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Why Study Race & Ethnicity?

Picture of students during 1996 hunger strike to demand fair treatment for workers in grape fields. This protest spawned the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity

In the current moment, as in the past, it is essential for everyone to understand the dynamics of race and ethnicity.  Such knowledge is required to participate in a diverse democracy. Across the globe, race and ethnicity are relevant to every dimension of social, political and economic life. Issues such as affordable housing; media, artistic representation, education,health care; incarceration,immigration, sexuality, religion, and economic development are concerned critically with the study of race and ethnicity.

The five programs in the Interdepartmental Program in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CSRE) each provide analytical skills and cultural knowledge applicable to an array of professions, from technology and education, to law and the arts. The majors and minors prepare students to  engage effectively in a diversified workplace and a globalized economy. Challenged to think critically and urged to write and research persuasively, the programs of study challenge students to learn innovative analyses and  creative problem solving.

Painting of Black dancers

CSRE, in its many manifestations, gives context to students interested in examining how race and ethnicity intersect with these and other crucial topics. So too, our focus on interdisciplinary research befits the complexity of thinking with and through race and ethnicity.  With respect, seriousness and substance, students and faculty pursue rigorous intellectual questions that explore the social, historical and cultural consequences of racial and ethnic differences.