Santa Monica College Podcast Communication Worksheet

Podcast Worksheet- ExposureThe Basics
Podcast Name ___________________________ Air Date_____________
Host(s) ____________________________
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Guest(s) ____________________________
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Welcoming in New Information
What did you know about the topic, the podcast host/s, the podcast guest/s before you listened to the podcast?
Language- Write down important vocabulary words pertinent to the podcast and key terms that were new to you



Quotations- Write down any quotes that you found stunning or that you found interesting



Ways Knowledge is Organized- (more quotable information)
Pertinent Statistical Information (Discovery Paradigm or Quantitative Data- information that is measurable,
systematized, repetitive, rigorous, accurate, valid)



Pertinent Expert Information (Interpretive Paradigm or Qualitative Data- information that is focused on meaning
making from “experts.” “Experts” have a focused knowledge on subjects, topics, phenomena, or self.)



Pertinent Critical Information (Critical Paradigm or Critical Scholarship- hidden narratives, power, equity, agency,
exploitation, oppression, asymmetrical power relationships, false consciousness, distorted communication, and push for social change)



Processing the New Information
The podcast made me think•


The podcast made me feel- (Profoundly not interested in if you liked it, this isn’t yelp, what did you feel?)



Active Action Steps-Have you sought out to additional information? Yes or No Can you apply to other classes? Yes or No
Reflection Summary- In a full one-page reflection tell me about the experience of listening to this podcast. What did you learn?
>> Support for this podcast comes from Marguerite Casey Foundation. They believe in
leaders who shift the balance of power in their communities to working people and
families. And have a vision to build a truly representative economy. Shifting power,
powering freedom. Learn more about the foundation at www.CaseyGrants.org.
>> Fifty years ago, a bitter strike upended one of America’s biggest cities. It wasn’t a
standoff between workers and bosses, though. It was a standoff between college students
and college administrators.
[ Chanting ]
>> It was a multiracial fight, hundreds of students at a mostly white commuter college in
San Francisco, California, refused to go to class until more people of color were admitted.
Strikers were also calling for a radical innovation at the time, a college of Ethnic Studies
where all students could learn about brown and black communities in the United States.
And I think it’s fair to say things got ugly.
>> They just started beating him and they didn’t even bother with him to arrest him. It was- because he wasn’t doing anything. They just left him to lay in the in the corner here. You
can just– you can see his blood. So they left.
>> The police were angry that the white students would even support us. Everybody was
under attack.
>> I just saw brutality I never want to see again.
>> I spent my 19th birthday in jail.
>> All for what? Black studies? Ethnic studies?
>> I’m Gene Demby.
>> I’m Shereen Marisol Meraji and this is Code Switch
>> From NPR.
>> Big news on our beat, Gene. If you attend the largest public university system in the
country, the Cal State system here in California, and that’s a lot of people, you cannot
graduate unless you take an ethnic studies or a social justice course.
>> I did not know that.
>> Yeah.
>> So the head of the CSU system, his name is Timothy P. White, he said in a statement that
taking an ethnic studies or social justice course will, quote, “empower our students to meet
this moment in our nation’s history, giving them the knowledge, broad perspectives, and
skills needed to solve society’s most pressing problems,” end quote.
>> That is a lovely quote, but–
>> It is.
>> –not everyone is into this idea. As some of you listening probably already have
surmised->> Shucks.
>> –the critics don’t want more rules and requirements for graduation. And there are
actually some ethnic studies advocates who think the kind of courses you can take to fulfill
this requirement, that they’re just way too broad.
>> Interesting. But there are still people who are saying it’s about time. They think it’s a
step towards making Cal State students better citizens of the world. And we just have to
say, like we said before on the show, none of this, none of this could have happened without
a months-long, very bloody struggle at San Francisco State University, which just happens
to be Shereen’s alma mater.
>> That’s right, go Gators. And on this episode, I’m going to tell you how student organizers
and activists in the Bay changed higher education across the entire country more than 50
years ago by staging the longest student-led strike in U.S. history.
[ Bass ]
>> OK, goody, goody, goody, goody. OK, I have a lot of questions for you, Shereen, about the
student strike. Like, for starters, why does this stuff always happen in the Bay? Like, what is
it about the Bay
>> Bay Area!
>> –this energy all the time? And why in particular did this student strike pop off?
>> I haven’t said this on the podcast recently, but, Gene, it’s complicated.
>> Oh is it?
>> The short answer is it popped off because of the suspension of a grad student named
George Murray in the fall of 1968. Murray was teaching intro English classes to incoming
freshmen at San Francisco State, and many of his students were black on a campus that was
decidedly very white.
>> Okay.
>> People point to a whole bunch of reasons for why George Murray was suspended, but
his stance on the Vietnam War was a big one.
>> Our statement was that the war in Vietnam is racist. It is the war that crackers like
Johnson are using black soldiers and our poor white soldiers and Mexican soldiers as dupes
and fools to fight against people of color in Vietnam who never called black people nigger
and->> Crackers like Johnson. I mean, so he’s referring to LBJ, right?
>> That’s right. And that audio we’re listening to is from a televised press conference.
George Murray’s rocking an Afro. He’s got very dark sunglasses on. And what I haven’t told
you yet, Gene, is that he was a member of the Black Panther Party, which was founded
about two years prior to the San Francisco State strike across the Bay in Oakland,
California. And George Murray is the Black Panther’s minister of education.
>> OK, OK.
>> Here’s historian Jason Ferreira.
>> Summer of 1968, he travels to Cuba, participating in a very famous conference and with
a very famous organization called the Organization for the Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia,
Africa, and Latin America, OSPAAL. And he basically there gives the Panther analysis, you
know, that the struggle of black people is tied to the struggle of all Third World peoples.
