By Kidiocus Carroll and Nzingha Hall
This past March, students from Voces Latinas and two students from Black Students United attended the Critical Ethnic Studies and the Future of Genocide: Settler Colonialism/ Hetero-patriarchy Conference. The conference was a major event that was held at the University of California, Riverside from March 10-12.
We had two reasons for our trip, one was the increasing concern that ethnic studies is being phased out of academia, a recent example being the law in Arizona that was passed prohibiting the study of race and ethnicity, because it teaches people of color that white people oppress them. The second reason for our trip was our desire to see an area of study that concentrates on race and ethnicity at Beloit College; we wanted to be able to bring ideas and strategies back to the campus.
At this conference, we attended multiple sessions headed by notables such as Angela Davis, Jacqui Alexander and Keith Camacho. At the sessions professors and scholars presented their research on issues concerning race and ethnic studies. Some of these sessions focused on issues such as afro-pessimism, queer theory and educational disparities.
We were able to learn many things, chief amongst being what ethnic studies actually entails. Ethnic studies is rooted in the past, customs, written works and ideologies of American people of color and their dispersion. Essentially, race and ethnic studies is a way of fighting hegemony.
The need for the continuation of the study of race and ethnicity is becoming increasingly apparent as we move forward in today’s world. We believe that race and ethnic studies is crucial to living in a diverse world, an ideal that Beloit College upholds; therefore, we are writing this in the hope of encouraging Beloit College and its students to work together to bring race and ethnic studies to our campus.