Diversity and Inclusion Student Center hosts Faculty Spotlight

The Department of Ethnic Studies

Attendees piled into California State University, East Bay’s Diversity and Inclusion Student Center on Oct. 23 during the faculty spotlight event that focused on Ethnic Studies professors.
Panelists like Department Chair Luz Calvo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Anndretta Lyle Wilson, Ph.D. and Professor Carlos Manuel Salomon, Ph.D. briefly discussed their own personal and academic experiences and backgrounds, their specific areas of expertise and other passion-projects they are currently working on.
Dr. Calvo recalled coming from “a pretty politicized family” with a very early memory of them boycotting grapes at Safeway in solidarity with Cesar Chavez.

Anndretta L. Wilson, Asst. Professor

“I just started arguing with all my little third-grade force that I wanted to participate,” said Calvo.
It was experiences like those that fueled much of Dr. Calvo’s early academic work from their undergraduate senior thesis well into their doctoral dissertation. “Dr. Calvo teaches courses in Latino/a Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Food Justice, and Ethnic Studies [and their] current research focuses on decolonization,” according to the CSUEB faculty website.
Dr. Calvo is currently working to get their publications, “Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing” and “Mexican-Origin Foods, Foodways, and Social Movements: Decolonial Perspectives” translated to make them more available to the Latino community in addition to teaching.
Dr. Wilson briefly discussed her background as a stage-performance artist prior to completing her undergraduate degree, which is actually what encouraged her to become a professor.
“I was so frustrated because these hoity-toity academics were giving all these theories about performance and half of them have never even been on a stage [or even performed],” Dr. Wilson said.
Dr. Wilson’s area of expertise includes African Diaspora Studies, Critical Performance Studies, American Studies with an Emphasis on Race and Black Feminist Theorizing, just to name a few, according to CSUEB’s faculty website.
Dr. Wilson is currently working with CSUEB’s office of Research and Development to apply for a documentary grant that would work in conjunction with a course she plans to teach. The course discusses chocolate cities, which are cities where populations have been currently or historically “heavily African-American concentrated.”

Luz Calvo Dept. Chair

Dr. Salomon grew up in a part of San Diego called Logan Heights where the community was very much involved in the Chicano movement.
He received somewhat of a culture shock, however, when his family purchased land in the countryside.
“There were very few people of color there and it kind of messed up my identity going into college,” Salomon said.
He finally went to art school and eventually attended San Francisco State University where students were progressive and participated in activism heavily.
“[Dr. Salomon] received his Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico in Borderlands and Latin American History. He is an interdisciplinary scholar who works in the area of borderlands, social movements, oral history, migration,” according to the CSUEB faculty website.
Dr. Salomon is currently preparing a course for the spring semester which focuses on indigenous mythology of Mesoamerican culture.
“[This particular panel was] a pilot to see if the campus would respond well and since we had over 40 [people] in attendance I think it’s safe to say folks enjoyed it,” said DISC coordinator, Jessika Murphy.
DISC will be working on the possibility of coordinating two Faculty Spotlight panels each semester going forward. There are currently no future plans for another Faculty Spotlight events for the fall semester, but there is another one planned for the spring semester.

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