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Ethnic studies 50 years later: Where are we now?

Courtesy of San Francisco State University
Laureen Chew

A lot has changed in the 50 years since the strike at San Francisco State University brought about the country’s first ethnic studies program. Today, ethnic etudies courses are offered nationwide.

As for SF State, the department expanded to include classes like Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora Studies, and Race and Resistance studies.

Laureen Chew, the retired Associate Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State, talked about the progress we've made and the challenges we face today.

"None of us were supposed to be anything anything close to professors here."

You can view archival news footage and photos from the SFSU strike at the online San Francisco State College Strike Collection.

Crosscurrents Education
Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.