UC Riverside has been awarded an $850,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation Humanities in Place to launch a traveling museum showcasing the history of America’s first Koreatown — Pachappa Camp. The museum will preserve and share the story of a community of Korean migrant workers in Riverside who contributed to the city’s citrus development, including Korea’s most influential independence activist, Dosan Ahn Chang Ho.
The traveling exhibition will be presented in collaboration with a consortium of Asian American and civil rights groups based in Riverside, as well as national Korean American community organizations in Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. It will highlight the contributions of Korean American labor and provide communities with an opportunity to learn, connect, and grow from this country’s rich narrative.
The three-year grant will allow the program to kick off in San Francisco beginning late 2024, led by Edward Chang, ethnic studies professor and founding director of the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies at UCR. Strategic counsel will be provided by Daryle Williams, dean of UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and co-creator of Enslaved.org, who will provide strategic counsel for the overall project and also oversee the digital exhibition component.
Chang, who has been researching Korean American history for over 30 years, said that finding these critical slices of history and highlighting them at a national level is something he had not expected until 2016, when two visiting Korean graduate students helped him translate documents from old Korean to modern Korean language, that he understood the significance of Dosan Ahn Chang Ho’s presence in Riverside. He is particularly interested in sharing the history of Pachappa Camp with youth as a way to bring back history that has been intentionally omitted from textbooks.
Desert X is an international contemporary art exhibition that takes place in desert locations and features site-specific installations by acclaimed artists from around the world. The exhibition is produced by The Desert Biennial, a California-based not-for-profit organization with a mission to present public exhibitions of art that engage with the desert, the environment, and indigenous communities. Eleven artists from Europe, North America and South Asia will present poetic and immersive works that span sculpture, painting, writing, architecture, design, film, music, performance and choreography, education, and environmental activism in the exhibition curated by Artistic Director Neville Wakefield and Co-Curator Diana Campbell.
The exhibition examines social and environmental themes with a focus on the changes that give form to a world increasingly shaped by climate crisis, globalism, and the political and economic migrations that follow in their wake. In the exhibition, which builds on social and environmental themes explored in earlier editions, newly-commissioned works make visible, as instruments of self-awareness and devices of wonder, the forces that we exert on the world: how we design our environments, how we live, and the messages we send that reinforce systems that might or might not be beneficial for us. From the local to the global, from schools and roads to global trade routes that define the ebb and flow of goods and many things in-between, infrastructure has subsumed creative ways of being that are inconvenient to forces of power.
Desert X 2023 features the work of Professor Gerald Clarke, who presents a unique piece called Immersion. The installation takes the form of a traditional Cahuilla coiled basket or ‘chi-pat-mal’ scaled to become a giant game board. The goal of reaching the center can only be achieved by correctly answering questions relating to the traditions and histories of the Cahuilla Indians and other sovereign cultures. By gamifying history Clarke sublimates prejudice. At the same time, he reminds us how unattainable these same goals have become for those for whom such knowledge has been forcibly withdrawn.
The exhibition will be on display at sites across the Coachella Valley from March 4–May 7, 2023. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the work of Professor Gerald Clarke and other world-renowned artists. Visit desertx.org for more information.
The faculty of the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Riverside supports the academic student workers who remain on strike during this historic and unprecedented statewide action. These academic workers, scholars and teachers in their own right, are asking the university to make good on their requests for a living wage to support their communities and families in the state of California, a state with the historically highest costs of living. They deserve not only a living wage, but equitable coverage of other academic and living expenses. They are also entitled to workplace protections in which exercising their right to protest is not met with threats of police intimidation and violence.
We affirm the right of academic student workers to engage in strike activity, which may include picketing, cancellation of sections, and stopping grading. The ETST Senate faculty overwhelmingly expressed their support to stand with the striking workers and heed their call to withhold grade submissions until the strike ends. Additionally, we assert that it is the university’s responsibility to develop contingency plans to ensure that student degree completion, eligibility, financial aid, and good standing are not impeded by struck labor, including grade submission.
We encourage faculty in other departments at UCR and UC-wide to take a similar stand. Systemic changes within the UC system are long overdue, and we support an imminent future in which this is possible.
Wesley Y. Leonard
As faculty in the Department of Ethnic Studies we stand in solidarity with UAW graduate student workers and postdoctoral fellows who are on strike.
