Ethan Chang

As part of its Pacific Views: Library Speaker Series, UCSB Library presents a talk by Ethan Chang, a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Asian American Studies and Black Studies.

Because of COVID-19, Ethan's in-person talk at the Library was canceled, but Ethan kindly recorded it on Zoom. 

The lecture examines the people, pedagogy, and practices of the Highlander Research and Education Center and considers how education might foster community leadership and multi-issue struggles for justice. It seeks to answer the question: How do ordinary people learn to lead and dedicate their lives to movements for social change?


Since 1932, Highlander has served as a key site for community activists to exchange ideas, develop new practices, and author identities as movement leaders. Over its nearly century-long existence, it has also been a target of repeated attacks such as the most recent white supremacist arson incident in March 2019. This talk examines why Highlander continues to pose a threat to status quo relations of power and what insights about learning and leadership we might glean from a careful look into its educational practices.

Ethan Chang is a critical sociologist of education and a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Department of Asian American Studies and the Department of Black Studies. He is a former middle and high school teacher with prior education experiences in Hawai‘i, South Africa, and Palestine. His research broadly explores the intersections of policy, place, and race in struggles to redress inequities of educational opportunity.