Michelle Rawlings & Darielle Martin – Wilmer and Velma Johnson Ethnic Studies Undergraduate Award: Competitive scholarship presented annually to a student who best demonstrates their writing aptitude and familiarity with Ethnic Studies concepts
Madison Garcia – Katherine Saubel Award: Presented annually to the graduating senior who best promotes the preservation of cultural awareness
Bibiana Canales – Barnett Grier Award: Presented annually to the graduating senior who best promotes ethnic awareness
Christopher Valdez – Sister Rosa Marta Zarate Award: Presented annually to the graduating senior Ethnic Studies major in recognition of service to the community
Michelle Rawlings & Katianna Warren – Dosan Ahn Chang-Ho Award: Presented annually to the Junior Ethnic Studies major with the highest overall GPA
Manuel Zarate & Bibiana Canales – Sumi Harada Award: Presented annually to the graduating Ethnic Studies joint major with the highest overall GPA
Violetta Price & Alana Pitman -Maurice Jackson Award: Presented annually to the graduating Ethnic Studies major with the highest overall GPA
Naomi Waters – Ernesto Galarza Award: Presented annually to a junior Ethnic Studies major in recognition of service to the community
And while Ahn [Chang-Ho]’s life and legacy have been deeply studied, extensively documented and honored, his role in founding a Korean community in Riverside was virtually unknown until about five years ago, when Chang stumbled across a 1908 map issued by an insurance company. It had a caption labeling a Korean settlement in Riverside.
“I thought, ‘Korean settlement? In Riverside?’” he said.
Chang said it was known that Ahn spent some time in Riverside. He had seen an image of Ahn picking oranges there. And a 1913 episode known as the Hemet Valley Incident — which involved Korean fruit pickers Chang later determined had come from Riverside — has been widely cited as a pivotal moment for the Korean national identity.
But what Ahn was doing in the Inland Empire for more than five years before he moved his family to Los Angeles in 1913 was a puzzle. That puzzle turned into what Chang described as the most gratifying research of his career.
“People said it’s like destiny,” he said. “I’ve been teaching in Riverside for almost 30 years, and I didn’t know anything about it.”
As it turned out, Pachappa Camp was also a place where Ahn honed many of the democratic ideas that he brought back to Korea, which had been a monarchy and was occupied by Japan.
“I was able to trace the birth of whole democratic institutions to here in Riverside,” Chang said. “I was uncovering all of this and I was so shocked.”
With the help of graduate student interns from Korea who translated documents from older Korean, Chang last month published a book of his findings, “Pachappa Camp: The First Koreatown in the United States.”
Read the article here. Image above: University of Southern California, Korean American Digital Archive
These last months, my social media feed has been in constant throes that bounce between disparate coverage of racialized misogynist violence throughout the US and another lineage of state-sanctioned violence against women in Southeast Asia. I write this nearly three months into the most recent military coup in Myanmar, in which military police have detained hundreds of government officials, have extrajudicially killed 776 civilian protesters, and either maimed or indefinitely detained 3,813 additional protestors. Some of the most visible figures in popular media out of the Civil Disobedience Movement have been youth and women. International calls to support have meant increased visibility for, not just democracy activists, but also garment workers on strike, and advocates from ethnic minority and feminist struggles for sovereignty.
It has been hard for me to separate these simultaneous moments of social upheaval; their connections stem from historical legacies of Asian women’s bodies being indexed as violable, as fungible, and as collateral damage of war and neoliberal globalization. Often, service industries, including sex work, massage work, and garment work have been further entrenched by political and economic equalities wrought by intra-Asian, European, and US imperialisms. More now than ever, a call to transnational feminist internationalist solidarity and sustained attention to workers’ and dissidents’ world-making remain crucial.
In the midst of a global pandemic, increasing global fascism, a spate of mass shootings in the US, and spectacular upticks in masculinist supremacy, what does this call to solidarity entail?
Read the full article here. Image above: Rows of htamein hang above lines of barricades in the Kyaukmyaung area of Tarmwe Township on March 8. The women’s garments are hung to deter superstitious members of the security forces. (Frontier)
Community Resources on Anti-Asian Violence, Curated by the UCRFTP Cops Off Campus Collective
This curated list of non-carceral statements, events, reporting, and resources speak to the longstanding and ongoing racialized misogyny, xenophobia, and fear of sex workers that have contributed to the countless acts of individual and state violence targeting Asian femmes, sex workers, elders, and others, and which contextualize the murders of spa workers in Atlanta on March 16, 2021. As we continue to have these important conversations, we hope the following resources provide guidance, analysis, support, and paths toward community-oriented action and collective healing.
