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volume 19 | issue 2 winter 2015

common ground f



















celebrate 20 YEARS JOIN US AS WE







university of california san diego cross-cultural center "incarceration"

by German Octaviano

"me veo. te veo" by german octoviano


2 3-4 5










academic 20th anniv contact

- Edwina Welch, Director


May 23, 2015 will mark the 20 year anniversary of the Cross-Cultural Center at UCSD (see the event announcement and registration information on page 17). While celebration is necessary and wonderful (can’t wait to see you all), equally as important is reflection and examination of Center work over these past 20 years. One way we are marking our 20th anniversary, honoring community who struggled to make the CCC a reality, and continuing to build reflection and growth is through our Nexus manuscript project. For the past 18 months faculty, staff, interns, student researchers, and community have written submissions, reviewed archival boxes, shared art, and conducted research on the impact and implications of having and being involved in the Center over the years. We are humbled and excited some many folks took time and effort to write for the manuscript and hope our story of struggle and growth can help other centers and community grapple with the joy and messiness that is our work. You will find an excerpt from the introduction of the book on page 17.


What’s your CCC CCC “Watching interns grow!”





ing a ever I hug when ’m he re”


es!” k o j e Insid


the ‘hello’s”

“When w ea dance & s ll ing”


favorite moment?

“Meeting co


academic 20th anniv contact



JOY DE LA CRUZ exhibitions exhibitions

For the Cross-Cultural Center's Beyond La Jolla Program this year students where taken to the annual Enero Zapatista Closing Celebration. Students car pooled to El Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park to learn about the Zapatista Movement. There were performances by community artists that touched upon the topics of activism, capitalism, patriachy, and education through various art forms. The center was filled with vendors from San Diego and Los Angeles selling hand made goods. Community art work filled the walls of the center with vivacious colors and performers livened up the night. The Enero Zapatista committee did an amazing job planning and executing the event. This event could not have happened without the CCC staff and the students who volunteered to carpool people, thank you!

- Elizabeth Uribe, (Joy De La Cruz Art & Activism)


submissions submissions

Untitled by Jenna C Logan I recall a divine voice, embedded in the rows A face you could never truly see



A persona who told us how to move, to speak Behind fabric walls we exposed ourselves projecting our voices to cryptic faces our own faces, simmering under fervorous light

No One’s Burden, Jayne Manuel

we were the indigenous souls, dedicated to our art At awaited nightfall, we’d retreat away from the voice, from judgements - to our den our winding path illuminated by soft light while a constant buzz ran through the walls This place was really something a place to pretend, to explore, to share. but above all, a home for many.

Festival, Jayne Manuel

Brittle under my feet and to my touch it now stands on its last leg The walls rotting; penetrated by that familiar buzz But the voice, it is unclear if its survival. “Hello? Is there someone there?” I call out to the emptiness “Please, don’t hide, let’s talk” distant buzzing and echos continue “I know you’re there" they had grown louder, clearer “I’d just feel better if you came out now” With that, all sound within the room ceased And then came the realization that the voice had moved on, as all things should That this once divine home is now, simply, barren..

-isms, Jayne Manuel

academic 20th anniv contact

Is there anything left to be reclaimed?


The reason we learned to survive here.

And so, it is time for me to move on too.


