From April 27-May 5, 1994, nine Chicana/o, Latina/ students, affiliated with El Congreso, went on a ten-day hunger strike. This action generated substantive changes on campus, including more Chicana/o Studies Department faculty, the first ever doctoral program in Chicana/o Studies, and a more racially diverse campus. Indeed, greater funding for recruitment and retention programs from the 1994 hunger strike is one reason why the campus just became a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). This photo includes two of the nine hunger strikers, Naomi Garcia and Edwin Lopez, speaking at a rally outside Campbell Hall (Naomi Garcia collection).

Welcome to Chican@ Studies!

The Chicana/o Studies Department engages students in the interdisciplinary study of Chicana and Chicano history, culture, and politics. Our students explore Chicana/o experiences in their most broad, comprehensive sense, informed by several philosophical and theoretical schools, historical and political scholarship, literary and religious traditions, artistic movements, mass media, and video and film. In partnership with affiliated faculty across campus and feminist and Black Studies Ph.D. emphasis programs, the B.A./Honors/M.A./Ph.D. programs in Chicana and Chicano Studies challenge students to link theory with practice, scholarship with teaching, and the academy with the community.


The UC Santa Barbara Chicana and Chicano Studies Department is deeply concerned and troubled by the highly offensive and inflammatory language that was found outside key campus locations such as the Student Resource Building (SRB), North Hall, South Hall, and the Multicultural Center (MCC) last week.  North Hall displays photographic murals that depict the historic Black Student Union occupation in 1968 and South Hall is home to the Black Studies, Chicana/o Studies, and the Feminist Studies Departments.  The MCC fosters cultural awareness and promotes social change through films, lectures, and artist exhibitions and the SRB houses numerous offices for the broader student community.  These are all spaces that students of color, queer students, Muslim and Middle Eastern students, undocumented students, and women consider to be “safe.”  We believe, therefore, the chalked writings, which included “Torture Muslims,” “Sodomy=AIDS, repent,” “Deport them all, build the wall, keep the tacos,” and “1 in 4 women are not raped,” were not a healthy exercise in free speech.  They were designed to intimidate, frighten, and harass these students.  One could reasonably argue that such charged rhetoric constitutes “hate speech” and in fact discourages open dialogue rather than promotes it. (Click to read more).

‘Messengers for Success’
UCSB pilot program sends female engineering students to mentor female middle-schoolers to interest them in STEM fields and grow their sense of possibilities

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