Multicultural and Gender Studies

Students of the Gender and Sexuality Equity Coalition hold up their fists to symbolize empowerment.

Insight

In Multicultural and Gender Studies you start making the world you want to see when you join us in the classroom and in the department. Multicultural and Gender Studies is the academic face of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion at California State University, Chico, ever striving to embody, inculcate, promote, and celebrate the values of multicultural respect, awareness, and understanding as fundamental to the socially and environmentally responsible democratic citizen. We are a diverse community of scholars and activists working together to critically examine gender, sexuality, socioeconomic class, ability, race, and ethnicity and to cultivate social justice through informed activism.

The department is strongly committed to helping students become responsible and responsive citizens of their communities, countries, and world. Given that rigorous academic learning is most effective when linked with community work, MCGS students put to use what they've learned about diversity and social justice in three-unit service/activism internships. Students may do their internship fieldwork in such campus organizations or off-campus sites. These internships are letter-graded and thus require close work with a faculty advisor/supervisor, providing the best hands-on learning.

Experience

Every year the College of Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Multicultural and Gender Studies select students to represent and give voice to the departments. MCGS faculty advise and support a number of student organizations such as MEChA, Native American Club, Hmong Student Association, Dream Center, or GSEC and its various programs.

The Gender & Sexuality Equity Coalition (GSEC). This is a student-run activist organization that strives to empower all students through its three programs: the Women’s Program, the Queer Program, and the Trans Program. The GSEC challenges societal norms that have been used to oppress and marginalize, by providing opportunities for leadership, personal development, and referral services. We offer a safe and inclusive space where the campus and community can effectively support the academic mission of the university.

  • Women’s Program—utilizes intersectional feminist ideologies to offer educational opportunities and programs that are centered on diverse women’s experiences. This program seeks to create and sustain a safe university environment that promotes personal growth.
  • Queer Program—provides holistic LGBTQ+ education, to sustain a safe campus environment, and to cultivate community for all queer people affected by heterosexism. This program is dedicated to promoting accessible, affirming, and empowering spaces for sexually and romantically diverse people of all intersecting identities.
  • Trans Program—fosters accessibility, community building, and empowerment for all trans and gender diverse people by challenging institutional and interpersonal oppression perpetuated by cissexism and transphobia. This program uses intersectional theory when providing support for people of all gender and sex identities.

Outlook

Alumni have gone on to do many things with their degrees in MCGS. They have gone on to graduate school in many different fields and joined the professoriate. They have become K-12 teachers, community and union organizers, social workers, congressional aides, policy analysts, journalists, lawyers, public advocates, artists/graphic designers, small business owners, and so much more.

To support this work, we offer a number of financial opportunities for our students. Thanks to the generosity of friends and alumni, the Department of Multicultural and Gender Studies has many scholarships to offer to our students. Chico State scholarships require completion of the online scholarship application, which can be obtained through the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.

The department offers three $500 Outstanding Student Awards, one for each major: multicultural and gender studies, women's studies, and intersectional chicanx/latinx studies. The Richard Duncan Advocacy Award is funded by an alum and is awarded to empower students to effect social change for LGBTQIA2S+ folx. The award amount is $1,500. The Louis Goldblatt Award for Social Change is a $1,500 award given to an LGBTQIA advocate.

We also offer the MCGS Change the World Award to recognize multicultural and gender studies graduates who have made substantial contributions to social justice efforts while at Chico State and aid them in their transition into their chosen social justice profession. This is a $500 award given to two outstanding students who are making a significant effort to change the world.

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