The Vermont Connection


Queena Hoang


In 1968, the San Francisco State College Third World Liberation Front made history for the longest student strike in America. Armed with a growing self-awareness and a determination to end Eurocentric biases in the classroom, students of Color rallied in a five-month battle for the first School of Ethnic Studies. These were the first moments of making history and creating a future of stories and voices for those unheard. Forty-three years later, American K-12 and higher education school systems have come full circle with new legislation such as Arizona’s House Bill (HB) 2281. Ethnic studies departments are constantly caught in a stage of struggle for academic legitimacy (Chen, 1989). This article explores the criticism and critiques of ethnic studies courses, namely focusing on HB 2281. I will also discuss the value of these courses and the ways in which they can positively influence campus climate, in addition to how ethnic studies has personally affected my journey into higher education and student affairs.