>> Jason’s been researching this strike for years. He’s done about 50 oral histories of the
people involved and he’s writing a book about it. And he told me that George Murray talked
about supporting the National Liberation Front, also known as the Viet Cong. And that got
the attention of the Republican governor of California, Ronald Reagan, who I don’t know if I
have to say, but he was already not a fan of the Black Panthers.
>> He was not.
>> That’s a whole other Code Switch episode. But anyway, Reagan and the board of
trustees at San Francisco State, they wanted Murray out. And this press conference we’re
listening to is George Murray defending that statement he made in Cuba, supporting the
Viet Cong.
>> We are calling for victory of the National Liberation Front because of our political
stance, which is our right, our constitutional right, we’re being attacked by the power
structure of this college and the state of California.
>> Okay, Shereen. So all these students went on strike because this one dude, this one
teacher got fired?
>> From what I understand, that was the final straw. But tension had been building
between students of color on campus and the administration for many, many months. And
the early agitators were members of the Black Student Union.
>> Hello.
>> I’m here.
>> I’m Shereen.
>> You didn’t see my doorbell.
>> Do you not like the knocking?
>> No, I normally won’t answer.
>> I went to the Bay to speak with some of the original strikers and organizers. That’s Jerry
Varnado opening the door to his home in Oakland, California.
>> I’m Jerry Varnado. I am still alive.
>> And he was there with James Garrett.
>> Used to be called Jimmy Garrett, or sometimes I still am.
>> Jimmy ended up at San Francisco State in the spring of 1966. He had family in the Bay
and he was looking for a college to enroll in to avoid the draft. As we know, the Vietnam
War is ongoing. He left campus before the strike kicked off, but he was instrumental in
organizing the student group that started it, the Black Student Union.
>> I’ve been involved with the sit-ins and freedom rides and most of that student
movement had come out of historically black institutions. Question then became, could you
do the same thing at predominantly white institutions, which there was a kind of a trickling
in of more and more black students.
>> And he told me that he was shocked by the tiny clusters of black activism that were
already at San Francisco State. He figured, you know, he’d have to start his organizing from
scratch. But no, there were black fraternities and sororities, Black Panthers, a Negro
Students Association that Jerry Varnado was a member of. Jerry’s originally from
Mississippi, but also had family in the Bay and was at San Francisco State on the GI Bill.
>> Jerry, people who knew him trusted him. They didn’t know me. He had already been
there for several years. When I got there in spring of ’66.
>> Jimmy and Jerry helped organize these disparate groups into the first black student
union in America.
>> The first->> Yes.
>> Ever?
>> Yes.
>> So he like grabbed all these groups and created like a Negro Voltron. And no one had
ever done this before, ever?
>> They would have said Black Voltron.
>> Oh, yeah, you’re right. Sorry, elders.
>> And they rallied members of the Black Student Union around this idea of using their
education to not only help better their circumstances, but those of the entire black
community. BSU members went out to black neighborhoods in San Francisco. They went to
Hunters Point, they went to the Fillmore, and they recruited high school kids to come to
San Francisco State. They wanted to create what Jimmy referred to as a critical mass of
black students on campus to change the campus, to change really all of San Francisco, to
change the world. They had like these very big ideas. But Jerry says it was really hard
convincing parents that this was a good idea.
>> People were scared to go out to a white college campus. You were not welcome. And see,
we could be identified by color. And you had to convince them that they’re not– nothing
bad is going to happen to your children. We’re going to take care of them.
>> So members of the BSU, Jerry and Jimmy, they’re out recruiting in black neighborhoods.
They’re tutoring kids in those neighborhoods. And they’re tutoring students they recruited
once they got onto campus.
>> Right. Okay.
>> And on campus, they’re doing more organizing. They’re demanding work study jobs.
They’re getting the black fraternities and sororities access to the same campus amenities
that white fraternities and sororities had access to.
>> Okay.
>> Here’s Jimmy.
>> All of those things, many black students didn’t see they had a relationship to. So then we
had to show people that they could have an ownership relationship not to the institution,
but to whatever the institution used as support mechanisms for other students.
>> All right. So just to make sure I follow. You got Jerry, you got Jimmy, you got all these
other black students organizing, you know, other black students on campus, then they’re
organizing in a local black community. And they’re also pushing the administration to treat
those black students equally to the white students who make up most of the campus.
>> And on top of all that, they’re also pressing hard on campus administrators for more
black students to be admitted. And they are winning. They get the president at the time to
guarantee admission to about 400 more black students.
>> What? That’s amazing.
>> Here’s Jerry again.
>> That meant that you gave us your name, your telephone number, and your address and
maybe your Social Security number. And that was the application process. Then you were
sent a letter of admission. You know, all this getting a letter from your high school
instructor and all of that is trash. Danny Glover was one of the people we brought in.
>> Alright, so two questions. Danny Glover, Danny Glover? Like I’m getting too old for this
shit Danny Glover?
>> Famous Danny Glover was a San Francisco State alum. He was also very involved in the
strike. Sadly, he did not respond to our request for an interview.
>> OK, and so the other thing they’re saying is that you didn’t have to, like, go through the
whole rigmarole of applying.
>> That’s right.
>> When you think of it now. No SATs. No, like none of that stuff.
>> None of that. You give them your name or your Social Security number, your address
and you’re in.
>> Wow. Okay.
>> Amazing. I know. Back to Jerry. So Jerry says this happens and then they get 200 more
admissions slots for another semester. And when the Latino and Asian American students
hear this, they want in. So they go to the administration and they ask for admission
allotments too.
>> Right.
>> And according to Jimmy and Jerry, they’re told by the administration to ask the black
students to share theirs.
>> So wait, wait. The administration is like, OK, all you brown kids, we gave you all some
slots, just divvy them joints up.
>> That’s how the story goes. And Jerry and Jimmy, they weren’t having it.
>> Right!
>> We’re not in a position to be giving away anything. You know, we’re not the
administration.
>> Everybody got to carry their own weight up in here.
>> You got to go into battle.
