Race & Ethnicity Minor – a plus for every major

An educational model that includes deliberate and thought-provoking instruction designed to prepare students for the diverse professional arena is essential to ensuring college graduates are adequately prepared for an increasingly global society.

Angela Davis visits with Dr. Laura Barrio-Vilar and her students in the African American Literature class at UALR.

Angela Davis (center) visits with (far left) Dr. Laura Barrio-Vilar and her students in the Black Women’s Activism and Literature class at UALR.

Students at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock have the option to add a minor in Race and Ethnicity to any major. Based on an interdisciplinary approach, students can choose from a list of elective courses in several different subject areas.

‚ÄúExposing students to issues dealing with race and ethnicity will help better prepare them to compete in the diverse global workforce,‚ÄĚ said Dr. Michael R. Twyman, director of the UALR¬†Institute on Race and Ethnicity.

“The minor not only focuses on the history of race and ethnicity, but also on contemporary topics related to inequities and disparities,” he said.

“Through these courses, we encourage students to think critically about issues such as poverty, labor, education, and economic development and how they relate to their future roles as doctors, nurses, engineers, graphic artists, media professionals, and so on.”

Registration for fall classes begins April 16 at UALR, and another course has been recently added to the list of electives for the minor.

Slavery Narratives, an English class, will explore major traditional slave narratives, neo-slave narratives, and contemporary abolitionist texts.

Students will read texts such as Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl, Written by Herself and Sage Jesse and Liora Kasten’s Enslaved: True Stories of Modern Day Slavery.

“In addition to the readings, students will participate in a service-learning project which will enhance their understanding of the course‚Äôs major themes, and help them develop their resume and network with community organizations and potential future employers,” said Dr. Laura Barrio-Vilar, course instructor and professor in the UALR English Department.

Slavery Narratives (ENGL 4370/5370) will be offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30-5:50 p.m. as an undergraduate and graduate-level class.

Introduction to Race and Ethnicity (RACE 2301) will also be offered in the fall. The course is taught by Twyman, director of the Institute and is one of the two required courses for the minor.

Register through BOSS by logging into myUALR at ualr.edu.

For more information about the Slavery Narratives course, contact Barrio-Vilar at lxbarriovil@ualr.edu or 501. 569.8317.

More about the Minor in Race and Ethnicity

The minor is offered through the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of History in partnership with the Institute on Race and Ethnicity.

Students in the Classroom at UALRThe minor includes six hours of required coursework. One, Introduction to Race and Ethnicity (RACE 2301), is offered in the fall.

The second required course, History of Race and Ethnicity in the United States (RACE/HIST 4356/5356), is offered in the spring.

In addition to the required courses, students pursuing the minor will take 12 hours of elective classes.

Students interested in the minor, should contact the Department of History at 501.569.3235 for advising information.

To see a full list of courses, go to Minor in Race and Ethnicity or download and print Minor in Race and Ethnicity description and courses (PDF).

To see what additional classes may be available this spring, use the UALR Class Search Tool.

To keep up with Institute programs, email_MAROONsign up for our E-Newsletter.


The Institute on Race and Ethnicity at UALR was founded in July 2011. With a vision to make Arkansas the best state in the country for promoting and celebrating racial and ethnic diversity, the Institute conducts research, promotes scholarship and provides programs that address racial inequities. It does so by facilitating open and honest dialogue aimed at empowering communities and informing public policy to achieve more equitable outcomes. For more information, visit ualr.edu/race-ethnicity or the Institute’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Arkworktogether.

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