Message from the Department Head

Message from the Department Head

We are in tumultuous times. White supremacy keeps rearing its ugly head, but we keep fighting for our lives. Whether in the Black Lives Matter movement, the #MMIR movement, electoral politics, or immigration policy reform efforts, we recognize that racism, settler-colonialism, xenophobia, sexism, and queerphobia are still powerful forces shaping our daily lives, sometimes in ways we don’t even see. We have to confront those forces with all the determination we can muster, and that’s a central component of our work in IRES.

But we also seek to build a world as we want to see it—full of love, compassion, self-determination, and tender care for all our relations. These movements are a collective prayer and plan for a beautiful future, and that is at the heart of our work, too. IRES scholarship remains as urgent as ever, and our faculty, staff, and students continue to work together and with our communities to educate each other and the world, to generate new knowledge, to share established wisdom, and to form strategies to build that beautiful future.

IRES education is world-changing, and it is often through their jobs that IRES alumni are able to do their most transformative work. IRES alumni go on to find employment in many fields— as teachers, tribal council members, professors, educational administrators, non-profit directors, organizers, media producers, social workers, lawyers, and countless other professions. There is no field where IRES training would be irrelevant, especially as so many institutions reevaluate their practices to plan for more just futures.

Whether you want to declare an Ethnic Studies major, a Native Studies/Latinx Studies/Black Studies/Ethnic Studies minor, whether you’re looking to be a doctoral student in our new PhD program, a graduate student from another department enrolled in our graduate certificate program, or just a student looking for an interesting class this term, we invite you to join us.
IRES is for everybody—we don’t just show you the world here, we help you shape it.

Brian Klopotek

Department Head and Associate Professor