The American Cultures Center at UC Berkeley recently commissioned a poster to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the American Cultures requirement. As part of the process of developing the piece I interviewed students, staff and faculty about the role the students have the opportunity to play, in serving their communities through an engaged praxis, via the American Cultures classes. Their history is rooted in the Campaign Against Apartheid, a movement of “students, staff, faculty, and community members demanding that UC divest its portfolio of multiple billions of dollars in investments tied to apartheid South Africa.” I will be talking about the history of political graphics as related to social movements in the continental Americas and throughout the Third World during their week of celebratory events. See information below.

In 1989, UC Berkeley adopted the ground breaking American Cultures (AC) undergraduate education requirement. Courses meeting the AC requirement can be found in more than forty departments and programs across the UC Berkeley campus. As well as being the one course that all undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass in order to graduate, the requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

The AC Center also provides a unique environment for the development of student and faculty programs and welcomes opportunities to collaborate with campus academic partners, student based organizations and community partners. Such opportunities include the development of engaged scholarship programs, campus wide events, and video outreach projects.

Monday, April 21, 5-7pm – In Conversation: Current AC Student Advisory Board and 1989 UC Berkeley undergraduates.  Featuring: Jeff Chang (Stanford University), Rickey Vincent (UC Berkeley), Regina Freer (Occidental College), and Mark Min (City Span). Ethnic Studies Library, 30 Stephens Hall.

 Tuesday, April 22, 6-8pm – The Art of AC! Featuring: Melanie Cervantes (Dignidad Rebelde) who will present the 25th anniversary poster & discuss the role of art and activism.  Multicultural Community Center (MCC), Hearst Annex D-37.

Wednesday, April 23, 3-5pm – The AC Center: The Early Years Featuring: Troy Duster (Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley) and Ron Choy (Founding AC Program Director). 470 Stephens Hall.

Thursday, April 24, 10am-4pm – ‘Research Justice: A Symposium Exploring Community Engaged Scholarship’. Anna Head Alumnae Hall. Please click here to register: Research Justice.

Friday, April 25, 9am – 12noon – ‘Social Justice in Higher Education – Lessons from 1989’. Featuring: Professor Pedro Noguera (Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University) and AC Senate Chair, Professor Lisa Garcia Bedolla (Graduate School of Education, UC Berkeley).  Anna Head Alumnae Hall. Please click here to register: Lessons from 1989.

For more information, please visit AC Anniversary Information or click here to download an event flyer.

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