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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

January 25, 2012

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #59

Here are some more announcements, links, and job postings about academic-related jobs, fellowships, and other opportunities for those interested in racial/ethnic/diversity issues, with a particular focus on Asian Americans. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.

Asian American Conference: UC Irvine

The Asian Pacific Student Association (APSA) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) is hosting its 27th Annual Asian Pacific American Awareness Conference at the UCI Student Center on Saturday, January 28, 2012. For over 30 years, APSA has been a progressive voice for Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) students in Orange County and Southern California. Through a commitment to advocacy, education, community outreach, and active political participation, APSA strives toward the establishment of equality in a multicultural society.

The 27th Annual Asian Pacific-Islander American Awareness Conference (APAAC) is a day-long event devoted to addressing the issues and redressing the questions raised in the contemporary society of the United States. This year’s theme is “The Movement: Then and Now.” This year we explore cross-cultural activism, intersections of struggles faced by People of Color, and the need to bring back the foundations of the Asian Pacific-Islander American Movement to address the issues that pervade our communities today.

Information:
The 27th Annual Asian Pacific American Awareness Conference
January 28, 2012
UC Irvine Student Center – University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697
Check-In starts at 8:00AM

Highlights:

  • Keynote Speaker: Glenn Omatsu
  • Indoor Lunch and Performances
  • Workshop and Breakout Sessions
  • West Coast API Student Coalition Kick-It
  • Performances by Hoodini & KinG!, Beau Sia, Andrew Figueroa Chiang, forWORD, Nghiem Le, Victoria Lee, Jazzmine Farol, and more!

Registration:
Early Registration (until January 23, 2012) – $7
Late/On-site Registration – $10
Special Discounts for delegations of 10 people or more. Contact Elaine Won at apaacuci@gmail.com to arrange a delegation.
Lunch and concert are included in registration.
Register Online Here: registration.apaacuci.org

Social Media:

http://www.facebook.com/events/162734167157786/

apaacuci.org
@apsauci
#APAAC2012

Pre-Doctoral Fellowship: Ithaca College

The School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College announces a Pre-Doctoral Diversity Fellowship for 2012-13. The fellowship supports promising scholars who are committed to diversity in the academy in order to better prepare them for tenure track appointments within liberal arts or comprehensive colleges/universities.

Applications are welcome in the following areas: Anthropology, Art History, Communication Studies, Environmental Studies and Sciences, History, Philosophy and Religion, Psychology, and Sociology. The Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity, which houses the African Diaspora Studies and the Latino/a studies minors, also welcomes applications. The School of Humanities and Sciences houses additional interdisciplinary minors that may be of interest to candidates: Jewish Studies, Latin American Studies, Muslim Cultures, Native American Studies, and Women’s Studies.

Fellows who successfully obtain the Ph.D. and show an exemplary record of teaching and scholarship and engagement in academic service throughout their fellowship, may be considered as candidates for tenure-eligible appointments anticipated to begin in the fall of 2013.
Position Responsibilities and Terms of Fellowship: Fellowship is anticipated for the academic year (August 16, 2012 to May 31, 2013) and is non-renewable. The fellow will receive a $30,000 stipend, $3,000 in travel/professional development support, office space, health benefits, and access to Ithaca College and Cornell University libraries. The fellow will teach one course in the fall semester and one course in the spring semester and be invited to speak about her/his dissertation research in relevant classes and at special events at Ithaca College.

Position/Job Responsibilities: Continued enrollment in an accredited program leading to a Ph.D. degree at a U.S. educational institution, evidence of superior academic achievement, and commitment to a career in teaching at the college or university level required. Candidates must also be authorized to work in the United States. Prior to August 15, 2012, the fellow must be advanced to candidacy at his or her home institution with an approved dissertation proposal. Preference will be given to those candidates in the final writing stages of their dissertation.

Position/Job Qualifications: Successful candidates will show evidence of superior academic achievement, a high degree of promise of continuing achievement as scholars and teachers, a capacity to respond in pedagogically productive ways to the learning needs of students from diverse backgrounds, sustained personal engagement with communities that are underrepresented in the academy and an ability to bring this asset to learning, teaching, and scholarship at the college and university level, and a likelihood of using the diversity of human experience as an educational resource in teaching and scholarship.

