Department of Sociology

"Opening the Blinds: Talking Race, Sex and Class at UT-Austin"

Tue, October 30, 2012 | BUR 214

10:00 AM

Marleen Villanueva, Spanish Senior, member of La Colectiva Femenil
Marianna Anaya, Mexican American Studies and Radio, Television and Film Junior, member of La Colectiva Femenil
Juan Portillo, PhD Student in Sociology
Ganiva Reyes, PhD Student in Cultural Studies in Education
Rocio Villalobos, UT Alum and Program Coordinator for the Multicultural Engagement Center

While college is often sold as the ticket to a better life, being a UT student can also be a rough and violent experience. Recent bleach bombings against students of color, offensive sorority and fraternity race-themed parties, and the current attack on affirmative action can affect students' sense of security, their sense of belonging in our imagined community, and their emotional well-being. At the same time, UT's and Austin's claim to a liberal mentality can serve to obscure or diminish the impact of these events, as well as the sense of alienation that students can and often feel. As a response to the current campus climate, the Sociology department invites you to a panel presentation and discussion to frame these and other issues in a way that allows us to unravel the many social forces that affect students, including race, gender, sexuality, and social class.

In this panel, the presenters will open up a conversation to explain how race, sexuality, gender, and social class are experienced by students. First, Marleen Villanueva and Marianna Anaya will provide a narrative of their educational trajectory at UT-Austin, shedding light on their experiences as first generation college students, women of color, and student leaders. Next, using an intersectional, feminist, sociological lens, Juan Portillo will explain how UT can learn from students' experiences in order to understand how racism, sexism and classism are at work at UT in the form of "micro-aggressions."  Ganiva Reyes will then talk about her experiences teaching the only required course in the College of Education that addresses race, gender, sexuality, and other factors in teacher training. Finally, Rocio Villalobos will provide her perspective as a UT alum and as someone who now works for UT in a center that seeks to address issues such as racism, classism, sexism, and homophobia.

The panel will be moderated by Dr Christine Williams, Chair of the Sociology Department. We hope that after the presentation the panelists and the audience can have a conversation that enriches our understanding of racism, sexism and classism, and what steps can be taken to address these problems.

The event is free and open to the public.

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  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    CLA 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086