About Women's & Ethnic Studies
Working today for a more equitable tomorrow
Women's & Ethnic Studies at UCCS
WEST gives students the opportunity not only to learn about the world we live in, but also to have the training and the courage to change it for the better.
About the Department
UCCS Women's and Ethnic Studies (WEST) faculty and students work together to understand how inequalities impact individuals and communities, and to advocate for changes that will improve all our lives. We aim to create an equitable and sustainable world by analyzing structural inequality from historical and cultural perspectives, and exploring practical strategies for change.
WEST offers one-on-one mentoring, small classes, travel courses, and a range of scholarship and internship opportunities.
WEST courses teach critical analysis of societal systems, and our programs offer majors and minors the opportunity to engage in social justice research and service projects.
WEST graduates possess broadly interdisciplinary skills, scholarly sophistication, familiarity with developing knowledge, exposure to engaged teaching and learning, a sense of community, an understanding of theory and practice, and skills that promote positive social change.
Faculty & Research
Our faculty are an incredibly engaged, dedicated group of scholar-teacher activists. Integrating approaches from multiple academic fields, we look at the intersectionality of social identities and critically analyze the persistence of structural inequities both in the United States and around the world.
Beyond research, we also collaborate with affected communities to work toward change and elevate community voices.
Our mission is to think critically about the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, nationality, and other hierarchies; to understand history, culture, and society from a range of perspectives, including those emanating from individuals and communities whose stories and lives have been marginalized; to advocate for human rights and social and environmental justice; and to develop consciousness about multiethnic and gender issues locally, domestically, globally and transnationally.
Working together, we develop skills to shape our collective future in ways that foster diversity and equity.
The WEST program centers diversity, equity, and inclusion in our teaching, scholarship, and service. Our faculty and students embody gender, LGBT, and racial/ethnic diversity. We are deeply engaged with all five UCCS Diversity Strategic Framework pillars. Some examples of our diversity work include:
- Our curriculum centers on the experiences, perspectives, and cultural expressions of historically marginalized and underrepresented groups and communities both in the US and around the world. Our courses also focus on privilege and the ways social identities shape everyone's lives.
- We offer undergraduate certificates in Native American & Indigenous Studies, Latina/o Studies, Genders & Sexualities Studies, Global Studies, and Disability Studies
- WEST faculty work closely with student organizations committed to diversity and social justice
- WEST faculty and students participate in panels and workshops to address controversial issues of diversity and inclusiveness directly impacting marginalized communities on campus
- WEST and Sociology created an inclusive gathering space in the 4th-floor foyer of the Academic Office Building and commissioned a mural symbolizing our support of and collective work around diversity and inclusiveness issues
- We attract and help retain underrepresented faculty, mentor faculty in many disciplines, and are active members of DEI-focused committees
- We partner with Veterans' Affairs, the Trauma Center, and many departments and sister campuses
- We serve on local, national, and international boards and consult with, provide trainings for, and contribute to the curricula of many community organizations, including TESSA, the Center for Legal Inclusiveness, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and many more
A Message from the Department Chair
Welcome to Women's & Ethnic Studies! Our department focuses on community and on working with students to develop the tools necessary to transform our collective future in ways that foster equity and diversity. Collectively, we engage critically with the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, nationality and other hierarchies. Our goals are to understand history, culture and society from a range of perspectives, including those emanating from individuals and communities whose stories and lives have been marginalized; to advocate for human rights and social and environmental justice; and to develop consciousness about multiethnic and gender issues locally, domestically, globally and transnationally.