Instructions for submitting your application: Interested individuals should apply online at www.icjobs.org, and submit a C.V./Resume, a cover letter, two sample syllabi, a list of references and a transcript. Questions about the online application should be directed to the Office of Human Resources at (607)274-8000. Screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Quick Link apply.icjobs.org/applicants/Central?quickFind=177781

Call for Participants: HBO 2012 APA Heritage Month Documentary

As mentioned on AngryAsianMan, following up on HBO’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month documentary series East of Main Street last year, HBO is conducting another search for Asian American participants for their 2012 edition to commemorate APA Heritage Month. This year however, they are looking for children ages 4-10, to interviewed for the project:

Project Description
HBO is seeking Asian American children in the age range of 4-10 to be interviewed for their 2012 installment of their Asian Heritage documentary series, brought to you by the producers and director of HBO’s “East of Main Street” that began in 2010.

If you have ever been around small children, you will know that they have as uncensored a view of life. They are wide-eyed, open, curious, and completely unjaded by life and what is “appropriate.” They have not yet been exposed to the harsh realities of racism, sexism or discrimination.

HBO will interview a cross section of Asian American children ranging in age from 4-10 about everything from their heritage, what being Asian American means, how their grandparents differ, what sets them apart from other kids in their schools, religion, their foods, customs and what their hopes and dreams for the future are. The piece would be filled with humor, sweetness and poignancy and help highlight just how insightful and intelligent children really are.

Submission Info
This year, the production will hit the road and interview children in 3 different cities at the end of February. One city will be New York, while the second will either be Los Angeles or San Francisco. The third city is yet to be determined, and will ideally be less metropolitan, to see a cross section of the Asian American experience.

If you’d like to enter your child as a candidate for the series, please upload a short sample clip of your child to a YouTube or Vimeo link and send it to asianheritage2012@gmail.com with a description of your family’s background as well as the name of the city and state which you currently live.

Deadline for submission is January 31.

Postdoc: Korean Families, Univ. of Illinois

The 5-year Korean Family in Comparative Perspective (KFCP, 2010-present) Laboratory for the Globalization of Korean Studies at the University of Illinois, funded by the Academy of Korean Studies, and housed in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, is pleased to announce its second KFCP Postdoctoral Fellowship starting August 16, 2012. This one-year position, with the possibility of a one-year extension, is open to: (1) recent PhD recipients (within the last 5 years) and (2) those who will deposit their dissertation by August 15, 2012.

The KFCP Laboratory aims to bring the Korean family to the center of comparative East Asian and general family studies, highlighting Korea as a productive comparative case of interest to non-Koreanists across a range of disciplines and scholarly locations. KFCP Fellows must be scholars interested in comparative work on the Korean family. Scholars with primary expertise in the family of other East Asian countries (e.g., China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan) are particularly welcome to apply. Scholars with primary research emphasis on the Koreas must have a concrete plan to conduct comparative research (i.e., with another country/region). The Postdoctoral Fellowship is open to scholars in any humanities or social science discipline.

The KFCP Laboratory is directed by anthropologist Nancy Abelmann and includes 3 KFCP Laboratory Fellows: Jungwon Kim (EALC and History, University of Illinois), Seung-Kyung Kim (Women’s Studies, University of Maryland), and Hyunjoon Park (Sociology, University of Pennsylvania). The 2011-13 current Postdoctoral Fellow is historian of China, Elizabeth LaCouture (History, Colby College)

The Postdoctoral Fellow will be welcomed to an active Koreanist community at the University of Illinois that includes a biweekly Korea Workshop (that will actively engage the themes of the Laboratory). The KFCP Fellow will be provided the opportunity to participate in organizing a Korean Family Colloquium Series which graduate students will be able to attend for partial credit. The KFCP Laboratory will be guided by a National Advisory Board (See list below). KFCP Laboratory Director, Fellows, and National Board Members will take an active role in nurturing the comparative scholarship of the Postdoctoral Fellow. The Postdoctoral Fellow will also have the opportunity to “workshop” his or her manuscript/s with experts from both on and off campus.

The KFCP Fellow will be paid $40,000 and benefits. To ensure full consideration, all required application materials must be submitted electronically by February 10, 2012 at http://go.illinois.edu/KFCP_Application Referees will be contacted electronically upon submission of the application. Only electronic applications will be accepted. Applications must include:

  1. A cover letter reviewing your research history, including your dissertation and other publications
  2. A statement of interest in the Korean family in comparative perspective, including a publication plan that includes the submission of one article for each postdoctoral year (OR a single- or co-authored book manuscript) (this can be integrated into the cover letter)
  3. A statement of commitment to active participation in KFCP Laboratory events, including the Korean Family Colloquium Series (this can be a simple statement in the cover letter)
  4. One writing sample, 25-40 pages
  5. Contact information for three referees who can speak to your scholarly work and abilities and to the feasibility of your research and publications plans for comparative work on the Korean family. Referees will be contacted electronically and asked to submit their letters

Please address inquires to slcl-hr@illinois.edu.

