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Sonoma State University, SRJC broadening ethnic studies as social justice, racial equity push intensifiesSonoma State University will broaden its ethnic studies offerings to include social justice courses after the California State University Board of Trustees last week changed its general education graduation requirements for the first time in 40 years.

The decision was embraced at Sonoma County’s two major higher education campuses, including Santa Rosa Junior College, where efforts to reintroduce the second ethnic studies department in the college’s history are taking shape.

Sonoma State has required ethnic studies for years, said Karen Moranski, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs.

The bill if it become law would take effect sooner, at the start of the 2021-22 school year, but is more narrowly focused on the traditional racial ethnic studies disciplines of Black, Latino, Indigenous and Asian communities.

“For people who have long been associated with ethnic studies, they have a strong commitment to their understanding to what ethnic studies is,” Thompson said.

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