A message from Chancellor Gene D. Block...
Forty years ago, UCLA was among the first universities in the nation to establish comprehensive ethnic studies research centers. Since their founding, the American Indian Studies Center, Asian American Studies Center, Bunche Center for African American Studies, and Chicano Studies Research Center have beautifully reflected the rich ethnic diversity of California.
Home to outstanding faculty and students throughout their history, the centers have earned worldwide recognition for their scholarly output, archival work and lasting contributions to the vibrant intellectual community on our campus and in Los Angeles.
Today, UCLA remains the only university with dedicated centers in all four subjects. By providing opportunities to engage in vital research relevant to these and other ethnic communities—and by advancing our understanding of the interplay among various sectors of our society—UCLA’s ethnic studies research centers further our mission as a public university
In celebration of this 40th anniversary, I am pleased to designate 2009-10 as the Year of Ethnic Studies at UCLA. Through June, we will celebrate this important milestone with conferences, lectures, exhibitions and other public programs.
Please join me in celebrating this unique point of pride for our campus community.
Gene D. Block
A message from Vice Chancellor and Dean Claudia Mitchell-Kernan...
In 1969, a couple of dozen students, a handful of faculty, and a visionary chancellor laid the cornerstone for UCLA’s ethnic studies centers, turned over the first ground, and dug into the daunting task at hand. They all clearly recognized the historical significance of their actions, and they were excited by the opportunity to create new fields of study, despite the obstacles. Yet, I expect they never imagined that just four decades later, the small enterprises they started would have burgeoned into the thriving, multidisciplinary, and multifaceted scholarly institutions we find today.
Journals established on a shoestring with no professional staff have become highly influential voices for the new areas of study. An archive that began with some microfilmed dissertations and newspapers now draws scholars from around the world. Perhaps most important, through these centers, UCLA has embraced the fast-growing ethnic communities of Southern California and created a myriad of research strands binding them to the academy. Hundreds of faculty and students of color are key contributors to the university’s social, cultural, and intellectual life.
This website is a portal for those who would like to understand this fascinating history and perhaps join in building an ever richer and more diverse future. Welcome.
Vice Chancellor and Dean