For more information on the Ethnic Studies Award, please see the Submission Guidelines page
[2020 Winner] The Power of Guinaiya: The Intersections of Love and Resistance Through the Native Chamoru Voice
Over the last three centuries, the indigenous Chamoru people of Guåhan have endured several accounts of foreign colonization. Through time and physical space, native Chamorus have witnessed environmental destruction of precious ancestral land, a loss of deeply rooted cultural traditions and language, and blatant disrespect for an island and its people by the U.S. military. As an unincorporated territory of the United States, the Department of Defense has made their point clear: Guåhan is a military vessel first and foremost and the future of the island lies within the hands of the U.S. government. Though Guåhan might be small in size, the strength and resilience of the native Chamoru people has persisted despite the increased militarization and colonization of the island. Through indigenous acts of resistance and self care, the intersections of poetic expression, love, and social justice uplifts and empowers the inhabitants of Guåhan and other surrounding islands in the Northern Marianas.
Sarahi Mariaca Diaz
This paper discusses the stress and mental and emotional health of undocumented students, including DACA students (referred to as DACAmented), DREAMERS, and AB 540 students, during their college application process and their college journey. Also, this paper focuses on how immigration status and stress factors impact undocumented students’ academic and personal life, how those factors impact the mental and emotional health of undocumented students, and how undocumented students overcome or address the stress factors they experience. Finally, this paper discusses how educational institutions in higher education need to improve to make an undocu-friendly and supportive environment for undocumented students.
[2020 Honorable Mention] The Chinatown of Soledad Street: A Historical Analysis of a Multicultural Ethnic Enclave from early 20th century Salinas
Alfonso Calderon Reyna
Abstract: The current conditions of the Salinas Chinatown cause many to avoid the area. In recent years, most have become unaware that Chinatown holds a significant part of our local history. The works of Lori A. Flores, and Rina Benmayor have served as an influence for engaging in this project. The main intent of this research is to expand on these works, and to support the notion that Chinatown’s history must be preserved. This study will provide a cohesive analysis which will look at themes that emerge from scholarly work and raw data. Between 2008 and 2015, Rina Benmayor led a project of collecting oral histories from individuals who interacted with Chinatown in the 20th century. This research will include content from these sources, as well as other materials dedicated to Chinatown’s history. The content of the findings will further elaborate on the themes found in the literature review. These themes include, but not limited to, social barriers, and cultural expression. Ultimately, this research will demonstrate that Salinas Chinatown possesses a significant part of our local history.
[2020 Honorable Mention] Six Days to Leave Home: The Diasporic Experience of Japanese Americans to American Incarceration Camps
Using diaspora as a rhetorical framework, this paper analyses the cultural connection between American incarceration camps and the imprisonment of Japanese American citizens during World War II. The forced removal of Japanese American families from their homes to concentration camps emphasizes the negative ramifications of diaspora regarding [forced] cultural assimilation, as well as a loss of culture, language, family, and bodily autonomy.
This paper examines the historical and contemporary effectiveness of Native American rhetorical responses to the exploitation of natural resources.
[2018 Winner] Filipino Americans: A health profile addressing health disparities and the effects of U.S. assimilation and discrimination
Filipino Americans have a rich history in migrating to the U.S as well as assimilating into American culture. They have a distinct immigrant experience because of their colonial past. This paper states Filipino American U.S demographics, health statistics, and traditional health beliefs and practices to understand Filipino American culture and beliefs. Lastly, there is an emphasis in the leading health disparity among them, heart disease, and the effects of racism and discrimination and how that impacts a Filipino Americans overall physical and mental health.
My paper is a narrative research essay that involves me interviewing my grandma about her time in Laos during the Secret War and her transition to America. Throughout the paper, I had conducted researches to support my points. It does relate to the field of ethnic studies because this paper basically explains how my people (Hmong) lived back then, and how they're adjusting to the new life here in America.
The focus of this paper is sex tourism in the Caribbean, more specifically on Euro-American white women traveling for sexual relationships with Caribbean men. I will be analyzing these relationships through an intersectional approach by race, gender, and socioeconomic perspectives. The key point of my paper is to gain insight into the complicated sex for money 'relationships' and how they exist in places such as the Caribbean.
[2017 Winner] Minority Ethnic Groups and their Experiences with Racial Profiling and Mass Incarceration Rates within the American Criminal Justice System
Mary A. Cabriales
My paper helps to shed light on the many inequalities and injustices that our minority ethnic groups face on a higher level versus their (majority) white counterparts, and it addresses how our legal system implements policies that perpetuate the oppression and suppression of marginalized groups. My paper also incorporates U.S. history and how our history has many deeply rooted practices related to racism and bigotry, and how certain xenophobic and nativist perspectives help to promote the false and negative connotations given to our minority ethnic groups. This in turn causes our law enforcement teams to be racially biased and prejudiced towards most minority groups to the point where they are stopped and frisked, detained, and incarcerated at a much higher rate versus people who are of European descent.
[2017 Honorable Mention] The American Dream (Some Restrictions May Apply): Racial Boundaries to Class Mobility in American Immigration Narratives
Olivia L. Basso
This paper analyzes three works of fiction to see the role that race plays in immigrants' ability to achieve social mobility.