Mixed-Race Studies; Misstep or the next step for Ethnic Studies in a blending nation?
In January of 2011, the New York Times reported that 2010 U.S. Census data shows that younger generations are self-reporting their racial identity as multiracial or mixed-race in higher numbers than ever before¹. Classes in higher education that engage with race and ethnicity, often but not always as part of Ethnic Studies programs in universities, discuss and critique the categorizations of race and ethnicity. However, there is a social, political and economic power and privilege that groups have in being recognized as part of a categorized racial and/or ethnic group that mixedrace or multiracial identified individuals do not have when their identity is underrepresented or unrepresented. There is a very small number (under ten) universities in the U.S. that offer courses or programs that focus their study on a mixed-race identity. The potential problem in this change is a growing mixed-race identified population is the possibility that a growing number of students in classes that will not find a curriculum that centers on their racial experiences. That is the question I will address - are the racial experiences and understandings of mixed-race identified people being addressed in classes that engage with and critique race? I survey a small sample of students currently enrolled in classes which engage with race and ethnicity at Oregon universities about their racial experiences to find out if they see mixed-race studies as having a place in the future of ―Ethnic Studies‖ classes in higher education.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ann Mussey