>> Leaders of the Black Student Union suggest that the other students of color, Third World
students, get together in a solidarity group to go into battle alongside the Black Student
Union. And this group calls itself the Third World Liberation Front. And for those of you
who are rolling your eyes at the term Third World.
>> Uh-huh.
>> This is how activists back then referred to oppressed communities. And the term
Liberation Front is directly from the Vietnamese National Liberation Front. So if you put
those two things together, you get Third World Liberation Front.
>> OK, so now all of these brown students, obviously, like. let our powers combine at this
point.
>> Yes, it is black and brown Voltron. And we know there’s power in numbers. And black
students made up about 4% of the campus back then, so they needed some help. Here’s
historian Jason Ferreira again.
>> These other students of color, Chicanos, Asian Americans, we’re dealing with the same
issue that black students had been struggling with, you know, four or five years prior,
before black power, before black consciousness, right? They were running around trying to
be white, looking in the mirror and wishing they looked different.
>> My name’s Lorraine Chu and being involved in the Third World Liberation Front opened
up a whole new world in terms of explaining my sense of belonging and becoming in this
country.
>> Lorraine Chu grew up in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
>> By the time I got to college at San Francisco State, I was angry, you know. Angry at my
parents not wanting to share stories and angry with the fact of how they dealt with racism
when they were confronted with it. Particularly I think my father, you know, he had-because they grew up in an era where, you know, during Chinese exclusion, your whole
thing was about survival and never, never being caught, you know, losing somebody’s sock
at the laundry that we had. And he would get cussed out by being called a stupid Chinaman
or whatever. And I would be in the back trying to listen to how he dealt with that. And he
usually basically laughed it off. And that’s how I entered the Third World Liberation Front
with that mental frame– I am pissed off! I don’t get this!
>> So before this strike started at San Francisco State, the longest student strike in U.S.
history, you’ve got the Third World Liberation Front pushing the administration to admit
more students of color, fighting for courses that reflect their experience in this country,
taught by people who are not white. And then the BSU, which is a step ahead. They have a
few black studies classes and they’re pushing for an entire black studies department. On
top of that, Gene, you have white anti-war organizers and activists on campus too, affiliated
with the SDS– Students for a Democratic Society, who end up joining forces with the BSU
and the TWLF.
>> So you got all of this activist energy churning on campus and off campus.
>> Right. The BSU and members of the TWLF are volunteering, they’re tutoring, they’re
organizing where they live. In Chinatown, the mission, which was predominantly Latino,
the Fillmore and Hunter’s Point, which are black neighborhoods at the time. And Jason says
it’s also really vital to remember the backdrop that this is all happening against.
>> The Vietnam War was ongoing. Dr. King had been assassinated. Bobby Kennedy was
assassinated. Malcolm had been assassinated. Panthers were being shot and killed all over
the country, thrown into jail.
>> And speaking of Black Panthers, it’s time for a reminder that the party’s minister of
education, George Murray, a grad student teaching freshman English at San Francisco State,
is suspended in the fall of 1968. Jerry Varnado remembers him as a soft spoken, thoughtful
guy who just put on a tough act. He says George Murray liked to keep his afro a little
unkempt to make people uncomfortable.
>> That was supposed to project the image that he was an unruly person and he would put
lint in his to make it more provocative.
[ Laughter ]
He goes, see, he’s the very first person that I ever met when I came to San Francisco State.
We were standing in line behind each other, the very first black person that I ever met. And
I felt lonely. I was out here by myself.
>> George Murray was well-liked on campus, especially by the students active in the BSU,
and they wanted him reinstated.
>> When that didn’t happen, the strike kicked off.
[ Drumming ]
[ Chanting ]
Wow, so it’s about to go down, then.
>> After the break. Stay with us.
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>> The past is never past, and every headline has a history.
>> I’m Ramtin Arablouei.
>> I’m Rund Abdelfatah. And we’re the hosts of Throughline, NPR’s history podcast.
>> Each week we go back in time to better understand the present.
>> Bringing lesser known stories and perspectives to the surface.
>> Subscribe and listen to Throughline from NPR.
>> Gene.
>> Shereen.
>> Code Switch. OK, so 50 years ago, the longest student strike in U.S. history came to an
end.
>> It started at San Francisco State College in California’s Bay Area. And it was a multiracial
battle for more students of color and a college of ethnic studies.
[ Chanting ]
>> Alright, Shereen. Let’s just remind everybody where we left off. So there’s all this
activism happening on campus prior to this explosion. There’s a black student union and
they have a coalition with other groups of ethnic and racial minorities, other people of
color. They call themselves the Third World Liberation Front. And they’re pushing the
administration really hard to change the climate on campus. And all of this is happening
against the crazy-ass backdrop of the Vietnam War, a bunch of high-profile political
assassinations, and just general social upheaval in America.
>> The strike started on November 6th, 1968. The BSU had 10 non-negotiable demands
and the Third World Liberation Front had an additional five. And here are some of the
highlights. The BSU demanded that a black professor named Nathan Hare, head of a black
studies department, and that George Murray be reinstated. They also wanted 20 full time
teaching positions in black studies and normal admission requirements waived so more
black students could get into college. The Third World Liberation Front demanded the
College of Ethnic Studies that would provide relevant education to the communities it
represented, and they wanted it to have four departments. American Indian studies, Asian
American studies, La Raza studies and black studies. And they demanded that all
applications of non-white students be accepted in the fall of 1969.
>> OK, that is a very radical list.
>> And that is the short list that I gave you.
>> Right. I mean, the stuff they’re asking for is like, I mean, it’s saying like change the way
you admit people entirely.
>> Yes.
>> And also add a bunch of new curricula to the college and do that by next year.
>> That’s right.
>> That’s a lot.
>> Oh yeah. And they went hard on day one. According to local news accounts, 400
students gathered in front of the administration building calling for George Murray to be
reinstated. Students paraded through buildings, chanting “on strike, shut it down.” BSU
members interrupted classes to discuss their demands and encourage other students to
join the fight.
