The growing presence of Latino and Asian immigrants, the increased frequency of interracial marriage, and the resurgence of Native American identification have greatly complicated cultural and official racial mapping in the United States. Scholars who focus on race and ethnicity in America note that we have shifted from a “black-white” model to a “prism” of racial-ethnic identity. As this shift has occurred, it is essential that we not only track the changes that have taken place, but also understand emerging social and demographic trends related to race and ethnicity in order to craft improved education, immigration, and discrimination policy.
Maria Krysan and colleagues Phillip Bowman, Sharon Collins, Tyrone Forman, Cedric Herring, Amanda Lewis, and R. Stephen Warner, all of the University of Illinois at Chicago, have planned a national two-day conference to be held at the University of Illinois. Participants have been selected from a variety of disciplines, theoretical perspectives, and methodological approaches in order to merge theoretical, political and practical approaches to racial issues. The conference will focus on four main topics: changing racial boundaries, the problems of measuring public opinion regarding racial inequality, changing social institutions, and the intersection of race, ethnicity, and gender. Krysan and Lewis brought the papers together into an edited volume, Changing Terrain of Race and Ethnicity, published by the Foundation in Fall 2005.