About Us

The Culture of Race, Gender, and Ethnic Studies

The Department of Race, Gender, and Ethnic Studies is dedicated to the development and analysis of applied education that serves humans communities and the natural world. Our research, engagement, and teaching focuses on knowledges, practices, and voices of an array of peoples, Nations, societies, and beliefs. Utilizing interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and comparative theoretical frameworks, we explore sites and systems of power and privilege as they relate and are embedded within race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, and abilities for justice. We seek to understand desires, needs, and practices of power that impact histories, contemporary realities, and our futures. We are especially committed to nurturing civic-minded, grounded, and astute scholar-students who strive to strengthen our world.

Our Mission

The Department of Race, Gender, and Ethnic Studies critically examines the interlocking forces of domination that are rooted in socially constructed categories of gender, sexuality, class, race, disability and national status. Our faculty and researchers are committed to interdisciplinary, indigenous, international, and comparative approaches that challenge systemic marginalization of diverse populations.

In doing so, we bring to bear issues of power, privilege, and social justice pertinent to aggrieved groups in the United States and abroad. We are especially committed to nurturing critical thinking, civic-minded and culturally informed students who strive to strengthen the communities in which they reside. In support of the land-grant mission of Colorado State University, Race, Gender, and Ethnic Studies engages with communities on and off campus in order to effect meaningful change in public policy and social life.

A group of ethnic studies students painting wall mural abroad

"Our award-winning faculty engage in impactful work that elucidates a deeper understanding of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and intersectionality."

- Professor Emeritus Irene Vernon

Dr. Ray Black speaks with a student

Our Skills & Expertise

Our team is a passioniate group of individuals dedicated to examining social constructions in relation to gender, sexuality, class, race, and ethnicity. From diverse backgrounds, our staff offers a unique blend of experiences, knowledge, and perspectives all in one department.

Much of our staff has invested time and constructive involvement in global efforts to improve the well-being of others. From publications to important social movements, the ethnic studies department takes pride in making a positive impact at the university, the city and the world as a whole.

History of the Department


Center for Applied Studies in American Ethnicity (CASAE) established.


CASAE offers certificates in Native American, African American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Chicano and Ethnic Studies through the American Ethnicity Interdisciplinary Studies Program.


CASAE drops the individual certificates and begins offering an ethnic studies certificate.


Ethnic studies major concentration was approved and offered through the College of Liberal Arts.


Ethnic studies becomes a minor.


CASAE becomes the Department of Ethnic Studies.


Women’s studies joins the department and is housed in the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research.


The Department of Ethnic Studies offers an ethnic studies minor, major, and master's along with a major concentration, minor, and a graduate certificate in women’s studies.


The Department of Ethnic Studies became the Department of Race, Gender, and Ethnic Studies.

Race, Gender, and Ethnic Studies is a department that straddles social sciences and humanities, and it prepares students for careers and graduate studies in a range of disciplines.