnic Studies Week (October 1-7, 2010).


“Native History and 21st Century Politics: How Indian history reveals the potential of American democracy, Christian Gonzales, American Studies

“Spectacular Blackness: Reflections on Race, Representation, and the Rise of Color(ed) Television, Ann duCille, English

“Accents and the Avant-Garde: From Gertrude Stein to Li-Young Lee,” Amy Tang, English and American Studies

“From Activists to Curators: The Black Museum Movement Then and Now,” Robyn Autry, Sociology 

Moderator: J. Kehaulani Kauanui, American Studies and Anthropology 

This event is sponsored by the American Studies Program with support from the English Department.

Symposium: Welcoming the Vanguard Class of 1969 — Sat., 4/24

On April 24, the Center for African American Studies will host a day-long symposium to mark the 40th anniversary of the Class of 1969. This was Wesleyan’s first fully integrated graduating class. The four years that these men were here helped to transform the institution into the multi-cultural university that it is today.  Six members of the class of 1969, as well as several former Wesleyan administrators, will participate in the panels.  All faculty and students are warmly invited to participate.   All sessions will be held in the CFA Hall.

10:30 a.m. :  “Taking Down Barriers; Changing the Institution”

The members of the class will discuss “What was Wesleyan then?  What was it like being 18/19 years old in the old Wesleyan?”

12:30 – 2:30 p.m.:   The Rare Books and Manuscripts collection at Olin Library

Exhibition of documents, photographs, and memorabilia from Wesleyan during the period 1965-1970.

 2 p.m.:   “How the Vanguard Class Challenged Wesleyan to Become a Better University”

Discussion with former administration members involved in helping Wesleyan to open itself to diversity.

Panelists:  Robert Rosenbaum, Jack Hoy, Bob Kirkpatrick, Ed Hayes (and other class members)          Moderator:  Karl Scheibe

4 p.m.:   “Different Decades, Different Experiences, Common Themes”

Meeting with members of intervening classes and current students to discuss shared and distinctive experiences from 40 years of diversity.

 5:30 p.m.:  Reception for class members and current students

Two Internship Opportunities for ’10-’11

Looking to Create Change on Campus Next Year?

Are you interested in any of the following:

providing programmatic and networking  opportunities for various activist groups on campus, facilitating difficult dialogue conversations between students and fostering meaningful connections between students, faculty and staff on campus?

If you answered yes to any of those questions please consider applying for one of the following internship opportunities:

Dwight Greene ’70 Internship

  University Organizing Center Internship

For more information about either one of these internships please click on the links below.

Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration

In Celebration of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Living the Dream: Youth Activism and a New Vision for Urban Public Educationirizarry

Keynote address by:

Dr. Jason G. Irizarry
Tuesday, January 26th
4:30 p.m., Memorial Chapel

Dr. Jason G. Irizarry is an Assistant Professor of Multicultural Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Neag School of Education and Faculty Associate in the Institute for Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at the University of Connecticut.  Prior to his arrival at UConn, he was the Director of Project SPIRIT (Springfield Partnership to Improve the Recruitment of Inspiring Minority Teachers), a college-community collaboration aimed at increasing the number of teachers of color in urban schools.  He received his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in multicultural education, culturally responsive curriculum development, action research, and urban education.

A former middle school teacher in New York City, his research focuses on urban teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention with an emphasis on increasing the number of teachers of color, culturally responsive pedagogy, and youth participatory action research. A central focus of his work involves promoting the academic achievement of Latino and African American youth in urban schools by addressing issues associated with teacher education.  Manuscripts documenting the findings of his research have been published or accepted for publication in a variety of journals in the field including Education and Urban Society, Multicultural Perspectives, Race, Ethnicity and Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, and the Centro Journal of Puerto Rican Studies and others appearing as chapters in various books including the Handbook of Latinos and Education: Research, Theory & Practice (Murillo, 2010) and Culture, Curriculum, and Identity in Education: Progressive Perspectives on Research, Theory, and Practice. (Milner, 2009).

Dr. Irizarry will conduct a seminar for students on his work.
10:30am, Open to the first 20 respondents
To register, email

Join us for a discussion with Dr. Irizarry over lunch (reservation required)
Noon, Open to the first 30 respondents (staff, faculty or students).
To RSVP, email



WesDEF (the Wesleyan Diversity Education Facilitation Program) is a student group founded in 2005 that leads anti-oppression conversation workshops.  WesDEFs train throughout the year for their roles as community facilitators and educators.  Every first year residential hall has WesDEF facilitators who will lead monthly workshops on social justice issues.  

WesDEF workshops could include a discussion of classism and the Anonymous Confession Board or a poetry exercise about the meaning of home or an activity exploring the presence of institutional racism in our community.   All workshops provide an opportunity for critical dialogue about the impact of oppression at Wesleyan and in society. 

The purpose of WesDEF workshops is not to provide answers but to incite questions and to provide participants with the knowledge and tools for further personal exploration and social awareness.  The WesDEF program aims to act as a resource for the Wesleyan community, developing space for social justice work, dialogue and understanding.  Support, guidance and funding come from the Offices of Residential Life, Student Activities and Leadership Development, and Diversity and Strategic Partnerships.