My Uncle: A Microbiography by Evvan Young Chul Burke

My uncle knew Tae Kwon Do, the martial art for those who believe in honor and self-defense but secretly hope that asshole's going to try something so you can knock off their jaw. When he was my age, family legend says he could break bricks with his fist. "Real bricks,” my dad tells me as we steal a red block to prop open a door that I can’t carry. Real bricks, dried in a stone furnace, mixed from concrete and tiny rocks that rub your hands raw as you hold them. He moved here from Korea when he was a teenager with four siblings, a mother and an ill step-father who didn't want to die in a foreign country but didn't make it to the correct coast before he moved on. Their family exchanged their hometown, pastoral hills and wading ponds that grew into fields of rice, for an urban edge where students rode their horses to school. The child of my grandmothers first marriage, he didn't inherit my grandfathers virginian pronunciation. His english was a second language, just like my grandmother’s, who got lessons from her children on a toy chalkboard. East County kids back then weren’t ones for multiculturalism, especially those separated from them by an ocean. My family were the only asians in the neighborhood and people reacted as well as you’d expect. As the oldest and most accented, my Uncle apparently got worst of it, but it’s his response which has diffused into family legend. The kind you tell your kids while moving bricks. One of the more persistent bullies was a boy in his grade who followed him speaking gibberish, monosyllables while bowing. My dad acts it out, putting his hands together and bends his neck while muttering “ch” and “li” and “ng” sounds, and I feel embarrassed at how familiar it looks for a story from more than thirty years prior. Eventually, one day, my uncle decided he had enough of it, and so, right as the guy was straightening his neck from a bow, he punched the guy right above the eye. Something cracked under his knuckle, like a brick, and then the guy’s face was wet. The guy saw blood for the rest of the day, like looking through rose-tinted glass. The legend made itself at first. When he started high school, my dad walked into it like a spider web at the door, and it cleared most of the jokes out of the way. It made enough of an impression to inspire him to teach his son about the merits of violence in conflict resolution for years. And like most legends, it’s hard to find the heroes they portray. My Uncle went to college and then graduate school before moving to Virginia. Temper never struck me as one of his character traits; he came off more apathetic or self-centered than crusading. My mother often mentions how thick his accent is, but I can never hear it. But in his yearbook there's a strangers signature on the back page with the words “I don’t know what to write here. I hope I never see you in a fight. I hate seeing blood.”


Growing Up Cheruvian Diana Li

Diana Li's life and artwork are greatly influenced by her transnational background and female identity. She graduated from UCSD in 2014 with a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and Visual Arts Media, and is currently interning and

volunteering at Asian American art and media organizations in San Francisco.

"Maiz Rebelde" German Octaviano

My work is a reflection of the personal being the political. As I juxtapose the self with the world around us, there is learning and growing that lives and is shaped through our past, present and future. Through the scars, ghosts and auras left behind, created, and maintained by dark forces, I make meaning of it on my canvas, Each piece carries that reflection, that violence, that trauma, that acknowledgment and that memory.

academic 20th anniv contact

Kaibigang Pilipin@ GBM STAR Cafe Tristan Baltazar


Growing Up Chinese Peruvian in the US was created for my self-initiated project as an intern at the Cross-Cultural Center in 2014. It was presented in the program, CHIFA: Mixed-Identified Storytelling, in order to inspire and empower others to dive deep in affirming their intersectional identities. The video features interviews with my parents about their journey to the US, and the story they want their children to tell through their Chinese, Peruvian and American cultural identities.


– German Octaviano


"tonatiuh y quetzalcoatl� by german octaviano

In this year’s new Common Ground edition, the following section is dedicated to your scholarly works. For a chance to publish your *academic papers, send your submissions to!

*Grade marks are required. Submission does not guarantee publishing.


The Rise and Fall of Community at UCSD: by Sandra Jon Amon

this time of strife and pain? After all,

g_0NjRY [11:36]

the mainstream media coverage

What happened during

framed the events as a Black issue.

Winter 2010? Why was it a time of

However, what the media neglected

contradictions - of great pain, trauma,

to illuminate was the cross-cultural

but joy as well? In this short, a few key

coalitions that included Black and

UCSD students, faculty, and staff

Brown (Chicano) students, as well as

reflect upon this crucial and para-

Asian American students. Indeed,

doxical moment in the college’s

Asian Americans were involved in

history of activism. Through its choice

the student organizing and mobiliza-

of interviewees and its inclusion of

tion during that time. It is crucial that

media clips from that time, the film

we remember this, that the efforts of

works well in breaking down the

Asian American students during that

myth that the only community

time are not erased from the institu-

involved in addressing the blatantly

tional memory. These students

racist and misogynistic events of that

recognized the injustices committed

time period was the Black commu-

daily by the institution and stood in

nity on campus. Instead, it points out

solidarity with Black and Brown

that a coalition across identities was

students. The following shorts will

formed during that point, especially

clarify what exactly happened during

with that of Black and Chicano faculty

Winter 2010, how Asian American

and students. However, glaringly, the

students felt about the turbulent time,

participation and work of Asian

in which ways Asian Americans

Americans with the community is not

spoke out against injustice and

highlighted through the absence of

inequity, and finally, the conse-

an Asian American interviewee. It is

quences of Winter 2010 on students

only implied briefly, with the insist-

still aching from its pain and emo-

ence that the organizing that

tional violence.What stories are

occurred happened along pan-

hidden by the dominant narrative? By

ethnic lines. Nevertheless, this

the end of this program, this question

absence of stories about 2010 from

will have been thoroughly explored

the Asian American community is

and examined.