Call for Submissions: Mixed-Race Film & Literary Festival

The 5th Annual Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival takes place:

Sat. June 16, 2012 – Sun. 17, 2012
Japanese American
National Museum
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Now is your chance to submit your film, writing, workshop, or performance proposal.

There is NO submission fee if you submit your work by February 15, 2012! So don’t wait–send us your stories of the Mixed experience NOW! For complete submission information visit the Festival website. You’ll find the submission forms in the brown navigation bar on the home page.

Please tell your friends via tweets; like us on Facebook; post this call to Facebook; post this announcement on your blog; and forward this email to friends, family and coworkers!

Position: Immigration Policy Special Assistant

Special Assistant for Immigration Policy
Reports to: Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy
Department: Domestic Policy

The Center for American Progress has an immediate opening for an Immigration Assistant. The qualified applicant will be a self-starter and a fast learner with strong written and verbal communications, solid research skills, and the ability to juggle multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment. In addition to providing administrative support to the Immigration Team, she/he will help coordinate CAP’s work with key immigrants’ rights organizations and provide assistance in research projects that address gaps in information and data related to immigration.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Provide administrative support to the Immigration team
  • Help coordinate work with key partners
  • Use available research tools to identify important issues related to immigration
  • Assist with the development of immigration-related short reports

Requirements:

  • Excellent written communications skills
  • Ability to think strategically and to anticipate and orchestrate next steps
  • Ability to initiate, prioritize, and follow through on plans
  • Ability to work under pressure/tight deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to initiate projects and balance multiple projects at once
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work well on a team
  • Strong attention to detail

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in social sciences
  • Familiarity with the issue of immigration a plus
  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Top-notch organizational skills
  • Commitment to organization’s mission and goals
  • Proficiency in MS Word, Excel
  • Nonprofit experience a plus
  • Familiarity with the Salesforce CRM system a plus
  • Experience working with 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations a plus

Additional Information
American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize our progressive agenda: The Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying.

The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a non-partisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

American Progress provides a competitive compensation and benefits package. American Progress is an equal opportunity employer; women, minorities, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. To apply, simply e-mail your Word resume and cover letter attachments to: jobs@americanprogress.org.

Or you may write to:
Center for American Progress
1333 H Street, NW, 10th Floor – Domestic Policy Search
Washington, DC 20005

In your correspondence, please reference the exact title of the job you are applying for in the subject line. This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls please. Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.

Summer Service Abroad Program: Viet Nam

Are you planning for an exciting summer abroad? Join us to make an impact through our leadership service project.

Mission
Southeast Asian Service Leadership Network’s (SEALNet) mission is to bring service and to promote the spirit of service leadership among Southeast Asian communities in the US and abroad. We strive to accomplish this by building and nurturing a community of service leaders who are committed to serve, equipped to lead, enterprising in action, and plugged into a network of like hearted individuals who are passionate about social development.

Brief History
SEALNet was founded at Stanford University in 2004. In 2006, SEALNet became a 501(c)(3) organization with a board of directors which oversees the organization and chapters at various universities. In 2008, SEALNet registered a branch in Singapore as a Company Limited by Guarantee.

Project Vietnam 2012
SEALNet projects normally start recruiting during March. However, Project Vietnam 2012 will recruit early this year. The deadline for the application will be on March 10th.

Project Site: Long Hoa Orphanage, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Expected date: 2 – 3 weeks between August 11th and August 31st

We will cover all food, transportation and boarding. However, you are responsible for your airfares to and from Vietnam.

Project Vietnam 2012 seeks to collaborate with Gentle Fund Organization (GFO) in bringing in a sustainable source of local Vietnamese volunteers to support the development of an orphan-led Scout Club for Long Hoa Orphanage. Founded by GFO on the belief that improving self-esteem of orphaned youths will prove vital for their success in school, character development and career choices, the Scout Club is a place where orphaned youths feel safe, free of stigma, encouraged to serve others, and supported through skills workshops. The SEALNet team hopes to supplement and further support GFO’s endeavor at Long Hoa by training a group of local volunteers, committed and capable, to become the program assistants to the GFO administration of the Scout Club and building partnership between the orphanage with a local university.

