In response to the recent Wellesley News article titled “MEZCLA to discuss the possibility of a Chicano/Latino studies minor”:
Students involved in the planning committee of the Ethnic Studies Conference would like to clarify that MEZCLA is not directly involved in the push for the implementation of Latin@ Studies at Wellesley College. Although MEZCLA Executive Board and General Members are involved, MEZCLA as an organization is not responsible for the movement. Naming MEZCLA as the main organizer for this movement would be inaccurate considering the broad range of organizations, students and faculty involved.
After Wellesley College successfully implemented an Asian-American Studies minor within the American Studies Department in Spring 2013, student leaders from organizations such as Cielito Lindo, Ethos, Familia, Alianza, Wellesley Asian Alliance, MEZCLA and QCAB drafted a letter to the administration demanding the expansion of Ethnic Studies curriculum. The short-term goal of creating a Latin@ Studies minor was established as a necessary step towards developing a comprehensive Ethnic Studies program.
In order to further open up discussion about the minor and program, students and faculty successfully organized and executed an Ethnic Studies Conference. Professors from various academic institutions were invited to define the field of Ethnic Studies, discuss various methods of implementation at comparable institutions and create viable ways of successfully expanding the curriculum at Wellesley.
Additionally, the discussions incorporated a diversity of field research in African-American, Asian-American, Native and Post-Colonial, and Latin@ Studies and how they intersect with gender and sexuality studies.
As the United States becomes an increasingly diverse nation, the importance of understanding the historical, sociological and cultural impact of various groups becomes blatantly evident. The production of knowledge from the field of Ethnic Studies is invaluable and stands to benefit all current and future students on campus. The implementation of Latin@ Studies on campus is the next step to ensuring a solid foundation for a broader Ethnic Studies curriculum and will allow Wellesley College to rise as a pioneer in a field that will undoubtedly shape the future.
Maria Alejandra Oceja ’15, MEZCLA Vice President
Cassandra Flores-Montaño ’16, MEZCLA Historian
Safaya Fawzi ’14, Multi-Cultural Affairs Coordinator
Luisa Sophia Reyes ’15, Ethnic Studies Conference Student Chair