This booklet focuses on the racial and social justice legacy at San José State University,
with a focus on how the students responded with social action. The goal of the booklet
is to educate the campus and larger community about the rich and vibrant history of
By exposing and exploring the history for racial and social justice at San José State, the SJSU Human Rights Institute’s hope is that the campus community will use it to fashion policies and practices that are supportive of students development, and that are anti-racist. The Institute also hopes that SJSU faculty and staff will use the booklet to educate our students about this “justice legacy” thread, which has run throughout the campus history.
1. Edwin Markhum, “The Man with the Hoe” and Tower Hall
2. Japanese American Internment at the Men’s Gymnasium
3. Chicano Commencement and the Walkout
4. Tommie Smith, John Carlos, and the Statues
5. Gaylord Nelson’s Earth Day and the Burying of a New Ford Maverick
6. Re-establishment of the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP)
7. CAFÉ J and the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage
8. Students for DMH and the Fight for Air Conditioning
9. Donald Williams Jr. and Students for Racial Justice
10. Student Homeless Alliance’s the Push for Emergency Beds on Campus
11. Who Will Write the Next Chapter
COVID-19 Inequities Study
The COVID-19 Inequities Study addressed the critical issue of the impacts of COVID-19 and disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic among young adults in California. The research was based on a course-based undergraduate study conducted in the fall of 2020. The research team, consisted of five undergraduate students, one graduate student, and two faculty members, analyzing the data and disseminating the results regarding mental health impacts of the pandemic, occupational hazards, sources that people trust to deliver accurate information about vaccination, and willingness to obtain a vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
This work served a dual purpose in the effort to reduce inequities in health. First and foremost, the data from the study was impactful to policy-makers and service delivery organizations to help them understand and address health disparities. Second, by providing research opportunities to undergraduate students at SJSU, an opportunity was created to inspire historically underrepresented students to pursue post-graduate research and improve the diversity of the fields of public health and medicine leading to better outcomes for diverse populations in the long run and making progress towards addressing structural inequalities.