UMKC unveils new Race, Ethnic, and Gender/Sexuality academic department

Jacob Lee

UMKC recently announced the creation of a new Race, Ethnic, and Gender/Sexuality (REGs) academic department. 

REGs combines three fields of study that were already in the UMKC system. Black Studies, Latin and Latin American Studies, and Women and Gender Sexuality studies make up the core of this interdisciplinary department. This allows for an intersectional learning program in which students are able to take classes that discuss all three of the fields. 

Classes will be related to a plethora of topics, from race in the financial field to the study of gender in various cultures. Under the current curriculum, students can obtain a minor in any of the REGs courses. However, there is not currently a major for the department.

Associate Professor of Criminology and Interim Chair of the REGs department Toya Like expressed that the next step will be establishing a major tract that students will be able to follow, eventually being able to major in this field. 

Like also discussed what students in the new department can expect to learn. 

“[The goal] is the understanding of diversity, making sure students have an in-depth exploration of the world of race, ethnicity, and gender,” said Like.

Like indicated that the primary focus for these courses is to develop students into thinking of REGs in various disciplines, regardless of their specific emphasis.

Like explained how this has helped in her own field of criminology. 

“This historic divide between the African American community and the law enforcement community is a critical one, so understanding that can inform what we do in terms of policy and practice,” Like said. 

As of now, the department will be conducting events virtually such as in “The Color of Money,” an event which covers racism in finance and is free for UMKC students. Students are welcome to email Professor Like at [email protected] for any further questions concerning the REGs department.

[email protected]