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Ethnic Studies

About the Program

Join Us for LGBTQ+ History Month

Virtual Talk with Author Sa’ed Atshan

Tuesday, June 18
11 a.m.–Noon

Register for Zoom Access

With his book Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique, Professor Sa'ed Atshan asks how transnational progressive social movements can balance struggles for liberation along more than one axis. He explores critical junctures in the history of Palestinian LGBTQ activism, revealing the queer Palestinian spirit of agency, defiance, and creativity, in the face of daunting pressures and forces working to constrict it.


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Read more about the book and Atshan's bio on the LBGTQ+HM page. Event co-sponsored by Foothill College Ethnic Studies Department and LGBTQ+HM Committee.

Why Ethnic Studies

Many students feel upon completing their K-12 education that culturally relevant curriculum has been missing from their education. This is no accident. As Angela Valenzuela explains in her book Subtractive Schooling, traditional models of education use a combination of assimilationist practices and policies to push students towards assimilating into the dominant culture of the United States.

Ethnic Studies courses can be a space that resists subtractive schooling by embracing and highlighting the culture of students, providing students with opportunities to gain insight into their own positionalities and ultimately have pride in themselves.

Our Approach


Ethnic Studies is an examination of major concepts and controversies in the study of racial and ethnic difference in the United States. In Ethnic Studies courses, students explore race and ethnicity as historical and contemporary categories of identification in the context of social inequality. Through the lenses of history, sociology, politics, economics, law, science, art, literature, culture, and social justice, Ethnic Studies courses examine and authenticate the values, contributions, and lived experiences of historically marginalized groups.


Ethnic Studies explores issues of identity and positionality as they relate to race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, socioeconomic class and labor, national origin, mixed heritages, religion/spirituality, generation, and ability.


At Foothill, we believe that successful Ethnic Studies courses:

  • Implement decolonial pedagogy, providing students with the tools to undertake a systemic critique of power and the traumatic history of colonialism and racism, while shifting traditional classroom dynamics toward a student-driven liberatory process.
  • Are adaptive to and shaped by community knowledge, helping students further understand the racial struggles they have already witnessed in their lives and in the United States.
  • Use culturally relevant, intersectional approaches that allow students to see all of themselves in the course material.

Courses Satisfy CSU New Ethnic Studies Requirement

All Foothill Ethnic Studies courses satisfy CSU Area D and Area F, CSU’s new Ethnic Studies requirement as of Fall 2021.  

The courses also satisfy Foothill GE requirements for Area I, Humanities, and Area VI, United States Cultures & Communities.

Select a course number to view course outline.

ETHN 51  Introduction To Ethnic Studies

ETHN 52  Introduction To African American Studies

ETHN 53  Introduction To Latinx Studies

ETHN 54  Introduction To Native American Studies

ETHN 55  Introduction To Asian American Studies

See course catalog for detailed descriptions.

See schedule of classes for courses offered this and upcoming terms.


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We're Here to Help!

Ethnic Studies Department

Division Office Contacts

Valerie Fong, Division Dean
Phone: 650.949.7135
Language Arts Division