(upcoming) U Michigan online forum Friday, March 26, “Contextualizing Violence Against Asians Within the History of US Relational Racism.” It’s early (7:30-9 am pacific), FREE, NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://umich.zoom.us/j/94866591981
A new report from the UC Collaborative to Promote Immigrant and Student Equity (UC PromISE), co-led by Ethnic Studies Prof. Jennifer Nájera, establishes that immigration policy is disrupting the educational experiences and wellbeing not only of undocumented students, but also those students who are citizens from mixed-status families.
Advancing Equity for Undocumented Students and Students from Mixed-Status Families at the University of California features data from a survey of 2,742 UC undergraduate students and compares the experiences of three groups: undocumented immigrant students, U.S. citizen students with undocumented parents, and U.S. citizen students with immigrant parents who are permanent residents or naturalized citizens. Drawing lessons from undocumented student programs at the UC, it identifies areas of improvement that can aid all universities in advancing equity for all students impacted by immigration policies.
Congratulations to Prof. Alfonso Gonzales Toribio, Ethnic Studies, and Prof. Claudia Holguín Mendoza, Hispanic Studies, on securing a $2.9 million grant from the Mellon Foundation for the new initiative, Latinx Futures: The Civil, Cultural and Political Stakes for Southern California Latinx Communities! More details from the UCR news by Sandra Baltazar Martínex:
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a $2.9 million grant to UC Riverside — the Foundation’s largest grant yet to the university — meant to support College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences research.
Alfonso Gonzales Toribio, associate professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies, and Claudia Holguín Mendoza, assistant professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies; will lead the “Latinx Futures: The Civil, Cultural and Political Stakes for Southern California Latinx Communities” project under the new Center for Latino and Latin American Studies and Research, poised to be the first of its kind in Southern California based UC campuses. The center is expected to open February 2021.
Latinx Futures is designed as a unique multidisciplinary research project that will bring together community organizations such as Mayavision, a Guatemalan indigenous rights organization; the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice; San Bernardino Community Service Center, Inc.; the Mira Loma Oral History Project; and other regional labor and social justice organizations. The project will also include collaborative opportunities with researchers from universities across the United States, Mexico, and England.
“Through extraordinary collaborative exploration and rigorous humanities-driven inquiry, the Just Futures Initiative will expand our collective understanding of our country’s history,” said Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander. “We are thrilled that the work of these multidisciplinary teams will propose and implement solutions to real social problems, and also mark new milestones in the effort to better capture the contributions of the many different communities that make up the American story.”
Opening the Latino and Latin American Studies and Research Center at UCR is necessary, Gonzales Toribio said. There are close to 5 million people in the Inland Empire and nearly 50% of that population is Latino.
“Yet, we are marginalized from the institutions of power and our history and experiences in the Inland Empire are virtually absent in the academic literature, in Hollywood, and in the media,” Gonzales Toribio said. “But our dreams, triumphs, and struggles matter. We are launching this project with support from Mellon to better understand our history, social, cultural and political experiences, and to create a more democratic and inclusive future for all in the region.”
Securing the $2.9 million grant is of monumental importance to UCR and to the Latino communities of this region, said Gonzales Toribio, who was born in Tijuana, Mexico and grew up in the working-class community of Mira Loma.
“The time for such a center at one of the nation’s largest Hispanic Serving Institutions is now, and UCR is poised to have one of the first centers of its kind in the UC system,” Gonzales Toribio said.
He noted the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies and Research seeks to study the history, culture, and experiences of Latinos and Latin Americans in general and of Mexicans, Chicanos, and Central Americans that inhabit this region in particular.
The multidisciplinary research projects will be organized into two teams, with support and coordination by the Center.
“Latinx Civil Society” will be led by Gonzales Toribio, the center’s director and principal investigator for Latinx Futures. The project focuses on countering racial authoritarianism in the Inland Empire through building humanistic and civil society structures with community partners. It includes national collaborators at UC Merced, UCLA, University of Texas at Austin, University of Southern California, as well as scholars at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana de México, as well as the London School of Economics in London, England.
