Debbie Rumbo

Major and Classification

Political Science and Spanish

Faculty Mentor

George Sánchez, PhD., Professor of History and American Studies & Ethnicity


Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

McNair Project

“Why Cant We Get Along? A Study on Black and Latino Ethnocentrism in Los Angeles”

Project Abstract

Researchers have verbalized the need to move beyond the “Black v. White” dichotomy in order to diversify examinations of race and ethnicity (Kim, 1999; White & Henderson, 2005; Dominick, 1996). Los Angeles, a city known for its highly diverse population, represents an ideal opportunity to examine interracial interactions between two of the largest racial and ethnic minority groups: Black and Latino (U.S. Census, 2010). While the current literature on Black and Latino racial/ethnic tensions is limited, the violence, news, and race riots of past years suggest that this research is critical given the rapidly increasing minority population in the U.S. The current study utilizes the Modern Racism and Intercultural Sensitivity scale to examine Black and Latino ethnocentrism and the effects of a community interracial interaction program (I Hablo U). This study surveys a comparable number of Black and Latino male and female participants (n= 40) ages 18-50. All participants have lived in Los Angeles for a minimum of 3 years. The results suggest that “in-program” participants show significantly higher intercultural sensitivity and lower levels of racism than those not involved in the program.