November 19th, 2010


Sophia Armen, UC Santa Barbara, 2nd Year, (818) 625-6284

Quinn Nguyen, UC Santa Barbara 4th year, (714) 443-1572

Christine Byon, UCSA Organizing Director, (626) 941-4784


Students Hold an Action at the Students of Color Conference

Santa Barbara, CA –Amid the pain and suffering inflicted upon the student of color community this year, students of color are coming together in solidarity to protest the surge of hatred and targeting of their communities. This year has seen incidents of hate explode on campuses across the state. Acts of violence, whether verbal, physical, emotional, mental, or institutionalized, have called upon the students to mobilize collectively as the values essential to education are in peril. Though increased media attention has spotlighted these crimes and incidents, recognition of the day to day culture and climate of the UC system as riddled with discrimination, hate, and prejudice, has long been ignored and not limited to these events. Students are calling out to decision makers to be actual leaders and actively condemn these acts of discrimination, bigotry and intolerance and invest into the promotion and prevention of acts in the future. The students recognize that diversity is essential to the UC and that as fees go up, and community of color representation goes down, hate crimes and incidents increase. Furthermore, that these hate crimes and hate incidents are not isolated events, but rather concentrated points in the everyday struggle of students of color in higher education and reflective of the climate, culture, and exclusion of the UC at large. At the Student of Color Conference, the attempted theft of power from students of color will be reclaimed.

This Sunday, students from across the UC’s will come together in solidarity to condemn the recent surge of hate crimes and violence targeted at students of color and intersecting communities. Students will be coming to University of California Santa Barbara to protest as a part of the 22nd Annual Student of Color Conference sponsored in part by the University of California Student Association (UCSA).

Students recognize that acts of hate stem from ignorance. As Students, we recognize the intersections of identities that include but are not limited to race, gender identity, class, national origin, difference of ability, age, religion, and sexual orientation, place us in vulnerable positions in hegemonic power structures. Together can the students will reclaim power for our community and heal our community, central to this year’s theme.

Furthermore, hate crimes are inextricably bound to accessibility to education. Attacks on students of color come in many forms, including the attack on affordability and accessibility to education.

These sentiments are especially timely in light of the discussion to increase UC student fees by 8%. Fee hikes disproportionately affect communities of color. As access is limited, diversity, vital to our education, is diminished. The public education system of California should reflect California’s population, yet the make-up of the higher education system of California does not represent communities of color. The disconnect of that representation, the students recognize, is directly tied to the accessibility and affordability of the UC. The proposed fee hike of 8% is a direct target at communities of color and would pit students against students creating a two-tiered system. Privatization and the “high-aid, high-fee” model, where raised fees are said to be offset by a growth in aid, are not solutions but an active attack on accessibility, limiting education as a privilege for the few. This model seriously overlooks middle-income students as well as undocumented students, both of which are forced to pay the increases but continue to have little or no access to the new aid that is offered, and pits communities of students against each other.

Together on Sunday, the students will say enough is enough.

Students are demanding that:

Representation should reflect the diversity of California’s population

Restored funding to retention and outreach programs

Active administrative efforts to promote diversity and tolerance

No fee increases without buy in

More Diversity Initiatives (such as “We Count”, and “Do UC us”)

State-wide and Campus-based Administrative Response to Hate Incidents

UC sanctuary

Permanently fund Cal Grants

Passage of DREAM Act, both state and federal

More communication in interschool admissions

No cuts to enrollment

UC wide physically-accessible policies

Returning to Master Plan, recognizing diversity is essential to the Master Plan

This Sunday from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, more than one thousand students will rally at Storke Tower on the UCSB campus and march through Isla Vista with student representatives from across the UC system. “This action is essential. The demonstration that we are engaging in at this year’s Student of Color conference serves as an opportunity for our communities and allies to assemble in solidarity against fee hikes, hate crimes, and budget cuts to the university. It is imperative that all communities and  society as a whole recognize that these injustices disproportionately  affect people of color and that it needs to end now” said UCSB 2nd year Danielle Stevens, one of the organizers of the conference.

The rally will include speakers Peggy Lee, Peggy Lee, a UCSB alumni and also writer, activist, scholar who is currently working as an Asian American Writers’ Workshop fellow in New York.  Paul Monge, the UCSB Associated Students President, will be speaking about the status of the educational system, the state-wide struggle against hate crimes , and the history of Isla Vista. Nayra Pechco, will talk about the importance of education for all students and the need for action to support undocumented students.

The Students will be starting at Storke Tower and then marching through campus and into the neighboring Isla Vista community. Isla Vista is known for its unique culture and  but is also a cite of  acts of hate. Utilizing their agency the students will reclaim Isla Vista, hitting key spaces and sites of hate crimes and hate incidents and connecting those community-based incidents to the state-wide attacks on the higher education student of color community.

The University of California Student Association is the official voice of over 200,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from the eleven UC campuses. It is our mission to advocate on behalf of current and future students for the accessibility, affordability, and quality of the University of California system.


For Immediate Release
October 29, 2010

Sandy Jennifer Baños, SOCC Co-Chair, 4 year student at UC Santa Barbara (562) 665-1516
David Preciado, SOCC Co-Chair, 4 year student at UC Santa Barbara (562) 413-8315

22nd Annual Student of Color Conference (SOCC)

Transformation through love and art: Actively Reclaiming Power for Our Community

Goleta, CA – The University of California, Santa Barbara will host the 22nd Annual Student of Color Conference on November 19th through the 21st. This year’s theme is Transformation through love and art: Actively Reclaiming Power for our Community. The Student of Color Conference will host over 1,000 students from the University of California System, and will feature over 60 student-led workshops and caucus spaces for people of color and their allies. In the past, the Student of Color Conference has played a vital role for university students by providing them with the concepts and skills needed to identify and understand issues related to race and ethnicity and to form action plans for positive change in their communities. The conference will continue this tradition by focusing on education, empowerment, service organizing and activism, additionally this year it will also incorporate healing through different mediums of art.

This annual, UC-wide, weekend-long event is geared toward educating and empowering students about economic, political, and social issues they may not always get a chance to openly speak about. A goal of the conference is to get people to start thinking about intersectionalities of race, class, gender, sexuality, citizen status, disabilities, and other historical unrepresented identities. There will be open spaces for participants to create their own workshop or caucuses. For over 20 years now, students across California have organized across different campuses to address important student-related issues. The conference is open to all student and will be free of charge for UCSB students.­

This student of color conference will feature various guests and entertainers that reflect people of color and their issue’s through art. Throughout the conference there will be student and professional performances. On the first day of the conference, La MariColectiva will use spoken word, stand-up and cabaret to voice to queer, latino and immigrant issues. Among the featured performers will be, Peggy Lee, a UCSB alumni and also writer, activist, scholar who is currently working as an Asian American Writers’ Workshop fellow in New York. Suheir Hammad, a Palestinian-American author and activist who has been featured on Def Poetry Jam will perform at the conference’s opening ceremony. In the evening, Climbing PoeTree, a duo with roots in Haiti and Colombia that have toured across the country will use art as a tool for popular education and personal transformation. MTV’s America’s Best Crew finalists, Heavy Impact, will also be performing.

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