Community Challenge: Orphans are a large under-served population in Vietnam. 1.4 million Vietnamese orphans (2009) under 18 years old often live in small unregistered institutions and on the streets. During adolescence, orphans’ need for adult guidance and high self-esteem are not met due to the lack of support programs for this special population and their quiet needs. In Long Hoa Orphanage, Ho Chi Minh City, there is currently a lack of support for adolescent orphans who need meaningful extra-curricular activities to develop themselves at the age of 12-16, when they begin to develop their self-worth, character, social skills and self-motivations. Gentle Fund Organization, which has been running a community Learning Center on the orphanage campus for three years, would like to extend their service to providing some psychosocial support for the orphans of this group age. However, challenges remain as their character development program faces a lack of high-quality manpower support from within the organization, the orphanage and external sources.

To apply, please submit your application at http://bit.ly/yLUhXf

For more information about SEALNet, please go to http://www.sealnetonline.org/
For more information about Gentle Fund Organization, please go to http://www.gentlefund.org/en/home.xhtml
For more information about Project Vietnam 2012, please email PV12 Co-Leaders:
Minh Vo: mvo1(at)swarthmore.edu
Phy Tran: tphyntran(at)gmail.com

Summer Internships: Organization of Chinese Americans

The Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), a national organization dedicated to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), is now accepting applications for its 2012 Summer Internship Program.

Celebrating its 23rd year, the OCA Internship Program seeks to cultivate future leadership by providing students from all over the country an opportunity to be involved in the political process through one of the largest national advocacy organization for APAs. The program has successfully led past interns to become more actively involved in their college campuses and joined the growing movement of APA leadership at the cross section of government, nonprofits, and business.

“As one of OCA’s prestigious programs, the Summer Internship is truly a unique experience. It exposes students to issues affecting the APA community while gaining valuable working experience in the heart of Washington DC,” said Tom Hayashi, Interim Executive Director of OCA.

Participants of this program will be placed in a paid internship in a federal agency, nonprofit, congressional offices, and corporations that matches their backgrounds and interests—including some placements at the OCA National Center. In addition to their work assignments, summer interns will be heavily involved in variety of activities and programming including direct advocacy for critical issues faced by APAs on the Hill.

In addition to connecting interns with the APA community and developing their leadership skills, summer interns are invited to take part in the OCA National Convention. This year’s National Convention will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada from August 2 – 5 at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. The Convention will feature inspirational speakers, thrilling entertainment, numerous workshops, and our signature gala to celebrate the impactful and pioneering achievements of community leaders.

Interns are expected to commit to working full-time for ten weeks between the dates of May 28 – August 17, 2012. (Participation in the National Convention is mandatory and applicants are strongly encouraged to make sure they are able to attend.) Applications will be reviewed by the Internship Committee and a telephone interview will be scheduled for qualified applicants.

For more information on the OCA Summer Internship and to apply, go to OCA’s website and click “Internship” under “Programs.” You can also click here to go directly to the online application form. Applications and all materials need to be submitted by March 12, 2012.

Please contact the OCA National Center at 202.223.5500 or email Mary Dynne Montante at mmontante@ocanational.org if you have any questions. Your journey towards empowerment and fulfillment for your personal best starts with the OCA Summer Internship…apply today!

Annual Conference: Social Science History Assn., Vancouver

We serve as co-chairs of the Race/Ethnicity section for the Social Science History Association (SSHA). The meeting is scheduled to take place in Vancouver, Canada, November 1-4, 2012. Our theme this year is “Histories of Capitalism.”

Our main goal is to structure sessions so that they explicitly draw on an interdisciplinary group of scholars who hail from different institutions. The deadline for submission of abstracts is March 1 2011. Note, all SSHA requires at this point is an abstract. We are hoping to put together a number of sessions related to the conference site that were discussed at the planning meeting:

  • Indigenous Communities, Land Rights and Natural Resources
  • The Rise and Decline of Multiculturalism and/or Cosmopolitanism
  • Race and Collective Violence
  • Anti-Asian Discrimination and Asian Integration on the West Coast
  • The Underground Railroad
  • Racialized Immigration Policy
  • Bilingualism and Racialized Language Struggles
  • Conflicts and Contradictions in Anglo-French Conceptions of Race
  • Multiracial Identities and Racial Boundaries in Historical Perspective
  • Legacies of Slavery and Colonialism in Contemporary America
  • Race and Capitalism
  • Race and Eugenics

You are welcome to submit papers regarding any of these topics, or on a topic relating to your own research. If you are interested in putting together an entire session, let us know and we would be happy to provide you with details as to how to do this. Feel free to forward this call widely, particularly to graduate students (there is funding available for graduate students to travel to the conference).