thus present by its very nonexistence

Short #1: The Compton Cookout

in the dominant narrative.

academic 20th anniv contact

Where were the Asian

American student activists during


All within the span of three weeks during the Winter Quarter of 2010, UCSD suffered a series of racist and sexist events that mobilized an already primed group of student activists to organize against institutional and structural racism. These events included: the so-called Compton Cookout; the Koala TV’s use of the n-word on student-run campus television; the discovery of a noose found in Geisel library; and finally, another discovery, this time of a KKK hood in the library. As stated previously, students were ready to organize - UCSD student activists had recently hosted the Students of Color Conference on campus, and were also preparing for the March 4th Rally for Education before the Winter 2010 events. From the efforts of students and faculty who had pushed the administration to be more supportive of its marginalized and underserved populations, the university was changed dramatically, being pushed towards the path of answering to the needs of students, staff, faculty, and the community at large (e.g. the Black Resource Center was established, the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion was put into place, etc.). Unfortunately, these gains came at a cost schisms within faculty and students resulted from the inward turning of aggression and pain, leaving deep wounds within the activist community.


Black Winter of 2010


faces of the students telling of their

nity and coalitions? What can the

4, Rally n9Ymz4 [9:40] Winter 2010 encompassed so much more than reactions to the Compton Cookout-themed party. Often, it is forgotten that the students were mobilized and preparing to interrogate the campus concerning the rising costs of education and the lack of focus on serving the needs of the people. Specifically, students again organized a month after the Compton Cookout, this time to rally for public education, a statewide movement organized months in advance. In this short, now UCSD alumni Sam Jung addresses the crowd concerning the context of the attack on education in California. This film succeeds at showing not only the Asian American activist involvement during that time, but also that participants of the rally drew upon 1960s and 1970s activism through its choice of rallying cries and chants. This use of old-school activism reminds the audience of how much the past truly has a hold on current student activism. Echoes of the past continue to then haunt the present and the future. Short #3: real pain. real action. real voices [14:50] In UCSD alumni Thieny Nguyen’s final class project, the often lauded footage and pictures of the

own experiences. Rather, the

future possibly look like as the school

audience is forced to focus on the

moves away further and further from

actual words, the oral histories from

the events of 2010?

events of Compton Cookout are

coalition-building can students learn

downsized extremely, focusing on

from that time? What were moments

only three key images. Instead,

of the highest highs in terms of

through the course of the video, the

organizing, and the deepest of lows in

audience is led to focus not on the

terms of the breakdown in commu-

Short #2: Sam Jung at March


that time. A black background dominates the majority of the screentime, with the occasional white text flashed on the screen to emphasize specific feelings and experiences of the interviewees. This proves to be a haunting technique.

Additionally, it must be noted that this narrative finally incorporates the voices of some Asian Americans involved with the 2010 events, thus combatting the erasure of Asian American involvement. Their reflections prove to ground Winter 2010 with testimonies that are heart-wrenching and deeply meditative. This is one of the most recent reflections, having been uploaded only a year ago. Now, considering that it is four years later with the last of the students who were physically here during the Compton Cookout graduating, these haunting oral histories have become all the more important for current and future students to hold on to. This video thus answers the following questions: What lessons about

Coalitional Consciousness in UC San Diego Social Justice Communities by Eliseo Rivas

Costly Disciplining and the Potential-

Student organizing that responded to

ity of the Illegible”, they both

the racist incidents in Winter of 2010

express a profound sense of pain

illustrate the power of organizing in

from organizing and hope from what

coalitions. This propelled many other

has yet to happen. The cost of their

organizations and collectives to work

and many other’s organizing efforts

coalitionally and support student

lead to a moments of deep frustration

demands for initiatives that would

and heavy conflict within the very

improve campus climate for students

community that organized together

of color. Through demands and

during Winter of 2010.While ortho-

negotiations, these students were

dox scholarly material would dismiss

able to secure some of their demands

this as just another facet of organizing

from UC San Diego: namely the Black

or interpersonal conflict inherent to

Resource Center, the Raza Resource

working within communities, examin-

Centro, and the InterTribal Resource

ing this moment opens opportunities

Center. However, this process of

to consider frictions in organizing to

working coalitionally is ridden with

develop a consciousness in the

tensions between activists, especially

cycles of organizing. One that specifi-

after emergency organizing

cally addresses material and ideo-

subsided. These tensions are impor-

logical tensions that arise during

tant to examine so that they can let

organizing efforts. Coalitional organ-

future activists know potential fault

izing against the sequence of racist

lines in organizing that might also

events in Winter of 2010 demanded

result in tensions amongst each other.

