The Transition from White Hegemony to a Colored Majority at California State University, Hayward: Creating Diversity-Based Student Culture

Dr. Robert Louis Terrell
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This new majority is primarily composed of Latinos, Asians, African Americans, and a large and growing contingent of students from the Third World. Needless to say, the transition, which is still in progress, has engendered a host of unprecedented problems and opportunities for the institution. The paper devotes primary attention to the most important cultural, racial, ethnic, gender and national identity issues engendered by the transition, and the manner in which the institution's leaders intermittently reject and embrace its inevitability. The paper devotes special attention to the manner in which successive generations of students responded to the transition during the 30-odd years that it has been underway. As might be expected, some students welcome the transition, and others vehemently oppose it. The paper presents a careful review and analysis of a broad variety of sources. These include Long Range plans, accreditation reports and faculty senate resolutions. The paper also includes information culled from interviews, speeches, publications, manifestos and editorials produced by students, professors and administrators in response to the escalating rate of transition in the institution's racial and cultural identity. Finally, the paper addresses the frequently profound differences in the responses of the faculty and administration to the transition in comparison to students. Those differences result from historical factors associated in large measure with the tradition of white hegemony. As such, they are illustrative of some of the most important problems of denial, resistance and repression commonly associated with the process of diversification. Given the fact that a process of transition roughly identical to the one underway at California State University, Hayward is taking place in many institutions, communities and states here in the United States, the paper's conclusions provide valuable insights and information that should prove valuable for those who study and manage diversification processes.

Keywords: Diversity, White Hegemony, Emergent Colored Majorities, Repression, Resistance and Denial, Diversity-Based Student Culture
Stream: Race and Racism
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Robert Louis Terrell

Professor, Department of Communication, California State University, Hayward

My research addresses the manner in which contemporary systems of power are being challenged and transformed via the efforts of the world's emergent, colored majority. I am particularly interested in studying the ways in which previously suppressed groups pursue self determination in organizational, community, national and global settings. This interest necessarily requires me to also address the manner in which traditional elites are responding (both positive and negative) to the unprecedented challenges inherent in the "revolution of rising expectations" that is inspiring the world's increasingly powerful and influential colored majority.

Ref: D05P0043