>> So they went into one of my classrooms and made what I thought was a very moving
speech or two about why it was important that everyone support them.
>> That’s Lisa Rae Gutierrez.
>> Guzman now because I married later and added his name. But my maiden name is Lisa
Rae Gutierrez.
>> She was 18 and a freshman when the strike started. She says she was shy and quiet and
kind of confused about her identity. Her dad was Filipino and black and her mom was
white. And she came from a pretty conservative working class family. Her grandma saved
money to pay for her first semester at State.
>> So I started going to all the demonstrations that were on campus, but I didn’t stop going
to class right away because there were enough demonstrations that were held at noon on
the speakers platform or picketing around the campus that I kept myself busy and I was
supporting the strike. But then a week later, there was a demonstration to march up to the
administration building. The president at the time was this guy named Smith, Robert Smith.
We must have been at least three or four hundred people that day. Multiracial. His
representative came out saying that he had more important things to discuss. He convinced
me to go on strike. The president, when he said he had more important things to do, I
thought maybe I don’t agree with all the demands of the strike because I still was searching
it out myself. But I know that this is important. I know that minority students need to get
into college if they want to have jobs that require college.
>> Lisa remembers being very put off by the aggressive police response. Police were on the
scene from day one. The TAC squad is what she called them, the tactical squad. They wore
face shields and they wielded batons.
>> I mean, I saw cops beating people and I saw cops on horses chasing after people.
>> Just a few weeks into the strike, the president of San Francisco State, Robert Smith, is
confronted by protesters using loudspeakers. And a striker asks him why they’re beating
students. And here’s a part of his response.
>> And there have been more police brought on campus as the concern for safety and
personal-[ Yelling ]
>> Gene, can you hear what they’re saying there?
>> Whose safety->> Yes. They’re yelling whose safety, yours or the students? You can hear someone
repeating bullshit over and over again in the background.
>> The police would just wade into crowds and just start beating people with their
nightsticks.
>> Jay Varnado told me the police were so brutal they turned apolitical students into
strikers.
>> They sprayed mace on people. They kicked people. This went on day after day after day
after day, and then went on both on whites, blacks and other ethnic groups. Everybody was
under attack.
>> Now, Gene, there are news accounts of students throwing rocks, carrying lead pipes,
cursing out police officers and administrators, kicking over chairs and classrooms, breaking
windows.
>> So it was just chaos.
>> On the first day, there was an account of a stack of school newspapers being lit on fire
and a bomb going off under a stairwell, but nobody getting hurt.
>> I’m sorry. So, like, one of the things, I mean, you see this in, like, op ed pages and like in
columns and essays all the time about like how uncivil college campuses are today. Right?
You know, because somebody, like, shouted down some person who was, you know, saying
black people are stupid or something like that. Right? I’m just like, if you look back then,
okay, you had a bomb going off on this campus, right? There were bombings at the
University of Wisconsin, at Bluefield State, which you and I visited once. There were
unarmed students getting shot by soldiers at Kent State and shot by police at Jackson State.
It’s just weird to hear people talk about how wild college campuses are now and how
uncivil they are today, when back then people were like literally almost at war.
>> All the strike vets I spoke with said some version of those were crazy times! You’re
never going to believe what happened! And it’s really hard to believe.
>> Yeah!
>> It’s really hard to believe that things were that nuts.
>> Wow.
>> But one thing they also told me is that they were really disappointed with the way the
media portrayed them as violent militants without reporting on the issues they were
fighting for and really without reporting on how violent the police were toward them. And
all of this, all of this was way too much for Robert Smith, who resigned less than a month
after the strike started as president of the college. And he was replaced by a man named
Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa. He went by S.I. Hayakawa. He was born in Canada to Japanese
parents and he was an English professor at San Francisco State.
>> So these students are now squaring off against a person of color?
>> Yes, that is right. And Hayakawa made it very clear to these students that he was not
playing around.
>> Until these demonstrations, strikes, rage, and other disruptive acts are ended, I will
continue my policy of asking police assistance to maintain the security of this campus. If
any of the dissenting groups really want to talk about the issues or about anything else, all
they have to do is to knock off the problem.
>> S.I. Hayakawa had the support of the Chancellor’s office, he had the support of California
Governor Ronald Reagan, the chief of the SFPD. And there were also students on campus,
too, who really did disapprove of the strikers’ approach. There was a group on campus
called SMART, the Silent Majority Against Revolutionary Tactics.
>> So I guess that kind of makes a lot of sense, right? So it’s November 1968 when this
whole thing starts, the strike starts, which is the same time that Richard Nixon is elected
president of the United States. He ran as the so-called candidate of the silent majority. And
we tend to forget this now. But, you know, there were all sorts of white protesters on
college campuses around the country who were protesting from the right and facing off
against groups like the Third World Liberation Front.
>> But there was a ton of white student support on campus for the strikers who were out
there getting beat up by the police, too, as you heard from Jerry Varnado. So Hayakawa was
also facing hardcore opposition and not only from the striking students, who like to call
him a puppet, and a Japanese Uncle Tom. But also from faculty who are members of the
American Federation of Teachers Union, who also joined the students out there on the
picket line.
>> AFG! AFG! AFG! AFG! AFG!
>> And if that wasn’t enough push back, Hayakawa also got major pushback from the black
community in San Francisco. Here’s Ruth Williams, a community activist from Hunters
Point at a rally right in front of the college.
>> When I rise up, just about the masses of Hunters Point rises up too. So I am– I am
supporting the Black Students Union, the World Liberation Group, 100%.
>> Eloise Westbrook, also from Hunter’s Point, told the crowd she’s a grandmother with 15
grandchildren and wants a college she can be proud of.
>> I only have one life to give, children. When I die, I’m dead. You better believe it. But I’m
dying for the rights of people.
