CSRC Newsletter Volume 1, Number 5
The headline in the Los Angeles Times said it all: "Minority Admissions Rise in UC System but Fall at UCLA." Latino admissions at UCLA dropped from 14.1% in 2002 to 13.7% this year. Meanwhile, Latinos currently account for half of all births in California and 55% of the college age adults in Los Angeles!
University of California President Richard C. Atkinson wrote on this same issue in an opinion piece published in the Washington Post ( April 20, 2003 ). Below is an excerpt from his insightful essay:
The UC system in an earlier period took account of race and ethnicity in its admissions process. Latino, African American and Native American applicants were identified as "underrepresented minority" students, reflecting these groups' low eligibility rates traditionally, and that factor was taken into account in the admissions process. But a contentious vote of the Board of Regents in 1995, followed by a statewide initiative passed by California voters in 1996, ended that practice.
In its place, UC launched a greatly intensified program of outreach to public schools, working in partnership to improve academic performance and college eligibility in schools that traditionally sent few students to UC.
What have been the results for underrepresented minority students?
First, the proportions of underrepresented minority students at UC's more selective campuses -- particularly UC Berkeley and UCLA -- remain far below their previous levels. Second, the gap between the percentage of underrepresented minority students in the California graduating high school class and the percentage in the UC freshman class has widened appreciably.
What we do about this is a source of real concern. We must continue our efforts to help close the achievement gap in the public schools. We must continue refining our admissions policies to ensure that they reward high achievement and yet recognize that high achievement can be demonstrated in different ways in different educational settings.
But I offer California as a cautionary tale to the rest of the nation. Our experience to date shows that if race cannot be factored into admissions decisions at all, the ethnic diversity of an elite public institution such as the University of California may fall well behind that of the state it serves. And that is something that should trouble us all.
As Californians, and as Americans, we must seriously consider the important implications of the words of UC President Atkinson.
Chon A. Noriega, Director and Professor
Four Scholars To Be in Residence for 2003-2004
The CSRC will have three postdoctoral fellows and a visiting scholar contributing to ongoing research projects at the center for 2003-2004. Karen Mary Davalos, assistant professor of Chicana/o Studies at Loyola Marymount University, has been awarded the Institute of American Cultures (IAC) Postdoctoral Fellowship for her project " Museum Culture in Chicana/o Los Angeles, 1963-2003." Anthony Macias, assistant professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Riverside, will become the center's first Los Tigres Del Norte Foundation/IAC Postdoctoral Fellow. His project will be "Mexican American Mojo: Popular Music and Urban Culture in Los Angeles, 1940-1965." Yeidy Rivero, assistant professor of Media Studies at Indiana University, will join the center as a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow with her project "Translating Blackness: Race and Identity in Puerto Rico's Commercial Television." Finally, Raul Homero Villa, associate professor of English and comparative literary studies at Occidental College, will be in residence working on his project "By Any Means Necessary: An Oral History and Analysis of Jose Montoya's Life in Creative Struggle."
Last month, the CSRC hosted a number of distinguished visitors. UC Regent Velma Montoya Ph.D. graced the center for an afternoon, meeting with staff and discussing the center's research agenda with Director Chon A. Noriega. In a follow up letter, she predicted that "UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center Library will continue to be the world's foremost repository of Chicano studies materials." Other visitors included Salvador Gonzales, consultant for Lieutenant Governor Cruz M. Bustamante; Moctesuma Esparza, veteran producer of such films as Selena and Gods and Generals and UC Regents Lecturer for spring quarter 2003; Eddie Borjes, the only Latino talent agent at the renowned ICM; Lynn Zelevansky, curator and department head at Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (LACMA), and Howard Fox, curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, LACMA. Finally, Castulo de la Rocha, president and CEO of Altamed Health Services Corporation, and Dwayne Ulloa, president of the Los Tigres del Norte Foundation, were CSRC guests at the César E. Chávez: A Legacy of Leadership awards dinner at UCLA in April.
Mexican Indigenous Media Artists Showcase Their Videos
Last month, the CSRC hosted the Video Mexico Indigena/Video Native Mexico: Mexican Indigenous Video Tour, a showcase of award-winning fiction and documentary videos from Southern Mexico. Videomakers Juan José García (Zapotec), Dante Cerano (P'urhepecha), and Fabiola Gervacio Cándido (Mixe) screened their works and discussed media production in their communities as well as their environmental, cultural, and political interests. The event was co-sponsored by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center.
Wilson Middle School Visits Campus
Over 50 students from Wilson Middle School in Los Angeles visited the CSRC last month. Isabel Castro Melendez, academic & community relations coordinator, provided an overview of the CSRC and its activities. Librarian Alma Ortega presented the students with information on the CSRC Library and Special Collections. Following the visit, the students were invited to the upcoming family day at the opening of the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural Historyâ€™s exhibit "Ceramic Trees of Life: Popular Art From Mexico," which runs from May 4 to December 28, 2003.
More Groups Join Maquiladora Conference
Three more groups have joined the CSRC as Community Co-Sponsors of the upcoming "The Maquiladora Murders, Or, Who Is Killing the Women of Juárez?" Conference held October 31- November 2, 2003. These groups are the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in San Antonio, Texas; the Comisión Feminil of Los Angeles; and the National Compradres Network. The conference is being organized in collaboration with Amnesty International.
