Women of Color in the Academy

Photo Exhibition, Durango Building Gallery, March 7-31, 2005
Reception, March 7, 4:00pm, DB1.124
Panel Presentation, Sam Riklin Auditorium FS1.406, 5:30-7:30pm

     I’ve always loved taking pictures, especially of the faces that make up our community of women. About six years ago, I remember a discussion at Antonia Castañeda’s, the historians in attendance were trying to figure out how many Chicanas had completed their history Ph.D.’s. To the best of my recollection, 13 had finished. That discussion made we wonder where I stood in relation to Sociology and the Social sciences. I recently learned that I was one of 16, of which 6 were women, in 1995.
     This is a project of love and a way of sharing a historical moment that marks the presence of Chicanas, African Americans, and Mixed Heritage academics that bear the legacy and kept the doors open for us to be here. In addition, this is a testament to their sacrifices, struggles, and contributions—it is a celebration of their courage and an honoring for having paved the way. A partial story that I have now begun to pursue as a research project, without doubt I am definite that the humanities and sciences are not faring much better.
     In these photographs, I am including community or junior college professors (6) because they do the hard work that bridges the potential for students of color to enter four-year institutions, as well as doctoral students -- they are the future. Among the doctoral faculty, they span teaching to research institutions such as UCLA, Berkeley, and UT Austin. From personal knowledge I have calculated that sixty-five percent (65%) are first-generation academics. On this March of 2005, Women’s History Month at UTSA, we dedicate this space and celebrate their contributions.
     Let it be known that the women in these photographs represent various disciplines in the Humanities (31), Education (24), Social Sciences (19), and the Sciences (1). And, as is the case with many, they serve two departments at the same time; they represent 18 departments or disciplines in the academy.

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