Statement from the Ethnic Studies Department
In this moment of great social rebellion and struggle for liberation, we would like to invite the campus to partake in some deep self reflection. The violent white supremacist acts of the past month have mobilized some people who may not have the background and historical context to understand the full weight of this moment and how it is part of a 500 year struggle against white supremacy and colonization. Faculty and administrators across the country have shared statements of support and committed themselves to fighting against white supremacy and institutional racism. In the spirit of calling those folks in, we would like to share some of the amazing resources that have been generated as educational materials for the public. We ask that you take up the call that our Black sisters, non-binary siblings, and brothers have put out: to do the work yourself and not call on them to provide emotional or intellectual labor during this time.
There are enough resources and recommendations (articles, books, podcasts, videos, and more) to keep us all busy for years to come. We want to emphasize that the crucial work of unlearning Anti-Blackness and the racism that we are socialized to internalize, is a lifelong process and commitment. This work will require institutions to center BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and non-binary voices for the first time in their histories. As scholars, activists, and members of these historically marginalized and looted communities, we know well the hard work that lays ahead if these important calls to action are to be realized. Transformative Justice requires an analysis of the issues at the root of inequality and oppression and we are excited that folks from across campus have stated their intent to begin dismantling these inhumane ideologies and practices that have upheld institutionalized racism and Anti-Blackness.
The following resources have been collected and organized by the Ethnic Studies Department as a way for people to build their understanding and contribute material resources to those doing the work in the communities most impacted. Please consider donating––no amount is too small––to those organizations who have been on the frontlines of this struggle for a long time. How we allocate our funds is an important indicator of what we value.
In solidarity and struggle,
The Ethnic Studies Department
Education for Liberation
Original Artwork by Gabrielle Romero, Fullerton College Ethnic Studies Alumni
Welcome From the Chair
“The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility, we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom.”
––bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, 1994
Greetings! My name is Amber Rose González and I’m the chair of the Ethnic Studies Department at Fullerton College. As a womxn of color and a first-generation college student, I experienced the ethnic studies classroom as this place of possibility described by bell hooks. It was a place to recover the stories that had been hidden or misrepresented in my K-12 public education. It was a place to dig deep, to be introspective and critical, a place to explore and cultivate my worldviews and my ethical commitments, and it provided me something I had not experienced before: the capacity to imagine a society different––better––than the one I had inherited. It allowed me to bring my whole self into the classroom: my intellectual self, my emotional, spiritual, and cultural self. For the first time in my life, I saw myself meaningfully reflected on the pages of an academic text. This type of education was indeed the practice of freedom. As an educator and professor of Ethnic Studies, my primary goal is to cultivate spaces of hope and possibility for my students. We don’t just theorize about racism, patriarchy, heteronormativity, nativism, capitalism, and other intersecting structures of power––we deconstruct the meanings of these concepts and examine how they manifest in our bodies and in society. Most importantly, we envision what we want in their place. We think deeply about what it means to create social change. I invite you to take a class in Ethnic Studies at FC and to explore our majors. My hope is that you will also be empowered and empathetic and brave and that you too will know education as the practice of freedom. Paz & Solidarity, Dr. G