"In my opinion Diversity classes are so important when we try to understand our neighbors. If we live in the city we are more than likely within blocks of a racially, religiously, culturally, or sexually diverse family. In the rural areas of Wisconsin I admit that it is more difficult to meet racially different Americans than yourself, but it is becoming more likely that there are Latinos, African Americans, or Muslims residing in your county. If we can learn about their cultural ways we won't fear the difference between us. Institutional[ized] discrimination was interesting to me because I was unaware of the housing discrimination at the end of WWII. I was actually shocked to learn of the practices then."
-- Susan Baumgartner - May 6, 2014
"For me, RES is important because there are a lot of misconceptions that we learn just from growing up about race and race related issues. I chose this as my minor because I want to be apart in learning all of the history. This subject is poorly covered in most high school history classes so I wanted to take it upon myself to really become involved and learn as much as I could in my time at UWW. I've learned so much about not only the history behind race and race related issues, but also how these issues currently are affecting people today and their everyday lives. It has improved my general knowledge as well as made me a more well rounded and considerate person. I hope to spread this knowledge to people i meet throughout life and hopefully my understandings can help people along the way. "
-- Emma Schumann - 2019
Alumna Tina M. Hunter, Dept. of Sociology @ UW-Madison, talks about Race & Ethnic courses as a foundation for research, succeeding in life and understanding of issues:
"As an undergrad at UWW in the early to mid 90s (I graduated summa cum laude in 1997), I took as many Race and Ethnic Studies courses as I could. I believe that I have a total of 18 undergraduate credits in the field. With an English-Writing major and a History minor, I found these courses to be extremely helpful. They certainly supplemented my understanding of not only the context of both historically significant events and the literature of various time periods, but also proved key to understanding what was happening to the people of a society during the course of history. This understanding as an undergrad served me well as a graduate student at UW-Madison, where I studied Educational Administration. Knowledge of our nation's history, with insight into how race and ethnicity have informed our collective thought as well as practice, was an excellent foundation for my research that focused partly on who goes to college, who succeeds, and why. [Race and Ethnic Studies] courses have served me well in both my professional life and more broadly as a citizen. As an administrator at UW Madison, I am very involved with the Office of Equity and Diversity where I facilitate and participate in learning communities that explore and seek to broaden understanding of equity and diversity practices, particularly in human resources matters. Currently, I'm a member of the Ad Hoc Diversity Planning Committee for UW Madison. Our goals and recommendations will be considered and voted on by the UW's four shared governance groups in the very near future.
As a community member, I serve as an officer on the Stoughton Area School District's Board of Education where I've been Chair of the Policy Committee as well as the Employee Relations Committee. These two very important committees are infused with issues where my background and understanding of race and ethnicity allow me to continually understand complex problems from multiple perspectives that are very real, important, and immediate to the stakeholders of my community. I strongly believe that my experience in Race and Ethnic Studies courses have influenced greatly my understanding of complex issues in our society, and that such understanding has made me a better student, a stronger and more effective supervisor, a more compassionate member of my community, and an informed advocate for a better society. I am grateful to UW Whitewater, its staff, and its faculty for the many opportunities offered to me and to thousands of others who are affected by the work of the UWW. I encourage every student to learn as much as they can about and from the Race and Ethnic Studies program as possible.
The valuable opportunity for greater understanding of our increasingly diverse world can be found through such study, and should be embraced heartily.
--Tina M. Hunter, Academic Department Manager, Dept. of Sociology, UW- Madison, spring 2014