The Deconstructing Diversity Initiative consists of a 4 unit, three-quarter series course (total of 12 units) as a seminar-style introduction to issues of race that are central to American society. This program combines rigorous classroom instruction on issues of race and race relations with travel to sites of historical and contemporary importance to the experience of race in America. 

The first quarter (Fall 2019) focuses primarily on providing students with theoretical frameworks for understanding the impact of race on the American experience, paying particular attention to the experiences of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos. Fall quarter topics include psychological approaches to racial identity formation and structural approaches to race such as critical race theory; differential racialization; intersectionality; anti-blackness; and white privilege. 

The second quarter (Winter 2020) quarter will provide a chance to further explore critical issues that are impacted by race and race relations in America, such as race and education; the Asian American Achievement Paradox; immigration, labor, and race; allyship and the politics of solidarity; anti-blackness and the queer rights movement; art and racial resilience; and multicultural / diversity initiatives. 

There will be one weekend of travel during Winter quarter (dates TBD, prior to week 5, Thursday - Sunday) and attendance is required for this travel.

During the Spring break (between Winter and Spring quarters), students will travel to Chicago, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Montgomery, and New Orleans. We plan to leave on Thursday of Finals Week and return on Saturday before Spring quarter begins. Attendance is required on this trip and we will work with your professors to try and make arrangements as necessary. 

During Spring quarter, students will focus on local initiatives and begin to develop their own initiatives to educate and impact the local community. 

Throughout in-class instruction and experiential learning trips, students will investigate institutional and contextual forces, power differences, real or imagined, that are at the heart of racial/ethnic tensions and should be considered in developing and implementing strategies for improving race relations. These include structures and practices, mores, traditions, beliefs, and stereotypes.

The purpose of this course is to raise student awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion through in-class and experiential education around race issues in the U.S. The objective is to provide students with the education, training and experiences needed to better understand, negotiate and resolve racial and ethical tension. The program not only endeavors to prepare students to engage in a diverse environment, but also equips them to be agents of change within their campus community. 

The travel component of the course is intended to provide students with a chance to engage with issues of race in America in a more hands-on fashion, with students meeting with a variety of activists, community leaders, policymakers, and NGOs to explore issues such as gentrification, mass incarceration, environmental racism, and grass-roots activism. Travel will also allow students to strengthen their skills at navigating important – and often controversial – topics with sensitivity to the diverse narratives that underlie issues of race in America. Through this course, students will learn how to incorporate such sensitivity into their own interactions both on campus and in the broader community.

Note: A large part of this program is to apply and pass on knowledge and experience acquired. Therefore, the year after completing DDI, students will be assigned to serve as mentors in the Diversity, Inclusion, and Racial Healing Ambassador Program (DIRHA), to serve as a facilitator for the Diversity & Student Empowerment Program (SEP), or be assigned to sit on a campus committee or workgroup.


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