“Inclusive Pedagogies for Critical Sociocultural Linguistic Literacy” will be led by Holguín Mendoza, who serves as the project co-principal investigator. This project will harness the power of the research university to counter the systematic racism directed against Latinx language and knowledge. Aiming to dismantle testing and curricula policies that marginalize Latinx language varieties, this research group works to challenge institutions to inclusively reflect the vibrant plurilingualism of borderlands Latinx communities. The team includes collaborators at California State University East Bay, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, University of Oregon, and Western Illinois University.
Latinx Futures will include oral histories, indigenous music and storytelling workshops, community documentary, and the development of ethnic studies curriculums that incorporate insight from some of the leading humanities-based scholars from across the United States and Mexico in partnership with community partners.
Project activities will also include inclusive language and literature workshops with area educators; conferences; visiting scholars, artists and activists; research publications aimed at shifting policy; and robust opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration, student involvement, and community partnerships.
Holguín Mendoza said this multisite project expands on antiracist research methodologies and pedagogical approaches for linguistic justice.
“Our interdisciplinary team engages in research and educational practices that take into account the complexity of human communication and a deep understanding of how language variations are linked to complex racial relations, among other intersectional social elements,” said Holguín Mendoza. “What brings us together as collaborators is a commitment to counteracting sociolinguistic stigmatization and introducing Latinx students to critical approaches that allow them to take control of their academic and intellectual development.”
Latinx Futures will build the center’s infrastructure so it can serve as a home for visiting artists and scholars, a campus hub for students and faculty, and a point of contact for collaborating local groups.
Gonzales Toribio, Holguín Mendoza, and collaborating researchers support other campus entities to promote equity and justice for Black and indigenous peoples, as well as all working class people of color. The center and these project activities have the support of UCR’s vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Mariam Lam; and expand the long-standing community-based research practices conducted by the California Center for Native Nations, known as CCNN, with direct support from Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox.
The project reinforces the centrality of the humanities and UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, which serves the majority of UCR’s Latinx and first-generation students, Holguín Mendoza said.
In 2018, people all over the country watched in horror as ICE agents forcibly removed migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Audio recordings of children crying for their parents and images of kids in cages caused a moral dilemma partially resolved by courts that ordered reunification. But many of these families, though reunited with their children, remain in detention. The cruelty of their condition was revealed in heartbreaking drawings by migrant children released by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The recent whistleblower complaint has prompted a call for an immediate investigation by more than 170 members of Congress. It demonstrates yet again the shortcomings and failures of the Department of Homeland Security and ICE. We need an agency that understands this country’s complex immigration history and the needs of our communities. Central to that mission should be treating migrants with basic human rights.
Read the full article here. Photo by the Associated Press.
Although the base of the Trumpian bloc is overwhelmingly white and male, 26% of Latinos support Trump over Biden. Many conservative Latinos identify with macho political posturing, pro-2nd Amendment rhetoric, simple law-and-order solutions to complex problems, demonization of the left and disdain for the Black Lives Matter movement.
This bloc, under the “Make America Great Again” banner, requires its supporters — particularly subordinate groups — to accept a degree of cognitive dissonance in submitting to the emotional appeal to a mythical moment of American greatness. For many of the white working class, that moment is before the rise of the civil rights movement, Latino immigration and multiculturalism, the idea that diverse people should have representation and rights in pluralist society.
For right-wing Latinos, this means ignoring both the historical and the contemporary injustices inflicted on their community, such as the lynching of Mexicans by the Texas Rangers in the 1920s, the deportation of at least 1 million Mexicans in the 1950s, the separation of children from their parents at the border or the alleged coerced hysterectomies of Latina migrant women in immigration detention centers now.
The point of the MAGA slogan is to bury history with its deep class and racial disparities and to conceal the crises of our time: savage inequality, climate change, pandemics and racial conflict.
Racism and xenophobia have historically provided the ideological glue that has kept the white working class supporting the most rabid sectors of the capitalist class and from seeing their fate linked with racial others and immigrants. Even during the current economic disaster, it is easier for many working-class whites to identify with the Trumpian bloc, led by a billionaire rooted in the transnational capital class, than to have a sense of solidarity with Latinos or Black people.
Historic blocs of the right emerge precisely at that moment when the left is strong and when the right decides to stop playing by the rules of liberal democracy, the system for resolving conflicts through representative government and respect for individual rights.
