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Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Studies Summit 2023

Dream, Empower, Question, Study, Each one, Teach One two boys reading

Wednesday, May 3, 2023



Noon-3 p.m.
Room 5015 VIEW MAP

About the Summit

Meet Dr. Laureen ChewThe 2023 summit brought together local high school students and Foothill College students for an afternoon that included student speakers and information about Ethnic Studies at Foothill College. Our annual event is meant to introduce and promote Ethnic Studies to our students so they may walk away with a better understanding of how to apply Ethnic Studies to their education, apply it to their lives, and ultimately to take an Ethnic Studies course.

Our keynote speaker is Dr. Laureen Chew, emeritus faculty in Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University.

Read Laureen Chew's Bio

Dr. Laureen Chew was born of a Chinese American father and a Chinese immigrant mother. When growing up in Chinatown, she was known as the drum major and leader of St. Mary’s fabled Girls Drum Corps. During her college years, Laureen volunteered and worked short-term jobs to help immigrant students, pre-delinquent teenage girls, and at-risk youth. At SF State, she was arrested during the student strike and spent twenty-one days in jail for her support of Ethnic Studies in 1968.

Laureen became a bilingual second grade teacher to create social change within the community. As President of The Association of Chinese Teachers (TACT), she forged alliances to form the powerful Ethnic Minority Educators (EME) which fought layoffs of teachers of color. She also worked on Chan Is Missing and Dim Sum, films that explore a community point of view to counter the stereotypes fostered by the dominant society.

In 1978, Laureen left her teaching job to pursue an EdD at the University of the Pacific. In 1980, she joined the faculty of Asian American Studies, the department that she helped to found. She later held a joint appointment with the Department of Elementary Education. With Rosemary Hurtado, she worked diligently to institutionalize bilingual–cross cultural teacher training, and received grants to prepare countless Chinese and Spanish bilingual teachers and paraprofessionals. In 2001, Laureen was elected department chair of Elementary Education. At the same time she served on advisory boards for the San Francisco Unified School District.

In 2006, Laureen returned full-time to the College of Ethnic Studies as Associate Dean. Although her professional life seems to have come full circle back to the College of Ethnic Studies, she saw it as but one more step in her search to be of service and to contribute to the larger good of society. She retired in 2017 as Emeritus faculty in Asian American Studies.

For more information, contact Ulysses Acevedo at

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