We also had three wonderful Author Meets Critics panels at the 2011 session and are looking to “recreate the magic” this year in Vancouver. So if you have read any great books that you would like to seen discussed and meet the author, please let us know. Or if you would just like to volunteer to be a critic for books to be decided within the next month, please let us know.

Finally, please feel free to check our Facebook page, which you can find by searching for “Race/Ethnicity Network – Social Science History Association.” If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email: mfweiner@holycross.edu or e-onasch@u.northwestern.edu

Sincerely,

Melissa Weiner
Elizabeth Onasch

Call for Applicants: Poll Workers (Paid), Boston

Election Day Officers Needed Throughout Boston for 2012 Election Cycle

Have you ever gone to vote and thought that you might enjoy being an Election Officer “someday,” or have you thought that the poll workers at your precinct are a great group, and you would love to have the opportunity to work with them? The City of Boston Election Department is seeking to expand its pool of available election officers for the 2012 Election cycle, beginning with the March 6 Presidential Primary.

There are a number of openings for Election Day Officers throughout the City. Poll workers in particular are needed in East Boston, Charlestown, South Boston, the North End, and Allston-Brighton. While there is a particular need for bilingual workers, there are also available opportunities for other positions as well. From Wardens, who are responsible for the smooth operations of their polling locations, to Clerks, who oversee the checking in of voters, and keep written records of the day’s events, to Inspectors who direct and assist voters; the need for talented workers exists at all levels.

Requirements include the ability to follow directions precisely, attentiveness to detail, a strong commitment to fairness and impartiality, and a desire to serve. Election Officers must be registered voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and can come from any city or town. Ideally, potential candidates should have a strong voter history as well. Election Officers work from 6AM-9PM, which includes an hour before and an hour after the polls are open for voters. In some cases there is an allowance for part-time shifts, although a shift must be at least six (6) hours long. Attendance to one of our paid training sessions is mandatory.

For more information, or to download a poll worker application, please visit the Boston Election Department’s website www.cityofboston.gov/elections or call 617-635-4491.


September 21, 2007

Written by C.N.

Who Deserves Freedom of Speech?

Freedom of speech and academic freedom are both cornerstones of American society and particularly, of academia. As scholars, we could not do our jobs as teachers and researchers properly without knowing that we have these protections to challenge conventional ideas, take a critical look at social institutions here in the U.S. and around the world. and on occasion, to say things that may upset the status quo.

But as we also know, there is frequently a thin between freedom of speech and hateful speech and the boundaries between the two aren’t always very clearly marked. That’s the area where confusion and contradictions live. Two recent events highlight this delicate balance between academic freedom and excluding hate speech.

The first is in regard to the hiring process of the inaugural Dean for the new law school of the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine, my undergraduate alma mater). As the Los Angeles Times reports, the candidate in question, Erwin Chemerinsky, is a nationally-renowned legal scholar and in virtually all respects, is the perfect candidate for the position.

The problem that arose however, was that Chemerinsky is known to be have a “liberal” perspective. As such and apparently, some more “conservative” constituent groups associated with UC Irvine opposed his candidacy. Upon learning of this opposition, UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake decided to rescind his offer to Chemerinsky.

Subsequently, scholars at UC Irvine and from around the country blasted Drake’s actions as an insult and threat to academic freedom. Shortly after facing this new firestorm, Drake decided to reverse course again and reinstate his offer to Chemerinsky to be the inaugural Dean of UC Irvine’s law school. Nonetheless, Drake still faces the wrath of faculty members over his initial decision to rescind the offer:

In a conference call with reporters, the chancellor and new dean agreed that Chemerinsky would enjoy absolute academic freedom and would continue to write opinion articles on a wide range of issues, not just legal education as Drake suggested last week.

“Chancellor Drake reaffirmed in the strongest possible way the academic freedom that I would have, as all deans and faculty members do,” Chemerinsky said. He later noted that he was aware that his role as dean also would require him to build a broad base of support. Before he was ousted, the dean had sought conservatives for some slots on his board of advisors. . . .

