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Ethnic Studies Institute for K-12 Teachers

Unfortunately, our summer 2023 event has been canceled.
We are planning an online version of this training that will launch in fall 2024. Click here to share your email, and we'll follow up with details as they become available.

Hosted by Ethnic Studies faculty from Oregon State University, the Ethnic Studies Summer Institute will offer support for K-12 educators and an opportunity to learn more about ethnic studies as a field, its pedagogical approaches and how to use key critical frameworks.

Centered on the idea that implementing the new standards is not just a question of what to teach, but also how to teach ethnic studies effectively, the summer institute will help K-12 educators envision ethnic studies within their own classrooms in view of the new Social Science Standards for K-12 ethnic studies curriculum.

Ethnic Studies K-12 Teacher Training

As public debate escalates and more states attempt to ban ethnic studies, including via misconstrued notions of “critical race theory,” implementation of Oregon’s ethnic studies legislation (HB 2845) has become increasingly fraught with challenges. At the same time, ethnic studies has continually proven itself relevant to students, especially those most marginalized, and it is particularly rewarding to teach.

This course will help you consider and answer the following questions:
  • How can I teach ethnic studies effectively? 
  • What is at stake teaching ethnic studies in our current moment? 
  • How do we build communities of support for ethnic studies teachers?
According to HB 2845, K-12 teachers are required to implement ethnic studies into their curriculum by 2026. This program will help you fulfill that requirement.

What You'll Learn

In preparation for the implementation of Oregon HB 2845, K-12 teachers will learn how to:
  1. Identify ways in which critical ethnic studies uniquely approaches topics and perspectives taught in the K-12 curriculum.
  2. Incorporate a comparative analytical lens for understanding the intertwined histories and experiences of racialized and ethnic communities.
  3. Create their own curriculum that is site-specific, historically informed, and inclusive of students and communities all too often overlooked by mainstream U.S. history and social studies. 

Course Details

Our faculty partners are planning an online version of this program for the 2024-25 academic year. 
Online program coming in 2024!
This space allowed us to create a meaningful collaboration to plan how we would possibly teach/apply Ethnic Studies into our teaching. More importantly, it allowed us to see how adding Ethnic Studies into our curriculum wasn’t really “doing extra,” instead it was changing/modifying some of the things that we already do to make sure that we have multiple-perspectives present.
José B.
Linus Pauling Middle School, Corvallis School District
The institute was intimate and full of generous warmth and genuine constructiveness. I felt the institute, by nature, gives 'voice' to all, and I felt I was heard.
Chuck S.
Linus Pauling Middle School, Corvallis School District
The time spent at this workshop was amazing. The facilitators provided a safe and authentic environment where we could have open conversations on themes and topics that can be difficult to talk about.
Avigain H.
Linus Pauling Middle School, Corvallis School District
This training will help my students by giving our overlooked populations a voice in our state and our country.
Cassie O.
Linus Pauling Middle School, Corvallis School District


Natchee Barnd
Natchee Barnd is an Associate Professor in Ethnic Studies with a particular focus on comparative and critical ethnic studies and the intersections between ethnic studies, cultural geography, and Indigenous studies. Dr. Barnd’s research focuses on issues of race, space, and Indigenous geographies. His book, Native Space: Geographic Strategies to Unsettle Settler Colonialism (OSU Press, and the First Peoples series) illustrates the ways that Native people in North America sustain and create Indigenous geographies in settler colonial nations (and was awarded the Association for Ethnic Studies' 2021 Outstanding Book Award). His second book, A People's Guide to Portland and Beyond (pre-contract with UC Press), highlights lesser known sites of social justice and oppression across the city of Portland.
Patricia Fifita
Patricia Fifita is an Assistant Professor in the School of Language, Culture, and Society, where she teaches in Ethnic Studies and Anthropology. Dr. Fifita’s teaching and research areas include critical ethnic studies; Pacific Islands studies; Indigenous anthropology in/of the Pacific Islands/Oceania; medical and environmental anthropology; Indigenous theory and methodologies; Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK); Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR); critical theory applied to Indigenous health and biomedicine, health disparities, gender studies, political economy, climate change and food security, and natural resource management in the Pacific Islands.
David Lewis
David Lewis is an Assistant Professor in the School of Language Culture, and Society. Dr. Lewis’ teaching and research areas include Oregon Native Peoples history and culture; tribal histories of Northwest Coastal peoples, specializing in the Western Oregon Tribes; Traditional Ecological Knowledge; oral histories and narratives of Native Peoples; and ethnohistory of colonization. He is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, a descendant of the Takelma, Chinook, Molalla, and Santiam Kalapuya peoples of western Oregon. Dr. Lewis also served as the director of the Southwest Oregon Project Collection at the University of Oregon, and was the Culture Department manager of the Grand Ronde Tribe for 8 years.
Marta Maldonado
Marta Maldonado is an Associate Professor in Ethnic Studies. Dr. Maldonado’s teaching and research include comparative and critical ethnic studies; Latino/a sociology; immigration; power and social inequality; race/ethnicity, gender, and class relations; race theory; work and occupations; communities; social action and social change; and qualitative research methods. Her work also includes youth and community empowerment, community health and wellness, socioeconomic well-being, education, and cultural and historical awareness.
Patti Sakurai
Patti Sakurai is an Associate Professor in Ethnic Studies with teaching and research in comparative and critical ethnic studies, Asian American literature, race and film, media and popular culture, race and public discourse, Korean dramas and U.S. viewerships, and BIPOC faculty in higher education. Dr. Sakurai was also part of the production collective for APA Compass, a monthly public affairs program on KBOO 90.7 FM Portland, and is a filmmaker whose work engages issues of race and Asian American experiences.
Luhui Whitebear
Luhui Whitebear is an Assistant Professor in the School of Language, Culture, and Society where she teaches in Ethnic Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Dr. Whitebear’s teaching and research areas include Indigenous rhetorics, Indigeneity & reclaiming Indigenous identity/gender roles, murdered & missing Indigenous women, Indigenous resistance movements, art and social justice, Indigenous feminisms, and national laws & policies that impact Indigenous people. Dr. Whitebear is also Center Director for the Kaku-Ixt Mana Ina Haws and serves on the Corvallis School Board.

Past Students' Work

Take a look at some recent projects our students have created.