The Mission of the American Indian Resource Center's (AIRC) is to play a leadership role in creating and maintaining a positive climate for racial/ethnic diversity at the University. In carrying out this mission the Center has focused on four components of diversity as outlined by Hurtado (1999). These components are: 1) Historical Legacy of Inclusion/Exclusion, 2) Structural Diversity, 3) Psychological Climate, and 4) Behavioral Dimensions.
The Center has carried out its mission in the following ways:
1. Historical Legacy of Inclusion/Exclusion
a. We have strived to not only form a liaison with the Ohlone People but have worked to have indigenous people acknowledged on campus.
b. We have strived to include tribal people as presenters as well as guests to events that we provide.
2. Structural Diversity
a. We have made a significant effort to recruit students to the University, through our REACH Program, our visits to College Motivation Days and to form a liaison with selected high schools.
b. We have worked with some faculty on campus to advocate for Native American cluster hiring of faculty as outlined in the Academic Senate's Diversity reports of 1998 and 1999.
3. Psychological Climate
a. The staff at the Center serve as advocates for tribal students experiencing racial tension and to address issues of discrimination. Further, the staff at the Center serve as consultants and as liaisons to other units to address racial tension, perceptions of discrimination, and prejudice.
4. Behavioral Dimensions
a. The staff at the Center worked extremely hard to bring the Program on Intergroup Relations, Conflict, and Community (IGR) to UCSC to provide a forum for social interaction among different groups to discuss issues of diversity.
b. The staff at the Center has presented in classrooms and attempted to foster ties with two academic departments.
AIRC offers a variety of support services that includes advising, counseling, advocacy, as well as leadership opportunities, and involvement in the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).
Finally, an important facet of the Center's mission is to develop a partnership with the indigenous people of the Central Coast, specifically the Amah Mutsun, the Esselen Nation, and Muwekma Ohlone. This partnership with the indigenous people of California will also extend to other Native communities, reservations, and rancherias as the Center continues to develop a program of community engagement.
Hurtado, S., Milem, J., Clayton-Pedersen, A. & Allen, W. (1999). Enacting Diverse Learning Environments: Improving the Climate for Racial/Ethnic Diversity in Higher Education. Washington D.C.: George Washington University.