>> All right, so at this point, the BSU, the Latinx students, the Asian American students are
all joining forces with the white students who were against the Vietnam War. And you got
the instructors on campus who don’t like Hayakawa, like they’re protesting, too. So
basically, everyone is in open revolt at San Francisco State.
>> Even a group of black police officers from the SFPD calling themselves Officers for
Justice refused to work the San Francisco State strike.
>> Wow.
>> Yeah, but Laureen Chew says this did not sway S.I. Hayakawa from his law and order
stance. He made it clear he’d hit back hard if they staged another rally on campus.
[ Music ]
The student strikers organized an on campus rally anyway on January 23rd, 1969. The
strike was in its 79th day, and Laureen remembers being in the library, hiding books to
make it harder for students who refused to go on strike to study.
>> I went out of the library and I was at the fringe of this huge, hundreds of people,
gathering for this rally. And all of a sudden out of like, I didn’t know where, there was these
horses that were huge. And like they just– in a split second– surrounded the entire group.
And because I was at the edge of the crowd, I just saw brutality I never want to see again.
Some people I knew were getting hit by bayonets with their heads bashed in, blood all over
the place. They fell, pushed to the ground and still getting hit when they’re on the ground.
And they were pushing back. So I was just kind of numb, you know, because I was just
waiting to be arrested. But then after that, I started to worry about what my mother was
thinking. In fact, the policemen who booked me looked at me and the first thing that came
out of his mouth with a smile was, young lady, what is your mother going to say?
>> Lisa Rae Gutierrez was arrested on that day, too. She says she was charged with three
misdemeanors.
>> Illegal assembly, disorderly conduct, I think, and…failure to disperse, I think, were the
three, if I remember right. My dad had to pick me up at the bail bondsman. Don’t parents in
jail call Barasch for bail? His name was Barasch. He was the one in charge.
>> 483 students were arrested that day, including Black Student Union leader Jerry
Varnado. Laureen, Lisa and Jerry all ended up doing time. Laureen Chew pleaded not guilty,
was found guilty, appealed, and was ultimately sentenced to 20 days.
>> I spent my graduation going to jail.
>> Lisa Rae Gutierrez told me she, quote, copped a plea and did 30 days.
>> And that was really traumatic because I spent my 19th birthday in jail.
>> And Jerry Varnado took a deal too.
>> I did a year. Other people did more.
>> Here’s historian Jason Ferreira again.
>> This is the other element of the strike that I think people need to realize. The level of
sacrifice that this generation, that they went through. You know, people did time,
relationships were stressed to the point of crumbling. Word would come back to members
of the Third World Liberation Front or the Black Student Union in particular, from the
police saying we have bullets with your name on it. This is the type of stress, this is the type
of pressure that was put on student leaders. All for what? Black studies, ethnic studies?
[ Music ]
>> Two months after that mass arrest, the strikers reached a deal with the administration.
>> The strike called by the Black Students Union and other members of the Third World
Liberation Front and strongly supported by the Revolutionary Black White Students, ended
today, March 20th, 1969.
>> Strike concessions included a college of ethnic studies. The administration also agreed
to accept, quote, “virtually all non-white students who applied for the 1969 fall semester.”
George Murray was never rehired, though. He ended up having to leave the Black Panther
Party and is now a minister in Oakland. Jason Ferreira told me he doesn’t give interviews
about the strike. And the professor who the BSU wanted to chair the Black Studies
Department, Dr. Nathan Hare, he was fired by Acting President Hayakawa during the strike
and he never became the chair of the Black Studies Department. Jerry Varnado? He didn’t
return to campus for 30 years.
>> Such a bitter experience.
>> Really?
>> You’re suffering from post-traumatic stress.
>> Even though you won?
>> We didn’t see it as a victory. You know, we saw it as coming to an arrangement. Too
many people busted, too many people beat up. You know, I don’t know whether there is
any victory in violence and in warfare for anybody.
>> After he did his time, Jerry went to law school and he’s a retired attorney living in
Oakland, California. His eldest son created a scholarship in his name at San Francisco
State’s College of Ethnic Studies. And Lisa Rae Gutierrez went on to become a teacher in the
San Francisco Unified School District. She was active in the teachers union until her
retirement.
>> My three children also went to San Francisco State and I remember one time that my
daughter had an assignment to talk about the San Francisco State strike. So who did she get
to talk to? It was myself. So it has affected me personally rather than me politically, but also
personally. And even though now I’m 68 years old, I still try to do as much as I can when I
can. Now I have to watch grandkids, but to help continue the struggle. Yeah, it changed me
forever.
>> Laureen Chu became a professor in the Asian-American Studies Department at San
Francisco State, and she was associate dean at San Francisco State’s College of Ethnic
Studies from 2006 to 2012. She’s happily semi retired. And historian Jason Ferreira fought
for a Latino studies department on the campus of the University of Illinois in the late 80s,
when he was an undergrad, those student activists won. And now he’s an associate
professor at San Francisco State University in the College of Ethnic Studies, of course.
>> When people ask me what the strike was about and what the struggle at San Francisco
State was about, I say well it was bigger than a syllabus, right? It’s bigger than the reading
list that we do in our in our classes. Right? That it is tied to that very same impulse of what
WEB Dubois might call abolition democracy, a more transformative, emancipatory
understanding of education. That’s what black studies, that’s what Third World Studies was
intended to be.
[ Music ]
>> I mean, listening to this, Shereen, makes you make a lot more sense to me.
>> The fact that I just walk around with my fist in the air all the time?
>> Basically, but also like, you know, it’s like we talked about this at the top, but, like, all
this stuff happens in the Bay and like this is where you cut your teeth. And like it seems like
you are a creature of this thing too.
>> You know this but our listeners might not. I did graduate with a B.A. in Raza Studies
from San Francisco State’s College of Ethnic Studies. So, yes, this is very much a part of me.
And the day this podcast drops marks the fiftieth anniversary of the last day of the strike.
So that’s pretty cool.
