2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Why Race Matters

Spring quarter

Faculty: Janette Ward Olmstead

Spring: CRN (Credit) Level 30365 (2 GR)  

Credits: 2(S)

Class Standing: Graduate

Offered During: Evening and Weekend


Why Race Matters is an overview of the history and development of racial definitions: a historical overview of race based programs, exploration of race as a social construct vs. importance of capturing racial data as disparities continue in today's environment.  Students will develop an understanding how racial and ethnic standards are defined by the US Office of Management and Budget, who has input into how they are defined and how the categories are used.  Students will develop an understanding the difference between race, multiracial issues, ethnicity, and tribal affiliation.  Students will explore issues around mechanisms and issues of how individuals are categorized, impacts of undercounting, and the relevance to issues such as health disparities.  Understanding the importance of racial categories is critical for developing good management practices in public administration. 

Required Reading

Yanow, Dvora, Constructing "Race" and "Ethnicity" in America: Category-Making in Public Policy and Administration, Armonk, NY

ME Sharpe, 2003, Paper @37.95. ISBN: 0-7656-0801-4; 272pp. (this book not available at the bookstore. It is available through Amazon or other online resources.)

Additional required reading will be distributed to class by email.


LaVeist, Thomas A.   Race, Ethnicity, and Health: A Public Health Reader, Jossey-Bass. 2002 .

 Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin

Census 2000 Brief


  2010 Census Homepage

http://2010.census.gov/2010census /

 Department of Education, Final Guidance on Maintaining, Collecting, and Reporting Racial and

Ethnic Data to the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Register Vol. 72, No. 202, Friday, October 19, 2007.




Maximum Enrollment: 20

Advertised Schedule: 5-9p Fri, 9a-5p Sat/Sun (May 20-22)

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com