the need for long over due change in

I take the beginning of this project,

campus climate. Ties between

from the prologue of two other Ethnic

activists and organizations

Studies Honors projects. In both Mar

where collaborative and coalitional

Velez’s thesis,“Our Student Move-

even before the racist events. How-

ment: Understanding and Decon-

ever, organizers’ coalitional

structing Student Activism at UC San

consciousness shifted from one that

Diego” and Mabel Tsang’s “Symp-

one that was mobilized against racist

toms of Organizing in the University:

events and engaged with each other,

academic 20th anniv contact

Fo r Yo u : This project is for the people wishing to organize conscious of the past and critical of the present at UC San Diego. To those that have intense love for their communities and frustration with UCSD. For some, this is just the beginning to an awakening that will last a lifetime. To others, it may be another institution that pleads for immediate revolution. I hope that by speaking across contexts and conversations, politics and peoples, that new methods for consciousness are built.



Acknowledgments: This writing belongs first and foremost to the activists on whose shoulders I stand on. These are the people who are building another university every single day: the love from the Campus Community Center’s staff, the principles of the Student Affirmative Action Committee, and the ever supportive professors of UC San Diego.Without their contributions, this thesis would not exist. Additionally, I would like to thank the Ethnic Studies cohort for the 20132014 year. Their support, input, and laughter has helped mature this project. Finally, a thank you to my advisor Daphne for allowing me to struggle and grow with my project. Thank you.


Methods in Movement:



this research study.

to one where people began to fight

Throughout this project I will use the

within community. As a result,

term coalition instead of community

activists became more vitriolic and

to describe how people organized

establish a “right” way to organize,

reclusive to work with one

together. I think that coalition

name the most “critical” of activist’s

another.This shift in the kind of

provides a greater basis to examine

action, or point to the ways that

organizing activists were willing to

politics instead of sole feelings within organizing should and could have

partake in illustrates the cycling of

communities. Coalition alots for

been different. For now, instead of

coalitional consciousness. In these

heterogeneity while community

focussing on a sole prescription for

sections, I will establish: 1) the basis

masks it. Coalitions are neither

organizing, I hope to understand

of how activists were coalitional since

continuous, nor harmonious. It is this

what happened to situate coalitional

the beginning, 2) then discuss why

kind of fleeting continuity that helps

consciousness. The frame of thought

and how activists organized coalition-

me describe how various people

in coalitional consciousness serves to

ally, and finally, 3) uncover what were

came together, how they separated,

understand the shifts in activists

some of the ideological and material

and how this process recycled. Other

relations with one another. Hopefully,

tensions between organizers. Divid-

scholars may use community to

this section can serve organizers who

ing this section of the study into these

describe the collective biography of

wish to organize coalitionally and

3 components allows us to examine

people I am analyzing because they

examine the ever shifting mobility of

how organizers arrived at the

were a group of people that were


concept of coalition, the ensuing

organizing together.Yet, I am pulled

To situate myself within the

shifts with people’s engagement in

to use coalition because it provides

context of this research, I was a first

coalitions, and their consciousness

the basis to describe greater

year when coalitional organizing

about organizing coalitionally.Within

nuances in politics, desires, and

against the racist events took place.

this section, I will provide a text

contentions. These very contentions

Although I did not formally organize

analysis across conversations

are a radical place to situate a coali-

alongside the central students, I

between4 undergraduate Ethnic

tional consciousness because it

attended most, if not all, rallies,

Studies theses on the Compton

grapples with student organizing

demonstrations, and teachouts. As

Cookout student organizing. I will

from a selfrepresented coalitional

someone from the outside, I saw the

compare and contrast these projects

manner. Students who organized

beauty of people coming together to

with each other alongside conversa-

knew of interconnected and inter-

organize. Tears were shed not only

tions represented Another University

secting struggles. They knew of the

for the racist acts, but also from the

is Possible, the “Do UC Us?” Report,

importance to work together in

administration’s reservation, if not

and the amended demands by the

coalitions. As time persisted, relations outright denial, to accept our com-

Black Student /nion (BSU) to the

between activists splintered. The

munities pain and demands for

administration. Examining the gaps

turmoil from the subsequent racial

action. I hope that my contribution to

and contentions between these

events and tensions from the

activists before and after me have this

various texts allows for a broader

outcome of the demands resulted in

study as a resource around the idea

understanding of the logics of coali-

crumbled relationships between

of coalitional consciousness; so that

tion within circuits of resistance.