[ Music ]
>> That’s our show. Please follow us on Twitter at NPR Code Switch, we want to hear from
you. All our email’s NPR@CodeSwitch.org. Send us your questions about race with the
subject line Ask Code Switch. And you can stay informed by signing up to our newsletter at
NPR.org/newsletter/CodeSwitch. This episode was produced by Maria Paz Gutierrez, Sami
Yenigun and Kumari Devarajan. It was Maria Paz and Kat Chow who interviewed Laureen
Chew. It was edited by Sami Yenigun. Our music this week is from J. Daniel.
>> Special thanks to [inaudible] Rivera, who helps direct the Metro College program for
first gen students at SF State. She helped me coordinate the interviews. Thank you,
[inaudible]. And a shout out to the rest of the Code Switch team. Leah Donnella, Steve
Drummond, Karen Grigsby Bates, Adrian Florido, LA Johnson. Our intern is Tiara Jenkins.
>> I’m Gene Demby.
>> And I’m Shereen Marisol Meraji.
>> Easy-o.
>> Peace.
[ Fading Music ]
>> OK, hey Gene.
>> What’s good?
>> One last thing, Jerry Varnado taught me how to make an old school cocktail, so I thought
I’d share the recipe.
>> Because you can’t just fight all the time. They had such a thing as house parties. You may
not have heard of such a thing.
>> Yes I have.
>> And people would come through and they’d bring stuff. Maybe a bottle of Ripple and
Ripple is a really, really cheap one. I just thought I’d let you know that. When you wanted to
make what was the Black Panther Party called a bitter dog, what you did is you took the
Ripple and you poured some lemon juice into it. And that was a bitter dog. They had all of
this kind of stuff, all this creativity.
>> We’re only months away from Election Day. And every week or even every few hours,
there’s a new twist that could affect who will win the White House. To keep up with the
latest, tune into the NPR Politics podcast every day to find out what happened and what it
means for the election.
[ Fading Music ]
>> Support for NPR and the following message come from the Kendeda Fund. Supporting
individual with dignity and sustainable communities through investments and
transformative leaders and ideas.
Democracy’s College
Episode 12: Retention, success, and identity development of Latina/Latino college students and the
role of Hispanic-Serving Institutions
Welcome to the Democracy’s College podcast series. This podcast focuses on educational equity, justice,
and excellence for all students in P-20 educational pathways. This podcast is a product of the Office of
Community College Research and Leadership, or OCCRL, at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. Learn more about OCCRL at occrl.illinois.edu.
In this episode, Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher from OCCRL talks with Dr. Gina A. Garcia, an assistant
Professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher: Thank you so much. We are here with Dr. Gina A. Garcia. Dr. Garcia is an
assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches in the Higher Education
Management Program. Her research centers on issues of diversity in higher education with an emphasis
on Hispanic-serving institutions (HSI) and Latina/o students. Dr. Garcia herself is also a proud graduate
of an HSI. Welcome this afternoon, Dr. Garcia.
Dr. Gina A. Garcia: Thank you.
Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher: We really appreciate you joining us on Democracy’s College for OCCRL. Dr.
Garcia, much of your work argues that context matters. What do you consider the central components
of institutional culture that are necessary to enhance the success of students of color?
Dr. Gina A. Garcia: There is a lot of work out there that says that the curriculum that we offer to
students and the co-curricular aspects of a college experience are important for all students. My work
digs in a little bit deeper in that I am looking specifically at not only racialized students, but also
racialized context. Does this look different in an HSI, or an emerging HSI, or any type of minority-serving
institution than it would at a predominantly White institution? What I am finding is that those spaces
continue to matter, and those spaces include Greek organizations, ethnic student organizations,
diversity training workshops, [and] internship programs that students participate in. Those types of
things have been coming out as significant spaces and contexts for students, particularly students of
color. Those kinds of spaces contribute to their leadership development; they are able to develop as
leaders and start to see leadership as more complex than just positional, based on those experiences.
Also, I have done some work with one of my graduate students, Oscar Patron. We have looked at how
those type of spaces help students get through difficult situations, [which are] often oppressive
situations, situations where they enact their resilience. Those kind of spaces allow them to be who they
are or explore who they are, whether it be racially, or their sexual orientation, or their immigration
status. They find those spaces to be super important. I think as far as thinking more specifically about
HSIs, or emerging HSIs versus PWIs, predominantly White institutions, in doing some comparative work
and having two different samples in my study on Latino male leadership, it definitely became important
that HSIs seem to have those spaces more often. [In] the HSI and the emerging HSI, in my study, there
were a lot more spaces for students to explore. There were a lot more sources in the curriculum, where
they could take ethnic study programs or they could participate in ethnic student organizations than we
found at the predominantly White institutions. That was really powerful for us, to be like, well in the
empirical research we were saying these spaces matter, but are institutions actually offering these
spaces? Not to say that predominantly White institutions cannot and do not offer those spaces, because
they do; but in my particular study they weren’t offering those, so students were struggling to find those
spaces because they weren’t there. I think to put back the onus on these institutions you’ve got to
provide these spaces. We can’t continue to bring in minoritized students and expect them to succeed
without actually thinking about the things that they need.
Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher: I want to piggyback on when you mentioned the differences in terms of HSIs
in contrast to emerging HSIs as well as non-HSIs. When you think about the spaces and that they are
more readily available where students can find face and place to see themselves reflected not just in the
curriculum but also in that which is co-curricular at HSIs and emerging HSIs, how does that translate into
student outcomes?
