The goal of the Ethnic Studies Program is to expand and enhance the university’s course offerings on ethnicity and race in the United States and around the world. The program’s objectives are:

  1. to examine relationships among racial/ethnic groups, the processes of racial/ethnic formation, and their intersections with class, gender, and sexuality at the personal and collective levels
  2. to foster the development of research skills in a broad range of disciplines in the humanities
  3. to contribute to an interdisciplinary knowledge of the challenges and contributions of ethnic minorities in the United States
  4. to impart to students a deep knowledge of the cultures of Africa and Latin America
  5. to help students develop competencies for working with people of different racial/ethnic backgrounds and to foster an understanding of racial/ethnic diversity
  6. to support students and faculty in the transmission of knowledge, in the discovery and development of new ideas, and in research and writing in the field of ethnic studies
  7. to inculcate in students an understanding of the complexity and challenges of multiethnic societies, and to prepare them for careers in education, business, law, government service, social work, social welfare, health care, teaching, public policy, law enforcement, urban and community development, and the arts.

Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary program. The program aims to develop fundamental skills in critical and global thinking and in comparative analysis, as well as an understanding of the interactions of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the experiences of a range of social groups. It is designed to bring together a community of students, faculty, and staff devoted to the transmission of knowledge and the discovery of new ideas in the field of ethnic studies. Ethnic Studies also offers diverse perspectives that challenge monolithic thinking about the formation of identities and societies.

The program’s core courses focus on the exploration and comparison of the cultures, history, politics, and economics of Africa, Latin America, and their diasporas. Program offerings explore ethnicity and cross-cultural exchange globally and in postcolonial frames. Ethnic Studies supports research pertinent to the field and encourages cultural and academic exchange among scholars and students.

The program is part of the university’s mission to enhance the recruitment, retention, and excellence of a diverse faculty and student body. Our long-term goals are to extend program offerings to encompass other ethnic minority groups and to develop a center that will foster an appreciation of ethnic diversity and difference in the learning and research communities of Case Western Reserve University.