Enrolling students from underrepresented minority groups is a high priority, thus, we engage in a number of initiatives and programs to encourage applications from outstanding African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. For example, we participate in the APSA Minority Student Recruitment Program. Most importantly, however, is the centrality of issues of race, ethnicity and equality to the research and teaching of our faculty. A number of our faculty members study issues vital to students interested in race and politics, including civil rights law, education, immigration, employment policy, health and political participation. Michael Dawson's principal focus is on racial issues in American Politics. His book, Behind the Mule, explores the relationship between race and class in African-American politics. Cathy Cohen's work focuses on issues of identity and the politics of marginal communities. Dawson and Cohen are former directors of The Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture (CSRPC). The Center is an interdisciplinary program dedicated to promoting engaged scholarship and debate around the topics of race and ethnicity. Also, Lisa Wedeen does work in democratic theory and group politics, identity, and multiculturalism. Beyond the political science faculty, we also encourage students to take important courses in other departments and schools. This might mean working with historians Ramón Gutiérrez or Thomas Holt, or with sociologist Omar McRoberts. The university and our department is committed to interdisciplinary work and we therefore encourage students to take advantage of educational opportunities throughout the University.
Finally, this is a school, a neighborhood, and a city that welcomes and encourages all students. The University is committed to a diverse student body and currently has over a dozen campus organizations for students of color and students interested in issues of race and ethnicity. The Hyde Park neighborhood, where the University is located, is an integrated community with a tradition of political activism and diversity. The larger city is a mosaic of ethnic groups with minorities making up the majority of the city's population. Neighborhoods are distinctively Polish, Chinese, Korean, Lithuanian, and on and on. Chicago has one of the largest and most vibrant Black communities in the country, with a full range of cultural and political organizations. It also has an important Latino community – several communities, in fact. Unique among American cities, it has large neighborhoods of both Mexican-Americans and Puerto Ricans. The city, like the University, has a lot to offer.