activists. Therefore, it is with the

they can meditate with coalitional

Ultimately this is to give material

deepest of reverence for the

struggles, fully aware of all its dimen-

examples to the conceptual idea of

labor, pain, and organizing of activists sions in organizing and conscious-

coalitional consciousness.

before me that I venture forward in

At no point is my aim to


The primary texts that guide this

from contemporary Queer of Color

converge to make sense of how

study are based in Women of Color

Critique and Women of Color

complex seemingly single issue

Feminism and Queer of Color

Feminism, to Decolonial and AntiCapi-

organizing are and make room for

Critique because the focus on

talist Struggles.

coalition as a territory to relate and

knowledge between forgotten peoples. Ethnic Studies as a scholar-

One of the first convergences negotiate.While Moraga incorporates the body and experience into that help frame coalitions is the

ship emerged as resistance to the

concept that coalitions are a

this theoretical parameters, Cren-

continued exclusion of the experi-

contested space that view the

shaw and Hong illustrate the concep-

ences and knowledge by people of

margins to inform future political

tual complexity of coalition.

color. Knowledge that exalted itself as organization.Women of Color Femi-

The writings of Cherrie

nism emerged from the misrecogni-

Moraga wholeheartedly understand

contextualized within the of color

tion of women of color within white

the importance of making sense of

experience to produce relevant

feminist movements and male

movement and contestation between

critique is important, I want to

Similarly, Queer of Color Critique

reframe these conversations between emerged from queer theories’

racial, gendered, and sexualized lines. In the inaugural book This Bridge Called my Back, Moraga

insufficiency to consider the queer of

writes how “the deepest political

peoples that contest it. I want to

color experience. These are political

tragedy [she] has experienced is

reframe these conversations to

projects that make space for the

how with such grace, such blind faith,

examine how communities of color

continually excluded. Assessing the

this commitment to women in the

relate, struggle, and negotiate with

latter body of literature, these politi-

feminist movement grew to be

each other in coalitions. Coalition is a

cal projects converge to view the

exclusive and reactionary” (Moraga

space that provides the largest

margins as an arena for continued

xiv). Exclusionary or racism within

opportunity for these reframed

theoretical and conceptual contesta-

the feminist movement, and reaction-

encounters because it is a vexed

tion. As organizers continue to

ary to not ponder how the exclusion

heterogenousidentity based space,

struggle with each other and find

functioned or was manipulated.

with complex people organizing with

new ways of relating, decolonial and

Moreover and more importantly, she

and getting to know each other. Even

anticapitalist struggles serve as the

establishes a blueprint for future

though the subjects of analysis are

next grounds to continue building

coalitional organizing with the

communities of color, I do not want to

coalitions in order to make sense of

complex claim that inherent to

reduce the complexity of these

interconnected struggle. The link

meeting someone else. She wants

conversations to simply race. Rather, I

between mapping both together in

to “repeat over and over and over

hope to map the myriad of of political

contemporary struggles is colonial-

again, the pain and shock of differ-

projects, that include race, within


ence, the joy of commonness, the

coalitions and how the concept of

Initiated by Moraga, high-

exhilaration of meeting through

coalitions have been engaged with

lighted by Crenshaw, and cemented

incredible odds against it” (Moraga

and theorized. This mapping process

by Hong & Ferguson, women of color

xiv). These two last mentioned quotes

looks for convergences and trends

feminism and queer of color critique

capture the essence of the critique by

within coalitions, and divergences, or

became political projects to contest

Women of Color Feminism because

academic 20th anniv contact

universal white scholarship and the


universal was thus critiqued and

material for people of color. Although centered racial justice movements.


