What’s Transform?


Kilo Zamora: Transform was really about pulling together Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, and Disability Studies into one space. Transform is a place in which we really get to examine the way bias, bigotry, inclusion, equity are centered and thought about in order to ensure that we are providing quality services and inventions for a broader community.

Makele White: I was introduced to the gender studies degree, like it’s so easy to look at yourself, and your own oppressions and then sitting in a class and realizing everyone else’s, and my privilege was just really eye-opening to me. It felt like the right thing to study, because once you start hearing these things, and realize how unjust the world is, it’s hard to sit there and not do anything about it.

Kilo Zamora: We’re ensuring that those students that are coming into our classroom are prepared to participate in all their other classes. How do you read and think critically? How do you connect the disciplines that don’t seemingly seem to connect to ours and thread them together?

Adam Montgomery: A lot of people do think that chemistry, and gender studies, and STEM, and humanities can’t go together, but I definitely think any Transform major can really be applied to what you want to do. You can take all of the social consciousness and inject it into what you’re doing.

Nestor Chavez: Ethnic studies is definitely going to help me understand certain populations, and ethnic studies has provided me the tools to understand these patients. When they come into the office, I’m not going to be clueless, I’m not going to be ignorant. I’m going to really know what to do in that situation.

Makele White: My gender studies degree I use every single day. Specifically, when I’m making art, I try to make body positive art and inclusive art. Without Gender Studies, I wouldn’t really understand the importance of normalizing different bodies, different shapes, colors, sizes.

Kilo Zamora: Here in this college gives me a chance to move all of this work out of the classroom. We don’t want to be in the classroom, we want to be in the community. The classroom was a landing place to process what we did in the community.

Makele White: After I finished my degree, I saw a job posting. It was for a domestic violence shelter. Without having my gender studies degree, I don’t think I would be able to fully understand systems in place. That’s how I got involved. I love it. It’s really great.

Nestor Chavez: Honestly, Ethnic Studies has definitely changed my life. I’m first generation American and student. I’m the first one to go to college in my family, and it was quite a scary time. These professors in ethnic studies, all the advisors in Transform, just little advice that they give you it means everything to you.

Adam Montgomery: I think any student should engage with Transform. Being able to engage with all of the problems in the world gives you the ability to think critically about them. Drawing on all these experiences, you really have a richer life.