Latino/Latin American Studies and Anti-Racism
Latino/Latin American Studies and Anti-Racism:
Race and racism are features of the history of the Americas and of the present-day social, political, cultural, and economic realities of the region. Latino Studies and Latin American Studies are inter-disciplinary fields of research and analysis that seek to learn and teach about regional history and current issues, including the ways in which racial categories and racist ideas have shaped systematically the institutions, social positions, and practices that determine the unequal access to power, resources, and cultural representation of different social groups.
The Latino/Latin American Studies program at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University is committed to anti-racist pedagogy and research. This means that as LLAS faculty we are united in the recognition that:
- systemic racism is a vestige of colonization and slavery that continues in the present,
- racism in all its forms is unjust and socially damaging and must be overturned,
- racism often takes the form of everyday, subtle, and often unintentional interactions that communicate bias toward historically marginalized groups through micro-agressions, and
- research, teaching, and learning that promote a factual and critical relationship to the racist past and present, and cultivate respectful and dialogical relationshipsamong teachers and learners of all cultural backgrounds, represent important anti-racist methodologies.
We also recognize that the classroom is a space where faculty members exercise authority in our relationship to students. As faculty, we understand that responsible use of our authority requires that we both acknowledge our own potential for bias – based on race, gender, class, and sexuality and how these intersect in our own identity and experience – and remain open to perspectives and experiences fundamentally different from our own.