Ethnic Studies town hall meeting to be held Feb. 20

By The Lutrinae
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Students, staff, faculty and the public are invited to attend a Town Hall forum on Tuesday, Feb. 20 to discuss the future of Ethnic Studies at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). The forum will be in the West Lounge of the Student Center from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

“The purpose of the Ethnic Studies Town Hall is to educate our students, faculty, and community members of the necessity of Ethnic Studies at our university,” said Leslie Maldonado, a CSUMB student and one of the organizers.

Students, faculty and staff will speak about their experiences in Ethnic Studies. To begin the forum there will be a short educational lesson on the definition of ethnic studies, said Maldonado. “…many students show their lack of support because they feel uneducated therefore too ‘inexperienced’ to speak on this matter.”

Presentations will include information about career paths for students who study Ethnic Studies, and discussion about a possible Major or Minor in Ethnic Studies at CSUMB. The forum is also designed to encourage CSUMB students to take courses in Ethnic Studies.

“My sense of belonging, identity and my empowerment have changed ever since taking ethnic studies courses,” said Maldonado. “These courses have allowed me to feel empowered and that is the beauty of ethnic studies. It has the power to be a transformative, eye-opening and educational experience for students.”

This sentiment is shared by another CSUMB student, and co-organizer Sonia Aracely Olmos: “Having the opportunity to finally say out loud, ‘I am proud to be the daughter of two hardworking parents who left their homeland in El Salvador and Mexico in chase of el sueño americano for their children could have a better life,’ was granted to me when I took a course at California State University, Monterey Bay where my family’s experiences and culture were present in an academic setting. The feeling of no longer feeling invisible and finding my voice in higher education was thanks to the courses the Town Hall meeting will be discussing to bring to light the need and future of critical Ethnic Studies on campus.”

For accommodations, please email OC3@csumb.edu.

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