College of Liberal Arts


Ethnic Studies Department

Degree Name

BA in Comparative Ethnic Studies




Kathleen Martin


An accurate account of U.S. history is that of imperialism and colonization that includes the systematic extermination of indigenous populations, development of capitalism supported by slavery, and the exploitation of labor of oppressed populations, all supported by racist ideologies and practices. These ideologies and practices have been perpetuated and continue to plague the current state of colonized peoples. History has perpetuated itself and colonized peoples remain in a state of siege in which identities have been lost and cultures, traditions, and knowledge appropriated—all contributing to the loss of peace and balance within our lives and communities. This has been my journey in discovering culture and self-determination and reclaiming my identity. In doing so, I explain identity as a process of action and self-reflection that contributes to the discovery of self-healing, peace and balance within our individual selves. This enables us to embark on the lifelong commitment to the struggle for true liberation of our oppressed communities and revolutionary change within the corrupt political, economic, and social structures that maintain our oppression. Artwork, community activism and dance reveal themselves as essential practices that contribute to the discovery of identity and healing processes which Identity(why caps) are the backbone to being able to make this commitment and “walk in beauty.”