Business Professor Richard McKenzie did not think the chancellor could keep his job. “I personally do not see how [Drake] can be effective going forward given the opposition across campus to what he did. I’ve never seen the faculty so unified.” The cabinet of UCI’s Academic Senate met in closed session Monday to consider a response to the furor.

The second case over the boundaries of academic freedom centers on Lawrence Summers, former Treasury Secretary under Clinton and President of Harvard University until he was forced to resign over his controversial statements that suggested that women were naturally inferior to men when it came to succeeding in the science disciplines.

As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, Summers was initially invited to be a speaker at an upcoming dinner event of the University of California Regents, but many faculty members objected to his selection and the offer to Summers was subsequently rescinded:

“I was appalled and stunned that someone like Summers would even be invited to speak to the regents,” said UC Davis Professor Maureen Stanton, who helped put together the petition drive. “I think many of us who were involved in the protest believed that it wouldn’t reflect well on the university that he even received the invitation.”

The petition called Summers’ invitation “not only misguided but inappropriate” at a time when the university is working to diversify its community. “Inviting a keynote speaker who has come to symbolize gender and racial prejudice in academia conveys the wrong message to the University community and to the people of California,” the petition said.

So, let’s review — in the Chemerinsky case, faculty cried foul because they felt that rescinding the offer to Chemerinsky was a threat to academic freedom. But in the Summers case, faculty supported the effort to rescind the offer to Summers. Therefore, the question becomes, is this a contradiction, perhaps even hypocrisy?

Why is it okay to support Chemerinsky’s right to academic freedom but not Summers’?

The most obvious answer is that Chemerinsky is seen as having a liberal perspective while Summers, at least judged by his controversial comments about women in the sciences, is seen as having a more “conservative” perspective. Combined with the well-established fact that faculty members, particularly in humanities and social science disciplines, are overwhelmingly liberal, one can understand why Chemerinsky found support while Summers did not.

In my blogs and in regards to what I tell my students, I make no secret of the fact that I consider myself to be quite liberal as well. But I am also a strong believer in freedom of speech for everyone, provided it is not blatantly hateful. In that sense, I cannot help but see these two events surrounding Chemerinsky and Summers as nothing less than hypocrisy.

Freedom of speech is a universal right that belongs to everyone, not just the ones with whom you agree. That means that even if someone says something that I completely disagree with, I still support his/her right to express his/her views, again provided that it’s not blatantly hateful.

In this case, I have no problems whatsoever with faculty disagreeing with Summers’ views, as I do myself. However, I cannot support the decision to rescind the offer to let him speak based purely on such philosophical or political differences of opinion, especially in light of faculty’s support for Chemerinsky’s freedom of speech.

In the SF Chronicle article that I quoted above, Professor Stanton argues that inviting Summers sends the wrong message at a time when the UC system is trying to diversify its community. There is some truth to that statement and indeed, appearances do matter.

However, I would argue that what would send an even more powerful message in support of diversity is to show that all opinions, perspectives, and experiences deserve to be heard, regardless of whether they happen to lie outside of the prevailing political environment or establishment.

This is the same valid argument that I and other faculty have used to promote Ethnic Studies and multiculturalism on campuses all around the country, so why shouldn’t it apply to Summers’ case?

In addition, another way to send a strong message in support of cultural diversity would have been to allow Summers to speak and then for faculty and others who disagree with him to directly and publicly challenge him on his views. The same right that allows Summers to suggest women are inferior gives us the right to suggest that Summers is completely wrong.

This would again demonstrate that the UC system, academia, and our society in general are founded on principles of critical analysis and confronting prejudicial statements, not selective censorship.

As my personal heroes such as Martin Luther King Jr. and the Dalai Lama have so acutely observed, when it comes to achieving real, meaningful social justice, we must be inclusive. That is, rather than solely concentrate on trying to address just one form of discrimination or inequality in isolation, we need to take a holistic view and recognize that all injustices are interrelated.

That is, in the words of Dr. King himself, “A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I interpret that to mean that we cannot pick and choose which groups deserve justice and equality while which groups do not.

That is why I personally find it very painful when I hear, for example, when African Americans express homophobic thoughts against gays and lesbians, or when Asian Americans denounce the rights of illegal immigrants to become Americans.

In the same way that equality and justice belong to everyone, so too does freedom of speech.