Tufts-Skidmore is committed to working to improve the experience of Students of Color and to increase their participation on the program. As part of that effort, the program focuses awareness on racism in Spain and works to increase awareness and anti-racist support across the board, both inside and outside of the program. We’re here to listen to you, to share your experience and to assist you in facing any race-related challenges that may arise.
The program provides training and mentoring for staff, faculty, Spanish peer mentors and host families in the principles of anti-racism, and in how to offer effective support to a student who has experienced a racist microaggression.
The program teams with other anti-racist collectives and agencies in Madrid in promoting awareness and justice around the issue of race and racism (and its intersections) in Spain and Europe. Although racist hate crimes are rare here, Students of Color can reasonably expect to be affected by racism at some time during their stay here. Spain has its own particular expression of racist attitudes and practices, which at times can seem flagrant to Students of Color who have previously been exposed to racism only in the U.S. For example, uses of black-face in advertising, racist sayings (“es trabajo de chinos”) or racist attitudes on public transportation.
Because the concept of American multiculturalism is still foreign to many in Spain, students who do not look stereotypically American to a Spanish person (i.e., White, blonde, blue eyed), may be asked blunt questions about their race or ethnicity or national origin and they may feel singled out or aggressed. Additionally, the Spanish university continues to have a low representation of Students of Color, and minority students studying on our program may find themselves to be the only POC in their class at the Spanish university.
While most Spaniards are horrified when they see or hear about overt racism in Spain, their usual response is to insist that Spain is “not a racist country,” something that can intensify, rather than de-escalate the suffering caused by racism. Many Spaniards, including those at the university, know little to nothing about structural or institutional racism, and lack critical consciousness about Spain’s colonial past in Latin American and Africa, and its implication in the racism that continues here to this day. Unfortunately, many Spaniards continue to see the conquest and colonization of the Americas as a source of Spanish pride, and to deny the reality that Afro-Spaniards are the product of the Spanish colonization of Guinea, and not immigration. There is MUCH work to be done here, and Tufts-Skidmore is proud to play a role in supporting the grassroots efforts of racialized communities in Spain to raise consciousness around issues of race and racism in Spain.
In general, the Program recommends that all students, of Color and White, resist racist attitudes and practices openly, whether they are exposed to them in Spain, in the United States or in any other part of the world.
In the event of a racist incident, no matter how slight, the Program Director urges you to report it to her immediately so that she can validate your experience, offer you the support, resources and guidance that you need, and document the incident with the appropriate authorities.
- Laboratorio de pedagogías antirracistas interseccionales. The LPAI works to support and expand the program’s mission of educating about intersectional antiracism. Please contact Prof. Esther Mayoko Ortega and program director Susan Sánchez Casal to report a racist aggression or microaggression.
- IFG. IFG is intended to be a space of support where students can discuss questions, concerns, and personal experiences throughout their semester here in Madrid.
- Program Classes: Black Lives Matter in Madrid, Identity & Intersectionality, In Women’s Words, Reading at the Crossroads. These program courses offer a sustained focus on the intersection of race and gender, along with related areas of analysis.
- Abya Yala. Latin American students association
- Afroféminas. Online community for Women of Color
- CATÀRSIA – Asian diaspora collective (based in Barcelona)
- Creando Huellas – free legal, psychological and social assistance specialized on discrimination based in Madrid [as long as you have a NIE or student visa]
- Espacio Conciencia Afro. Cultural and activist space for People of Color
- Espacio Muchas. de Fundación Entredós. Monthly lectures by Women of Color
- Intersect Madrid. Non profit association aimed to empower and connect the diverse English-speaking community in Madrid
- Kwanzaa. University association for Students of Color
- Madrid Resistance. Part of Women’s March Madrid. Collective organizing on social justice struggles in Madrid, in Spain, and around the world, always from an intersectional standpoint
- Mezzkla. Intercultural art
- Olympe Abogados – legal assistance specialized on discrimination (sexual orientation, race, gender, etc.).
- Pai Pai Magazine. A critical digital magazine documenting the experiences of the Asian diaspora in Spain
- Raíces (UAM) – Association of students of color at UAM
- The Black View. Actors, actresses and artists of color in Spain
- Women’s March Madrid Chapter. Both a Community and a Platform that inspires and facilitates grassroots actions and organising campaigns by providing local coalitions with coordination, resources, training, toolkits, and communications channels