Diversity Timeline: Page 6 of 8
Diversity Through Time: 1980s
Early in the 1980s, the English department sponsors a three-day conference on Literature and the Urban Experience, an international gathering of the world's greatest writers on the life and times of cities and their inhabitants. Rutgers History Professor Clement A. Price recalls that conference as “the most important public event of Rutgers-Newark up to that time.”
The conference on urban literature was followed by the first three-day national conference entitled “Images and Identities: The Puerto Rican in Literature” championed by former Governor Kean as “an example of pioneering scholarship” in the state of New Jersey.
In collaboration with Seton Hall and several institutions from the Dominican Republic, the First International and Interdisciplinary Conference on the Dominican Republic is hosted on the campus, and the first Summer Institute for Secondary High School Teachers interested in Puerto Rican Literature is offered.
Throughout the decade, Rutgers-Newark continues its strategy of promoting cultural events which foster appreciation for the humanities and the arts, events geared to a broad audience that contributed to the improvement of the image of the city. Conferences, lectures and exhibitions explore topics ranging from the integration of gender, race and class; black New Jersey artists; Ukrainian folk arts; the role of women in science and technology, art and artists; the architecture of urban devastation, and the urban university.
The Filipino Student Association is founded, as is The Haitian Association of Students at Rutgers, HASAR, and the Portuguese-American Club. Each aims to enlighten the Rutgers community about its members’ cultures and history, by sponsoring educational, cultural, and social events.
A course in Portuguese language at the intermediate level is introduced.
A Faculty Development Seminar on Hispanic Civilization Topics is organized, funded by a grant from the NJ Dept. of Higher Education.
Mexican Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz visits the campus, launching a series focusing on Latino Writers.
The Marion Thompson Wright annual Black History Month conference is launched by Prof. Clement Price and Giles Wright of the New Jersey Historical Commission. Unlike most Black History Month events, MTW’s scholarly, daylong programs take “in-depth, thought-provoking looks at issues with a deep impact on the past, present and future of New Jersey and its African-American population in particular and Americans in general.”
The Center for Pre-College Programs is founded to “bring the resources of the Newark campus to serve the public schools of Northern New Jersey.”
The Women’s Studies Program at R-N – one of the oldest in the U.S. and the first on any Rutgers campus – is established.
Rutgers Law School-Newark hires its first Asian-American professor, Ronald K. Chen.