Speciality: Race and Ethnicity & Social Inequality
Belisa González is a professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity at Ithaca College. Originally from San Antonio (Go Spurs Go!), TX, Belisa González earned her PhD in Sociology from Emory University in 2006. While in Atlanta, she was a member and co-chair of the Atlanta Organizing Committee (AOC) for Undoing Racism. It was her experience with the organizers on AOC and others like it that formed the basis of her dissertation “Increasing Collaboration or Conflict,” which focused on sustainable cross racial organizing efforts between African Americans and Latinos in the South. Her role as an organizer and co-facilitator of quarterly Undoing Racism workshops helped her better understand interweaving systems of oppression and their consequences on everyday lives; the power and necessity of community in anti-racist practice; and the importance of taking leadership from minoritized peoples. After completing her degree at Emory, Belisa held a one-year postdoc at the University of Georgia before accepting a position in the Sociology Department at Ithaca College (IC) in 2007.
Her teaching and research focus on inter- and intra-group relations and conversations between and within communities of color in the U.S. Her past research investigated the intergroup dynamics within cross-racial organizing efforts between African Americans and Latinx organizing in Atlanta. Building on that work, and using data collected from a four-year NSF-funded study co-investigated with Irene Browne of Emory University, Dr. González explored how middle-class Dominican and Mexican immigrants living in Atlanta experienced discrimination. Along with her co-PI, Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell, she also completed a three-year assessment of Multicultural Resource Center’s Talking Circles and more recently was involved in the data collection and analysis that informed the efforts to reimagine Public Safety for the City of Ithaca and Tomkins County.
For the past 13 years, Dr. González has operated the Urban Mentorship Initiative (UMI), a distance mentorship program that pairs 7th grade students from MS-50 El Puente, located in Brooklyn, NY, with students from Ithaca College. The program is designed to expose El Puente students to college life while introducing IC students to the structural barriers to and interpersonal realities of being social change agents.
In addition to teaching, Dr. González spend most of her time now conducting workshops and supporting individuals, committees, departments, and organizations transform their practices, policies, curriculum and cultures to those that align with anti-racist practice.