Ismahan Abdullahi, is a first-generation Somali-American woman who has lived in Denver, Colorado before moving to South Bay and then City Heights in San Diego, California. She currently works as the Executive Director of the Muslim American Society (MAS) under the Division of Civic Engagement. Her career path towards political activism was inspired by her early childhood experiences and by many events she has witnessed amongst communities of color throughout her life. As a former UCSD student, Ismahan was involved as the President of UCSD’s Muslim Student Association (MSA), where she discovered her passion for fighting for justice and equality for African Americans. The interviewRead More →

Dear Future Student, You will really enjoy this class. If you’re taking this course during the pandemic, I can probably give you some useful feedback. When conducting an interview over zoom, make sure you and your interviewee are in a well-lit space, as well as a quiet setting. Be willing to listen and learn from the organizations you will be helping, and try to build genuine relationships if you would like to continue to be involved in community organizing. In my experience, it was challenging not to add my own input during an oral history. Because of that, I spent time ensuring that my questionsRead More →

Cindy Rocha is one of the muralists of Chicano Park’s new mural commemorating Anastasio Hernandez Rojas and his family. She is a mentee of Victor Ochoa, who is also one of the muralists involved in the project. Cindy is studying Studio Art at California State University, Long Beach. She prides herself not only on her work ethic and commitment to her projects, but also on her ability to process emotionally-charged subject matter in a way that allows her to remain in touch with her emotions. Because this mural engages with the themes of law enforcement brutality, racial discrimination, and anti-immigrant sentiment, Cindy’s contribution help thisRead More →

To the future students of the wonderful Race and Oral History, I wish you the best experience in this one of a kind class. Make the most of it, no matter what group you work with, no matter who you interview, look for the positive experiences that impact you. Yes, you learn skills on how to be a better interviewer and historian, but this class is so much more than what you get in the classroom. Hopefully in the future when the COVID era passes behind us, the level of engagement you will be able to have with your community partners will be tenfold, butRead More →

Dear Future Student, I would first like to welcome you to this course and let you know that you have made an excellent choice. ETHN 120D is an unconventional course where you will have to do a majority of your work outside of the classroom or library. The type of work that you get to do in this course actually means something more than just doing an exam or writing a paper. It means something to the community partner that you work with and it will end up meaning so much to you as well.  This class requires you to always be on top ofRead More →

For this Race and Oral History class I was looking forward to doing hands on community work but unfortunately due to the pandemic the class had to be done remotely. Despite the circumstance, this course allowed us to utilize academia in a way that works alongside local communities and learning how to be a critical historian- all which are drawn from the history and ethnic studies department here at UCSD. Providing space to community members, group members, and interviewees allowed us to work collectively and put the mission at the forefront. My group and I worked with the Refugee Teaching Institute and a lot ofRead More →

This Interview is with César López, born August 23rd, 1974 in East Los Angeles. Cesar is currently tenured faculty at San Diego Mesa College and is also the Chair of the Chicano/Chicana Studies Department. Cesar highlights what growing up in a predominantly Latino and Asian multi-ethnic community was like during a period of rapid white flight as the immigrant community began moving in. He discusses the immigrant experience, kinship of family, financial hardships, the loss of his mother, and significance of home. His experiences played a significant role that led him to pursue a career that would center in education. César shines light on theRead More →

Victor Ochoa was born in Los Angeles in 1948 and identifies as a headstrong Chicano with a unique border perspective. Born to undocumented parents, Victor grew up between borders while experiencing conflicts of race, citizenship status, political identity, and culture. He is now a renowned muralist, with a heavy influence in Chicano Park and the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park. His art centers on Chicano narratives, embracing indigenous knowledge, and creating political statements. This interview covers topics such as growing up between the US-Mexico Border, issues of Chicanx identity, the role of art in the Chicanx community, and the Anastasio Hernández RojasRead More →

Leila Tran is a proud owner of a Vietnamese restaurant in Downtown Oakland. She was able to get a chance to sit down and talk about her family history in San Jose, her transition to Oakland, factors of being an immigrant in America and current issues surrounding Oakland involving Covid-19. She has 3 boys and discusses in what her role in continuing her parent’s shop means to her, especially working under circumstances when she is at high risk. The interviewer had the opportunity to speak to Leila through Jenn Tran at the Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and their role in shaping their community toRead More →