Belisa González is an associate professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Culture Race and Ethnicity at Ithaca College. Originally from San Antonio, 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 of community and the importance of taking leadership from marginalized 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 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 Latina/os organizing in Atlanta. Using data collected from a four-year NSF-funded study co-investigated with Irene Browne of Emory University, Dr. González is currently exploring how middle-class Dominican and Mexican immigrants living in Atlanta experience discrimination. Along with her co-PI, Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell, she completed a three-year assessment of Multicultural Resource Center’s Talking Circles.
In addition to teaching a variety of course on race relations in the U.S., for the past 10 years, Dr. González has run the Urban Mentorship Initiative (UMI), a distance mentorship program that pairs 7th grade students from MS50 El Puente, located in Williamsburg, 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 and interpersonal realities of being social change agents. In addition to their interactions with the students from El Puente, UMI mentors are required to enroll in Practicum for Social Change. The content of the course is a balance between material on interlocking structural inequality and strategies for how to make the world a more just and equitable place.
In addition to her research and teaching, she also co-created and conducts a series of workshops on inequality in higher education: inclusiveness and excellence in the hiring process, micro-aggressions in the classroom and how to have difficult dialogues in the workplace.