Ethnic Studies Fund

The Ethnic Studies Fund provides an opportunity for alumnae and other donors to support the Ethnic Studies Department and to promote social justice and diversity at Mills. The fund supports three main areas: student-led activities such as the Heritage Months, Ethnic Studies Awards, and support for student research and conference presentations.

Ethnic Studies Awards

The Ethnic Studies Fund gives out three awards to graduating seniors who are ethnic studies majors. The fund enables the department to give a monetary award to the recipients

  • The Reaching Beyond Award is for excellence in building coalitions between communities of color on campus or through service to the community. Rewarding efforts to teach beyond one's own identity, this award highlights the importance of building unity in diversity in order to achieve social change.
  • The Spirit of Dolores Huerta Award recognizes students who have demonstrated the kind of courageous, conscientious, and intellectual pursuit of justice as evidenced in the person of Dolores Huerta.
  • The Ethnic Studies Outstanding Scholar Award was initiated in 2000 to recognize an outstanding senior thesis in ethnic studies.

Ethnic Studies Student Research

All ethnic studies majors carry out original research for their senior thesis. Students who are accepted to present their findings at conferences such as the Critical Ethnic Studies Association or National Association for Ethnic Studies can apply for funds to support travel and conference fees.

Student-Led Activities

Each year, the Ethnic Studies Department works with student of color affinity groups (APISA, BWC, NASA, and Mujeres Unidas) to organize Latinx, Black, Indigenous, and Asian Pacific Islander Middle Eastern Heritage Months, as well as the biannual Pow Wow. These events are focal points for the Mills calendar and are a highly visible statement of the College's community to diversity. In addition to serving the Mills community, they are attended by the wider Bay Area public and thus help to build connections with the community. Speakers at previous events include black feminist scholar and philosopher Angela Y. Davis, writer and poet Cherrie Moraga, presidential candidate Kamala Harris, veteran civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama, and environmentalist Winona LaDuke. In addition, the Heritage Months feature dance performances, theater, music, and spoken word. The fund will enable the department to continue to bring high-caliber speakers, artists, and inspirational leaders to the College.

How to Donate

To donate online, please visit the Giving to Mills website. When prompted, please indicate that your gift is for “Other,” and write in "Ethnic Studies Fund.”

To donate by check, please make your check out to Mills College, write Ethnic Studies Fund clearly on the check, and mail it to: Office of Institutional Advancement, Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94613.