Late on a Wednesday evening about 30 CSU students are watching “Ethnic Notions,” a film about the black experience in America and the lasting effects of derogatory images. The movie displays caricatures resembling stereotypical black faces with exaggerated lips, which were once accepted in American media.
Nicole Gomuz, freshman open-option major, said the video taught her that “stereotypes can shape the way people think about themselves, even if it’s not true.”
Professor Manuel Trevino teaches Ethnicity in America and Chicano History and Culture, which is the only course that deals with Chicano history.
“What’s important about that is that we focus on the history of Mexico, not just the name, dates and places, but the evolution of the people,” said Trevino. “Chicano is rooted in a population of Mexican, Hispanic and a number of things. It was more of a philosophy-the study of people that identified with a social movement that began in the 1960s and still continues today.”
Most of Trevino’s teaching curriculum covers the study of the Chicano social movement and how it has changed over the years in his Chicano History and Culture class. This led to the development of the Mexican-American Certificate Program in the Center for Applied Studies in American Ethnicity. The organization is a department within Liberal Arts, offering five concentration areas of study: African American, Asian and Pacific American, Native American, Ethnic Studies, and Latino and Chicano American.
“The faculty have joint appointments with other departments in the University and share expertise not only in Ethnic Studies but also in anthropology, English, history, sociology and social work,” said CASAE director Irene Vernon. “The curriculum is designed to provide a core understanding of various ethnic experiences in the US, promote cross-cultural critical thinking skills on U.S. ethnic and racial issues, introduce interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives and complement and enhance the student’s learning through community-bases service experiences and internships.”
Furthermore, CASAE participates in university forums, has guest lecturers come to campus and coordinates outreach programs.
One of the outreach programs is the Bimson Seminar. The program is an advanced on-going seminar for kindergarten through 12th grade teachers in the Poudre School District, who learn how to teach ethnic and racial diversity in their classrooms. They complete readings and participate in discussion with CASAE faculty presenters, developing instructional materials to incorporate into their teaching curriculum.
“The biggest benefit that I saw was that the CSU staff provided materials and information to our staff that could immediately be shared with the students in our district,” said Pam Uhls, social studies curriculum coordinator.
Trevino and CASAE faculty are looking into becoming an academic department to offer degrees to undergraduates.
Also, Trevino and the brothers of Nu Alpha Kappa will be presenting “Moving Beyond the Color of Fear,” an open dialogue about racism and issues in Fort Collins, Northern Colorado and America. The film is about eight North American men from different backgrounds challenging the privileged status of white Americans. They discuss their experiences with discrimination. The panel will be on Oct. 16 in DC bottoms at the Durrell Center from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“Some of the videos we watched are things I’ve never seen,” said Derric Stevens, junior and sociology major.
-Edited by Shandra Jordan, Colleen Buhrer and Becky Waddingham