Dr. Gina A. Garcia: If I think about my research trajectory and where I started with thinking about HSIs
and to where it is now, that was really an early question that I had. To be an HSI means that you enroll
at least 25% or more Latino students; therefore, just the percentages matter, that all that matters is that
certain a percentage is there, and maybe it leads to different outcomes. The early work that I did along
those lines, quantitative work to really look at outcomes and graduation rates at four-year HSIs,
emerging HSIs, and non-HSIs, basically showed that it didn’t matter. The percentage of Latino students
on a college campus doesn’t predict whether more students will graduate. The strongest predictors
were those that we know, which are institutional selectivity and institutional resources. When I think
about that and the importance of us having bigger conversations particularly at the federal level and
state level, if we know that those variables predict outcomes, then how do we support institutions? How
do we make sure that we continue to support HSIs? And even more because we know that we have to
account for the fact that they are maybe under-resourced or less selective institutions and they need
the support. Thinking about HSIs not just as a percentage of Latino students or Latino faculty and staff
on campus, but [rather] how do we come to support them no matter what the percentages? It is bigger,
right? There are bigger issues and institutional-level factors that we have to think about.
Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher: One of the things I would like to spend some time exploring with you is the
consideration of organizational identity. How do HSIs further the matriculation for Latina/Latino
students and students of color in general? On one hand you have minority-serving institutions that, say
for instance tribal colleges or HBCUs, that organic in the mission and origination of those institutions
was embedded a vision of value, a mission of advancing equitable student outcomes for those particular
student groups, whereas with predominately-Black institutions or HSIs they are much more enrollment
driven as opposed to mission driven. What type of cultural congruence would you say in terms of your
work have you seen? Is there a greater person environment fit for Latino students or students of color in
general at HSIs?
Dr. Gina A. Garcia: I am really grappling with this question right now with my current study. I am
working on a multiple case study. I have three institutions in the same city in Chicago, Illinois. They are
all HSIs on paper, but they function very differently. They look very different, and institutionally they are
different as far as size, public versus private, and how much they fund students versus not, and so they
are very different institutions [despite] the fact that they enroll at least 25% Latino students. It is
interesting because I am finding so many different things as far as what does it actually mean to be an
HSI. I think about HSI identity like the salience: How salient is it to people? I have one institution that is
very salient. They have been thinking about it for over 20 years. That they are actually an HSI and they
have a good number of these different contexts that I have mentioned. They have a Latino resource
center, and they have an off-site campus that particularly caters to the Latino community in the area,
and so they are very much aware of it and they are doing all these things, but their outcomes are
probably the lowest of the three. Whereas the institution at the opposite end, where their salience is
very low, they have not thought of themselves as an HSI at all. I think my presence might be bringing it
to their consciousness more than anything. They have very high outcomes for students. With that
institution, it’s not that they’re not thinking about that population, they are. When I dig in deeper, they
are a private institution, and they are funding students in important ways. In important ways they’re
making sure that students, who are maybe low income or undocumented, are getting funding, and they
are finding different sources of funding for that. They see funding as a really important thing for this
population. They’re not doing it because they’re an HSI; they’re doing it because they recognize the
need of this population. It becomes this conundrum: Well does that mean they are serving this
population well? Whether or not they actually accept the Federal designation or the Federal designation
is salient to them does not mean they are serving students more or less, that they are serving the
population and they recognize that the population is there, but they just do it because they recognize it,
as opposed to because of them being an HSI. Talking to students at that particular site was interesting,
because they also don’t even realize that they don’t have the contexts. That they don’t have a Latino
resource center, that they don’t have Chicano studies in the curriculum and those sorts of things they
actually don’t even realize that they are missing it because it is just not there. In talking with them they
start to think like: Actually that would be kind of cool. I would kind of like that. They just haven’t had
exposure to it, because they just haven’t. The institution hasn’t offered it. I think I stand by the research
in that saying those students [who] do have it, right, those students might have a whole different
experience, and they are going to graduate. There is a part of me that really truly believes that creating
critical consciousness in students, and helping them to find their identity, and explore their racial and
ethnic identity and other identities, while in college is important. That maybe graduating students in
high numbers isn’t enough. That HSIs should bring other things, which goes back to your point about the
mission. That should be a mission. There should be a conversation about the fact that we are serving
these different populations: How does that become part of our mission? How do we actually move
toward being a minority-serving institution or Hispanic-serving institution?
Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher: You were talking about the three case studies and them all being embedded
in Chicago. The home for OCCRL is in Champaign at our flagship campus at the University of Illinois, but
we also have offices in Chicago, and some of the work that we have done is in the Chicago area. If we
were to release a video of this transcription, I would show up as a bobble head. There is a lot of case in
points in terms of some of the examples where we have interviewed and have surveyed faculty and they
didn’t realize that they were at a minority-serving institution. Students didn’t realize that, and so on.
These are institutions that meet the federal designation but don’t necessarily ascribe to being one
openly, and then others that wear it on their sleeve and are very much so in the tradition of advancing
and sharing very explicitly that we are an HSI two-year institution. Some of your recent work has
underscored what you call Latinized institutions. You coined this term Latinized institutions and have
talked about the utilities of counter-storytelling in describing such institutions. Could your share with
our listeners a little bit more about this concept of Latinized institutions?
Dr. Gina A. Garcia: Yes, the idea of the Latinized institutions, I am not going to take credit for coining
that. I have a friend in Pittsburgh. Her name is Tara Sherry-Torres, and she wrote about what if
Pittsburgh was Latinized. And I thought, if a place where there are only 2% Latino people, and where I
feel is not Latinized at all, and where they don’t even see me as a person as a Latina, could in our
alternative world actually get to that space, why couldn’t any institution get there as well? I was really
moved. It was like a blog that she wrote. I was moved by her blog to think what that would look like for
any space, any institution of higher education to be Latinized. So what I did with that, for a policy brief
that I wrote for the Center for Minority Serving Institutions, was use empirical data to write this
alternative world. That’s this idea of counter-storytelling, that you actually empirical data, so it is not
made up; the story isn’t fully fictional, but it is in some ways, because it’s still storytelling. It’s a story,
but it’s based on real data. So I was able at two of the three sites in my current study (I haven’t collected
data from all three yet) to write about what does this alternative world look like? It was fun to write
because I was able to pull from the two institutions and mesh them into one, because I felt like one was
very Latinized in one way and the other was very Latinized in another way. A lot of that had to do with
culture and the way people felt and the use of language, and in particular the Spanish language.