Coalitional Theorizing

how each theorization and organizing exclusionary identity politics to make space for the maringal. These authors is differentiated. Mapping Coalitions

Literature Review:


they illustrate the common theme of

location at the intersection in order to alizes people within communities of

the insufficiency of exclusionary

name difference, but also understand color and women groups

movements, but also the corporal

movements coalitionally.

is alike. This is a meeting despite the

shaw in her political move to name

odds where coalition can become a

intersectionality as an analytics, in

place of otherwise, with shock, joy,

comparison to Moraga and Hong and

and exhilaration to meet a different

Ferguson, is that she can articulate

similar. This directly connects to

location, or rather intersection, as to

Hong and Ferguson because they

how power is dynamic. This is a

continue this encounter to establish a

development off of what Moraga

Thus, intersectionality provides a way to reconceptualize “coalition between men and women of color” by offering intersectionality as a method to distinguish difference (Crenchaw 300).

scaffolding for organizing.

articulates because while Moraga

As a result of this formulation,“critical

gives body to the idea, Crenshaw

resistance strategy for disempow-

coalition through meeting another

extrapolates her encounter to make

ered groups is to occupy and defend

connects to Hong and Ferguson

sense of identitybased locations at

a politics of social location rather than

because of the connection and

the where violences exist.

to vacate or destroy it” (Crenchaw

similarity in difference. The main

Crenshaw’s formulations simultane-

298). Crenshaw’s work does not

argument by Hong and Ferguson is

ously compliment Hong and Fergu-

diverge from what Moraga and Hong

that they center women of color

son because they consider intersec-

and Ferguson do because they each

feminism and queer of color critique

tionality in a zone of coalition where

make space to think of coalition as a

“as a blueprint for coalition around

new modes of relating can be organ-

vexed space of relating. Crenshaw

contemporary issues” (Hong and

ized. It is these multivaried locations

converges at coalition to make space

Ferguson 3). This comparative

that give importance to marginalized

to think through location at various

analysis allows for a critique of how

epistemologies put forth by Women

marginalized identities

human life is devalued through

of Color Feminism and Queer of

at the intersection. An important

racialized, gendered, and sexualized

Color Critique within the contested

divergence between how coalitions

processes. These modes of compari-

space of coalitions. Each of these

are formed within

son are deeply rooted in and around

three projects still converge to make

Crenshaw’s work and Jasbir Puar’s

difference to 6 “attempt to do the

space for the excluded.

work is the concept of encounter.

complexity of meeting another, who

Moraga’s theorization of

vexed work of forging a coalitional


(Crenshaw 279).

What is unique about Cren-

To specify the generative

While Crenshaw’s work takes

politics through these politics of

work Crenshaw does, is that she

on identity and the intersections of

difference” (Hong and Ferguson 9).

challenges how “intergroup differ-

identity, Puar’s work seemingly

The encounter that Moraga speaks of

ences” within identity groups are

diverges from ready made catego-

connects to the “forging” of coalition

flattened to be one identity

ries of identity in order to contest

because neither are assumed to

(Crenshaw 279). Intersectionality

how identities are made at an

inherently exist. The shock and joy in

disrupts this by challenging us to

encounter.What is interesting about

forging coalitions is finding the

think of the multiplicities of the

this work is not simply Puar critique’s

similarity of difference. Along the

intersections for one person to make

of Crenshaw’s usage of intersection-

same lines as Moraga, and Hong and

sense of invisibilized violences. It is

ality, but rather, how important spatial

Ferguson, Crenshaw examines how

the silence and exclusion of

context is to relating amongst identi-

dynamic power is according to

difference that continuously margin-

ties. Crenshaw is thinking through the

and acceptance of sexuality are

of color within the U.S national

imperial strategies to continue to

context. To contrast, Puar’s work

occupy. Although there is tension

stems from the transnational context

between how inclusion and margin

of how sexuality is deployed for

are conceptualized, this a generative

imperial usage in order to inform

site of analysis for coalition theorizing

their theorization of assemblage. Both in social justice movements; it questions to what end is an identity being

function, but Puar pays particular

included, how has something been

attention to the instability of identity

placed at the margins, and what are

because of how identity is simultane-

the dynamics in being critically

ously created at the encounter. In

inclusive without an addandstir

regards to a theoretical framework of

method into a coalition? Examples to

coalition, both provide an analytics to

think through this are Cathy Cohen’s

conceptualize the self in coalitions.

work on marginal identities, and

While Crenshaw allows for one to

Linda Smith’s work on indigenous

name the particularities of their

scholarship that can simultaneously

struggle through the framework of

exist with other political movements.

intersectionality, Puar allows for a continual active identity that changes according to encounter and environment. Both are useful because they allow for unique modes of analysis to A gap between the work of Crenshaw and that of Puar is attention to the margins and politics of exclusion. Crenshaw is thinking through social justice movements that examine where movements are faulty to offer a reconfigurated notion of coalition. Puar does this work within US policies of inclusion to question how sexuality is deployed. Crenshaw is not thinking so much about inclusion, but rather recognition of how a movement already exists as a coalitional space because of the particularities of so many identities. This is mon-ground.html

academic 20th anniv contact

examine power.