CSRC Events This Month
CSRC Faculty Exchange
Sociology professors Vilma Ortiz and Eddie Telles will present "The Mexican American Study Project" on Wednesday, May 21, from 12:00 to 1:00 PM in 179 Haines Hall. Due to limited seating, please RSVP by e-mail to Tanya Boykin. Lunch provided.
Hunger Strike Exhibition and Program
The CSRC invites you to attend the exhibition opening of "The 1993 Hunger Strike for a Chicano Studies Department at UCLA: A Retrospective" on Monday, May 12, at 3:00 PM. The program begins in the CSRC Library with a plaque unveiling ceremony, followed by a reception on the Haines Hall Veranda. Drawing from the photo archives of the Daily Bruin and the CSRC Hunger Strike Archival Collection, the exhibition will visualize the series of events in early 1993 that led up to the Hunger Strike (May 24-June 7, 1993). The exhibition, located in the CSRC Conference Room and Gallery, will run during CSRC office hours through summer 2003. Co-sponsors include the César E. Chávez Center Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee, MEChA de UCLA, and the Student Department Senate.
Staff Speaking Out
Lisa Catanzarite, CSRC senior research sociologist, will participate in a roundtable among scholars and policy makers on "The Trajectory of Poor Neighborhoods in Southern California" sponsored by the UCLA Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies. This event takes place at UCLA on Friday, May 16, and follows a lunchtime public lecture on "Alternative Poverty Measures" at 12:00 PM in 2343 Public Policy Building.
Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director, will give the keynote speech at the Third Annual UCLA Interdisciplinary Conference on Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration on Tuesday, May 27, at 1:30 PM in the UCLA Ackerman Union Second Floor Lounge (2414). His topic will be "Race and Media: Comparative Research, Policy and Advocacy."
Document Delivery Now Available
The CSRC Library now comes to you! Since the library's materials are non-circulating and many scholars are located outside the city and country, the library has instituted a fee-based photocopying service that will enable researchers greater access to the library's unique materials. For more information, go to CSRC Library Document Delivery.
The CSRC Library welcomes two new student staff from the UCLA Department of Information Studies: Laura Duncan, our new library assistant; and Christine Figueroa, our new intern for the Archival Collections Unit.
The CSRC Press has been very active this year, producing three Latino Policy & Issues Briefs; launching a new series, the CSRC Research Report; and publishing the spring issue of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies. To read the briefs or reports on-line, go to CSRC Press.
Exhibiting at Los Angeles Conferences
Last month, the CSRC Press exhibited books and materials at the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Conference in Los Angeles on April 2-6, and at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on April 26-27. Both events were very well attended, with over 1,000 people visiting the combined UCLA Ethnic Studies Publications booth during the festival.
If you are not already a subscriber to Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, please e-mail your postal address to CSRC Press so that we can send you a subscription package. If you know anyone else who would like to receive the Latino Policy & Issues Brief or the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Newsletter for free, please suggest that they send an e-mail to CSRC Electronic List with the message in the body of:
SUBSCRIBE CHICANO [first name last name].
They will then get both regularly.
Revisioning Latino Art History Project
The CSRC will host a planning meeting this month for A Ver: Revisioning Art History, a major research project and monograph series on the cultural, aesthetic, and historical contributions of Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and other U.S. Latino artists. The meeting will bring together the national advisory board of ten art historians and curators. The CSRC has developed this project over the past eighteen months with start up grants from UC MEXUS and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. The CSRC will soon release an electronic-format "Research Report" on the extent of under-representation for Latino and Latina artists in art history indexes and textbooks.
President Sought For National Hispanic University
The Board of Trustees of the National Hispanic University (NHU) invites nominations and applications for the position of president. NHU is an accredited private institution in San Jose, California. Founded in 1981 to meet the particular educational needs of Latinos, bilingual learners, and working students, NHU now enrolls over 500 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs. NHU offers degrees in such fields as Business Administration, Liberal Studies, and Computer Information Systems. Among institutions in northern California, NHU is a leader in training bilingual teachers. The Presidential Search Committee for NHU seeks a leader to carry the institution through this period of dynamic growth and the $25 million capital campaign now underway. Candidates should hold an earned doctorate, have a strong commitment to the mission of NHU, and have a minimum of 10 years of broad experience in higher education administration, including academic planning, budget and staff management, and fund-raising. Candidates should have outstanding communication skills and experience in forming educational partnerships with other institutions, community groups, foundations and the business sector. Additionally, candidates should be well-informed about issues facing Latinos in higher education. Nominations, applications, and expressions of interest should be directed to the Presidential Search Committee, The National Hispanic University, 14271 Story Road, San Jose, CA 95127-3823. Compensation is competitive, commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the successful candidate. Review of candidates will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. The National Hispanic University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.
Opportunities for Students
The CSRC welcomes undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in Chicano Studies to work as interns and volunteers in various areas of the CSRC. If interested, e-mail an inquiry to Carlos M. Haro.
Scholarships for Minorities
If you are an undergraduate or graduate student looking for financial support to attend college, please see links for information about a wide range of scholarships [originally in the body of this newsletter].
To learn more about us, go to UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center.
To subscribe to this newsletter, e-mail CSRC Press and include in the body of your message the line (and nothing but the line) SUBSCRIBE CHICANO STUDIES [first name, last name] (don't enter the brackets, just your name)