Given the consistent population projections that say our country will no longer have an ethnic majority by the year 2050, one would think that diversity education would become even more crucial in order to deepen our understanding of multicultural studies and the various communities of color that are growing in significant percentages. Instead, there is a disturbing trend emerging across the country where the current economic climate is used to justify budget cuts and these diversity-based departments are the first to go.
In the past few years, we’ve seen a troubling trend where academic programs in both public schools and universities centered on tenets of diversity such as African American studies, ethnic studies, women’s studies, and others get the axe. Despite the fact that many of these programs were the result of hard-fought battles won by the civil rights and women’s movements, we’ve seen proposals to either eliminate whole departments or considerably cut their funding in California, Texas, and Nevada, among other states.
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