As part of her SOC 4560: Race and Ethnicity course last Fall, Dr. Anastacia Schuloff planned a field trip for her students to Cherokee, North Carolina to visit the Cherokee Museum. This day trip provided students the opportunity to experientially connect the history and development of race relations in the United States; specifically, as it pertains to tribes in the local area and in the state of N.C.
During this trip we discussed and applied sociological concepts of race and ethnicity with experiential learning activities. Students deconstructed each exhibit with course terms while touring the museum and ended the day with a traditional Cherokee dinner hosted by the Cherokee Women’s League. Participants also had the options to spend one-hour with a Cherokee crafts-person making pottery, learning about the tribe through the lens of a Cherokee Storyteller, partake in Cherokee dances, or have a guided outside tour of the surrounding landscape.
The goal of this trip was to have students learn to understand the sociological concepts and theories of race and ethnic relations in context and via the lens of a marginalized and oftentimes "invisible" groups of people in society. The Cherokee trip also provided students the chance to witness how social justice efforts, like cultural museums owned and operated by tribal bodies, attempt to reduce racial and ethnic inequalities. To Learn more about this museum, consider visiting the following website: Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
By Anastacia Schuloff