OLUREMI Alapo - CUNY, Borough of Manhattan Community College [BMCC]
Eleanor Drabo - Borough of Manhattan Community College
DeRoy Gordon - Borough of Manhattan CC
Soniya Munshi - Borough of Manhattan Community College
RaShelle Peck - Borough of Manhattan CC
Andrew Smallwood - Borough of Manhattan CC
Linta Varghese - Borough of Manhattan CC
Initially established as the Black Studies Program in 1970, the Department of Ethnic and Race Studies (DERS) at BMCC is uniquely situated at CUNY as the only department to explicitly include multiple areas in the field of Ethnic Studies. Over its 50year existence, DERS has led a number of initiatives at the college, university, and larger community level. In this double roundtable, a number of faculty from the department will continue the discussion on the importance of Ethnic Studies as essential in the college curriculum. They will reflect on the history of the department, and on their experiences teaching Ethnic Studies at BMCC. Presenters will examine strategies used both inside and outside of the traditional classroom and engage in conversation on the challenges and possibilities for the teaching Ethnic Studies at CUNY. Participants will also discuss the continued struggle to expand Ethnic Studies amid ongoing budget cuts to public institutions and conservative political backlash against “critical race theory” approaches. The main objective of these conversations is to evaluate our work so far, to engage other programs and initiatives at CUNY, and to continue to build strong curriculum and programs for our students.