Ethnic Studies Student Steering Committee invites UP community to compassionate listening session

The town hall will be held Dec. 4 at 6 p.m.

By Carlos Fuentes | December 3, 2020 9:53pm

This is the promotional graphic for the event on Engage.

Screen capture: Austin De Dios

The Ethnic Studies Student Steering Committee (ESSSC) is holding a town hall on Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. for all UP students and community members. The purpose of the webinar is for students to discuss their support for an ethnic studies program at UP, a program offered at many other universities but missing from UP’s catalogue. 

“We cordially invite everyone to a compassionate listening session to hear ESSSC students' ideas of how we can move the needle for racial and intersectional justice and create a community of care for marginalized QTBIPOC identities,” states the webinar’s Engage page. 

The ESSSC, formed this year, is composed of 20 UP students from a variety of majors and grades, many of whom identify as BIPOC or hold leadership positions in BIPOC-related clubs on campus. The group is led by a handful of professors and faculty members, including psychology professor Sarina Saturn, who expressed how important this event will be for many. 

“We wanted to honor the wishes of some to make the speakers 100% BIPOC for Friday's event,” Saturn said in an email. “We also do want to articulate that the discipline of ethnic studies is for everyone, including all faiths, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, colors, etc., so we welcome your collaboration in making this clear while also honoring this rare opportunity for an all-BIPOC event.”

Another initiative for this new program is the search for an Ethnic Studies Director, which will be a new position at UP. A search committee has been narrowing down the list, and the final candidates for the job will be attending public webinars next semester as part of the selection process.

The event is being hosted by several departments on campus, including Diversity and Inclusion Programs, Active Minds club, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Gender and Women’s Studies Minor. 

For more information or to RSVP, head to the event’s Engage site

Carlos Fuentes is the Copy Editor for The Beacon. He can be reached at