*Note from editor: This is only a preview of this honor thesis. To view full academic works, please visit our site:


examine how dynamic power can


margins and contestation for women

much different from Puar because they examine how the tactic inclusion


Nexus: Contested Community and Centering the Self (excerpt for forthcoming manuscript)

The Taskforce is unanimous in its support of the creation of a cross-cultural center at UCSD. We believe the establishment of such a center would greatly enhance the university; by creating a space that fosters a sense of belonging and community among underrepresented students; facilitating greater understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity on campus and in the community at large, and by being a site for greater interaction and exchange between and among different groups of students, staff, and faculty. (CCC Taskforce August 19, 1994) Cultural Centers in higher education metaphorically and literally stand in the spaces between: between self and institution, between history and present day, between feeling and intellect, between activism and the status quo. Students and communities demand these spaces to counter act hostile campus climates. Groups demand voice and visibility in systems and structures that subtly and overtly show the opposite in practice and policy. Individuals hunger for places of recognition, affirmation, and belonging in islands of isolation and day- to -day micro-aggressions. Very little is known about the inner workings, energies, and stories that happen in cultural centers. Even less is known about the long long-term impacts of these spaces on people's lives. Are the trainings, interactions, and practices meaningful? Do these spaces impact personal life lessons and goals? What impact do these centers have on community building and belonging? What are the effects on student retention or macro macro-institutional climate transformation? Center effectiveness stands at the nexus of these questions. Cultural centers are often seen as a hope for empowerment and voice of students who fought for them, while at the same time being touted by administrations as proof that diversity and social justice is important and practiced within an institutional context. Somewhere along this continuum is the untold story, the unheard voices of and from those who work and traverse the spaces. These types of programs are created and function in “contested domains.'� A contested domain simultaneously holds truth and contradiction, appreciation and disappointment, and finally, validation and conflict. Somewhere between disputed and often contradictory expectations lies the work and value of spaces like the Cross-Cultural Center at UC San Diego. Enter here, is a twenty 20-year retrospective of the University of California, San Diego's Diego’s Cross-Cultural Center. Established in May 1995, the CCC's mission and goal is to support the cultural, social, intellectual, and personal growth of students, staff, and faculty from historically underrepresented and underserved communities. 17

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As always, the Cross-Cultural Center sees our work at the nexus of community, influencing and responding to the shifts and needs of those directly impacted by the space and programming. This collection is created within this same context through the voices and experiences of the students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community who gave and continue to give of themselves in service to a greater vision of community and justice.


The collection also tracks the Center's establishment and interrogates shifts and changes in the political landscape of UC San Diego. What do we know about the interactions and expectations of community and the institution by looking in the mirror of history? Does the establishment and institutionalization of the CCC fundamentally change/diminish the activism that brought it to the fore? Can the Center move from the margins of campus life, policy, and visibility, and can it still be seen as a legitimate tool to challenge university intransigence of diversity and social justice issues? Does the changing nature of student voice and intersectional analysis implicate the Center as not focused on the struggle of historically disenfranchised communities? Can you have ethnic specific and multicultural work in the same space? What will be our next phase of development as the work of social justice is joined by new spaces, more nuanced understanding of community needs, and more explicit demands by historically underrepresented students for more voice and visibility within the institution? A twenty 20-year retrospective is the moment to take stock of these questions, acknowledge all those who have contributed and left their mark on the campus in large and small ways, and to move forward with renewed vision and purpose.


At the same time, the Cross-Cultural Center was to provide a space of interaction and learning for the entire campus community. In this volume, we critically explore the establishment and growth of the Cross-Cultural Center through the memories and voices of those who left their marks in the Center and at UC San Diego‌.

18 Artwork by German Octaviano

University of California, San Diego Price Center East, 2nd Floor 9500 Gilman Drive, #0053 La Jolla, CA 92093

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Common Ground Winter 2015  
Common Ground Winter 2015