We recognize that the university could not fulfill its mission without the labor of its graduate student workers who perform key research, teach classes, grade papers, and provide invaluable support in teaching and mentorship for undergraduate students across the University of California.
Especially given the rapidly rising costs of living around UC communities, graduate student workers deserve a contract that secures a living wage, basic needs, as well as increased job security. We value their demands for a fair contract that is attuned to international workers’ rights and student parents’ rights as well as for greater disability and climate justice.
Ethnic Studies scholars and practitioners are particularly attuned to the critical role that organized labor has played for communities of color to access rights that might otherwise not have been available to them because of their race, gender, language, and/or immigration status. Labor rights have often been the precursor to other kinds of legal rights.
We affirm the right of student workers to engage in lawful strike activity, which may include picketing, cancellation of sections, and stopping grading. We will not engage in retaliation against graduate students based on their participation or non-participation in strike activities in all matters under our direct control, and we oppose unlawful retaliation measures against either striking students or faculty respecting the picket line.
We will respond to undergraduate concerns about the disruption of their education with compassion while affirming the right of graduate students to strike for adequate benefits and compensation. We urge the university to take all measures to protect international students, and we will take all measures in our power to protect our international student workers.
We urge the university to bargain in good faith with the union so that a just and adequate solution may be reached.
We hope that this strike starkly demonstrates to the university administration just how integral graduate student labor is to the UC system.
Alfonso Gonzales Toribio
Wesley Y. Leonard
Jasmin A. Young
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
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.
Native American Studies Ph.D. student, William Madrigal, is leading an historic initiative to offer Cahuilla language as an accredited language series, making UC Riverside the first UC campus to do so. Article from UCR News by Sandra Baltazar Martinez below:
The University of California, Riverside, is the first UC campus to offer Cahuilla language as an accredited language series.
Cahuilla, the language of Southern California Cahuilla Indian Nations, is offered by the Department of Comparative Literature & Languages at UCR. This four-class series includes three lower-division courses and one-upper division class, which satisfy undergraduate foreign language requirements for most of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences majors.
Doctoral student William Madrigal Jr., a member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians, has been teaching three of the four classes since their inception in winter 2018. The courses are open to all UC students and Cahuilla tribal community members, thanks to concurrent enrollment.
“The interesting thing here is that Cahuilla is not a foreign language because it’s very much local and indigenous to Riverside County,” Madrigal Jr. said. “Students are learning more than just the mechanics of the language. They are learning about a rich and vibrant culture. They are introduced to the Cahuilla culture, philosophy, and worldview.”
Madrigal Jr., 38, who is working toward a doctorate in Native American Studies, is a member of one of the 10 existing Cahuilla sovereign nations. Growing up on the reservation, located in Anza, about 75 miles south of Riverside, he felt an obligation to attend college and help revive a language that had been suppressed — and almost eradicated — by federal government mandates.
Over 150 years ago, the United States federal government dispersed Native Americans into reservations, sending young children to boarding schools where they were forced into assimilation and only allowed to speak English. The practice of stripping Native Americans from their California lands started around 1850, and as early as 1830 in other parts of the country.
The Cahuilla currently reside on 10 different reservations, their total population ranging from 3,000-5,000 people. Before being separated, their population was more than double that amount, Madrigal Jr. said.
Cahuilla elders and leaders held onto their native language and continued to share oral histories, traditions, and culture with the rest of the families and community throughout this trying period.
“Knowing that our origins were special made me proud growing up,” Madrigal Jr. said. “I’m proud of who I am and where I come from.”
Raymond Huaute, a doctoral linguistics student from UC San Diego, teaches UCR’s upper-division Cahuilla literature course. Huaute is Cahuilla and Chumash California Indian.
Creating and funding these courses at UCR became a multiyear process supported by UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, as well as the university’s administration, faculty, graduate students, and the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Madrigal Jr. said.
The campus itself sits on land where Cahuilla, Tongva, Luiseño, and Serrano people once lived and thrived next to the Santa Ana River.
Students in Madrigal Jr.’s three conversational language classes study stories that highlights the Cahuilla way of life, he said.
Madrigal Jr. said the Cahuilla language revitalization movement started roughly 50 years ago, when less than a dozen elders spoke the language daily. Now, because of their efforts, there are hundreds of Cahuilla learners who are working with linguistic and anthropological materials recorded long ago to bring Cahuilla back.
“We’re trying to save the essence of our identity inextricably linked to the Cahuilla culture,” Madrigal Jr. said.