Ethnic Studies Prof. Emily Hue published, Feminist Praxis in Ethno-Fiction, a review of the film, Nobel Nok Dah, for the Society for Cultural Anthropology. Excerpt below:
Transnational feminist ethnographic film collective, Ethnocine, comprising Emily Hong, Mariangela Mihai, Miasarah Lai, and others, creates a compelling time capsule that deftly weaves between feminist oral history, the ethno-fictive, and touches of the cinematic avant grade, in their short film, Nobel Nok Dah (2015). The film is succinctly named for three Karen women refugees from Myanmar and reflects these women’s stories after their encampment at the Myanmar–Thai border, and subsequent resettlement in the central upstate New York; journeys that also precede Myanmar’s first civilian government elected in 2015 after decades of military rule.1
During the initial years of this ongoing political transition, international aid for refugees and displaced ethnic minority communities in encampments on the Thai–Myanmar border was surreptitiously cut with the rationale that it would be safer for refugees to return to homes from which they fled military violence. However, as noted in the Asia Times, as of April 2019, many Karen refugees and internationally displaced people who returned in post-election years have struggled to re-establish livelihoods amid continued land grabs. In 2019, armed conflict in southeastern Myanmar has also increased, forcing thousands of those recently returned to flee their homes once more. Additionally, international ire around ongoing massacres of Rohingya peoples in Myanmar has cast further doubt on the country’s claims to political transition.
Amid these upheavals, the filmmakers have shed a distinct light onto the microcosmic ways in which cataclysmic world and regional events have shaped recent refugee migrations. Ethnocine necessarily intervenes into topics and approaches not often covered or integrated into films about Southeast Asian communities for U.S. audiences.
Full review here. Photo above by Emily Hong, Miasarah Lai, and Mariangela Mihai.
October 1, 2020 ~ Day of Action/Strike/Teach-in for Police Abolition Faculty, instructors, students and staff, please consider striking and joining these teach-ins in solidarity with the larger statewide call to take action to protest antiblack police violence.
ABOLITION & THE UNIVERSITY: TEACH-IN SERIES ~ organized by the Abolitionist Educators Network of Critical Resistance
Antiblackness, the University and Policing — October 1, 2020 1-2:30pm (PST) | 3-4:30pm (CST) | 4-6:00pm (EST)
Moderator: Dylan Rodriguez (UC Riverside)
Lester Spence (Johns Hopkins University)
Cathy Cohen (University of Chicago)
João Costa Vargas (UC Riverside)
Savannah Shange (UC Santa Cruz)This first teach-in addresses how the university has historically functioned to reproduce and sanction antiblackness and policing. This panel of scholar-activists discusses how antiblackness has been foundational to the structure, organization and policies of the university and has operated to police bodies, disciplines, knowledges, movements and activism, often under the cover of rhetorics that promote liberal multicultural inclusion and diversity.
About the Abolition & the University Teach-in Series
The unprecedented protests and grassroots organizing against antiblack police and white vigilante violence has generated demands to end systemic racism endemic across US political, economic, legal, cultural and educational institutions. This series aims to expand an understanding of abolition and its ongoing practices and potential to radically transform college campuses and universities as sites of struggle. This three-part teach-in series aims to support, deepen and proliferate abolitionist organizing on post-secondary educational campuses. While we don’t have all the answers, we call on students, faculty, staff and organizers who are engaging abolition at the site of the university and beyond to join us in this discussion.
Campus after Cops: Building Abolitionist Communities –October 15: 1-2:30pm (PST) | 3-4:30pm (CST) | 4-6:00pm (EST)
The second teach-in addresses what we mean by genuine campus safety for all and why we demand cops off campus. Participants will elaborate how we can implement and build models of security and care that meet the basic needs of our communities and educate and organize to prevent harm and violence before it happens. This webinar will introduce transformative justice (TJ) practices and how we can invest the resources of the university to begin to repair past harms and build learning communities that hold people accountable rather than punish, penalize and disavow the root problems inherent to the hierarchical and colonial culture of the university.
The third teach-in elaborates our collective vision of an abolitionist university. In a settler-colonial society, how can we establish an abolitionist university and how would its purpose be radically different from how the neoliberal university functions to reproduce a carceral society, racial capitalism and US imperial hegemony? How can we take collective action to transform the university into a gathering place for decolonization and collective liberation?
Co-sponsored by Scholars for Social Justice, American Studies Association, Riverside Faculty Association and the UCFTP collective
We will have simultaneous ASL/captioning and the sessions will be recorded and captions fixed and uploaded to the ASA Freedom Course YouTube Channel