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Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Offers Students New Opportunities, Free Lunch

March 11, 2024

Students interested in social and racial justice, working with communities in the area, further understanding of critical race and ethnic studies, leadership opportunities and teamwork are invited to a kickoff party for a new student focused initiative led by the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) program.

The party takes place from noon to 1:30 p.m. March 14 at the campus’s Multicultural Center, KL 169. Students do not need to RSVP to attend the launch party. Come and get free food, meet the faculty and other students in the department and learn about opportunities to form student-led action groups to raise awareness and promote change around issues affecting the area’s diverse communities, work with local social justice organizations, start a student newsletter, lead a critical race and ethnic studies club and many other activities, all being supported by a new grant from the Mellon Foundation.

Students do not have to be CRES majors to take part in this new initiative, organizers said. All they need is curiosity and a passion for social justice.

“The point of critical race and ethnic studies is to not only understand structures of power and inequality and the social construction of race but also to produce new knowledges for and by racialized communities to advance liberation and change,” said Professor Sapana Doshi.

“It's a really wonderful opportunity for us, especially at a place like UC Merced, where the majority of our students are students of color and first-generation students,” Doshi said. “We will have support for various kinds of outreach activities, and we'll be able to pay stipends for students working with area communities and organizations, putting together the newsletter and other activities.”

Students interested in working on social justice issues in the community will be asked to put together proposals for projects to receive funding.

“We will see what kind of interests students have,” Doshi said. “A great many of our students want to make change for their communities, and this is a perfect chance for them.”