Counter-storytelling allowed me the opportunity to do that. It is grounded in Critical Race Theory. So a
quick little plug, I am actually writing a book, and the book will be written as counter-stories. So all three
institutions in the study will actually be featured. I am telling counter-stories about the three
institutions. It is based on the empirical data, but it will highlight the really important aspects of each of
the institutions that make them Latinized, and those are very different things; for each institution it
looks very, very different.
Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher: In thinking about some of your thoughts as it relates to the different
pathways that HSIs provide underrepresented students of color, particularly from purview at OCCRL, we
consider the pipeline of two-year institutions that are MSIs as well. Can you share some of your
thoughts about how community colleges can be used as conduits to advance Latino/a completion?
Dr. Gina A. Garcia: It is something that I am thinking a lot about right now, particularly as I am working
on my book. I’m thinking about postsecondary institutions as a population, all postsecondary institutions
together, and I’m thinking a lot and writing about how we value only certain institutions. In research and
policy and practice, there are a handful of institutions, and they are the most elite institutions in the
country, the ones on the top of the lists of best colleges and universities in the country. If I walk outside
and ask 10 people, probably all 10 people will name at least 10 of the same in their top 50, at least 10,
like Harvard, University of Virginia, University of Illinois. We all think about these institutions and value
these institutions. HSIs are not those institutions, and community colleges are not those institutions,
and therefore we don’t value them in the same sort of way that we value those institutions. I’ve been
thinking a lot about the importance, and in line with this idea of counter-storytelling, that all institutions
don’t have to be Harvard, or whatever. Not all institutions have to be large research institutions, or get
grant money from the federal government for doing big research, or recruit the top faculty in their fields
to come in and be scholars and do important things, or recruit students with the highest SAT or ACT
scores. That is not what all institutions are about. The more I spend time with HSIs the more I realize
that those institutions actually don’t want to be those institutions. They are like, that is not what we do.
We don’t do those things. We don’t even have a tenure process, and that’s okay because we value
teaching and we value producing graduates that immediately get to go out into these high-skills highdemand high-wage jobs. Two of my institutions are actually that. Two of the three in my current study,
that is what they do. They are focused on hospitality management. They are focused on nursing
programs. And healthcare is big, particularly for Latino populations and bilingual students. There is a
huge demand for people who can go out into the healthcare industry, and not doctors, [but] people who
can go out immediately, two years, and get a degree, like pharmaceutical techs. Immediately, two years
later, can go out and get a good job in a high-demand area. Social work is a big one. And some of these
institutions they are like, we need to get out and support our communities, people who are willing to go
out and take action in our communities and help our communities, and to do it in a culturally relevant
way. That they understand the population and they speak the language of the population that they are
working with. I’m learning a lot from those two institutions. Those two institutions are like, we don’t
care about, they don’t actually say they don’t care about being Harvard or they don’t want to be
Harvard, but they do. Without saying it they do. They are like, we are really good at these things. We are
graduating students, and they are going out and they are working with their communities and they are
uplifting their communities at the same time. One of my institutions talks about intergenerational
educational uplift. One person comes to the institution. Then they get the aunt, then they get the
cousin, then they get the daughter, and then all of a sudden the whole family is there, and now they are
uplifting the entire community and the entire family. That’s valuable to them. I think that it’s something
for us to ponder as researchers, policy makers, legislators, to think about what value do we place on
community colleges and other broad access institutions. Because they bring so much value.
Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher: So as our time is wrapping up here, I want to ask what advice would you
provide, if there was a call to action you would offer to those listening that want to take an equityminded approach to broadening participation, that are considering how to foster pathways to and from
HSIs and bolster students outcomes? What advice would you share?
Dr. Gina A. Garcia: It goes along with the last thing that I was thinking about, rethinking our values, as a
system and as a society, that in general we value very White-normative, hetero-normative ways of
being. That is problematic because a lot of us don’t fall in line with those values or those ways of
knowing or being. I think we have to a take critical look at ourselves. I recently wrote about the idea of
decolonizing HSIs. That has been powerful. I have presented that idea at several conferences, and
people came up to me like, wow I have never thought of it like this and this is my life. I’m a director of
Title V at my HSI and this is so powerful for me to think about, getting rid of all the layers of elitism and
all the things we value in postsecondary education, and just getting to the core at what we can be good
at, which is serving minoritized populations and really understanding them and caring about their
outcomes beyond just academic outcomes. There are other things that are important. That would be
my call to action. To really think about how do we decolonize, for those familiar with the idea of
decolonizing, embracing indigenous ways of knowing and not valuing colonized ways of knowing, which
are the normative ways of knowing and being. Thinking about that. What would that actually look like?
Again it is an alternative world, this Latinized world. It would be a different space. It would be a very
different space, and it would require everybody to be on board with that. If you think at an institutional
level, how do you get an entire institution on board with that? It’s going to take time. It’s definitely
going to take time. But I’ve got people now, after giving these talks, asking me, how do we do it? We do
want to do it. We have people committed to doing this. We have administrators committed to doing
this. We have faculty committed to doing it. I think that is my call to action. Let’s think about
decolonizing institutions of higher education.
Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher: With that said, I thank you so much for your time and we wish you a
wonderful rest of your day.
Dr. Gina A. Garcia: Thank you!
Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher: Thank you!
Closing: For more information about the retention, success, and identity development of Latina/o
college students we recommend that you visit Dr. Garcia’s faculty profile. For more podcasts, links to
today’s recommended resources, or to share your comments and suggestions, visit
occrl.illinois.edu/democracy or send them via Twitter @occrl. Tune in next month when HyeJin Yeo from
OCCRL talks with the author of Illegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant, José Ángel N., about
his experiences as an undocumented immigrant navigating into and through higher education.
Background music for this podcast is provided by DubLab. Thank you for listening and for your
contributions to educational equity, justice, and excellence for all students.

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