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Building Bridges: Leadership for Racial Justice

Course enrollment will be available for this course once it is scheduled.

Course Description

This course is designed to help students think about questions of race and racial justice in a constructive environment through open and informed discussions, interactive activities, film, readings and music. The rise of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States and its attendant politics has emboldened a harmful racist discourse and backlash against various communities. This moment also holds powerful broad-based racial justice struggles including the Movement for Black Lives, the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline led by Indigenous communities, immigrant rights movements, anti-Islamophobia campaigns, and calls to “resist hate” and “build bridges, not walls” in response to the current political landscape.

Students will learn about historical and current movements dedicated to racial justice and begin to think about their own role in advancing this struggle. They will also reflect on the varied ways in which everyone’s thinking and lives have been impacted by racism, but discussion will focus on structural racism and its impacts. We will examine the meanings and practice of solidarity and students will be encouraged to reflect on their own values and principles to creatively advance a more just society through the development of an Action Plan.

Despite the despair that many feel, there is an opportunity for a politics of strategic hope and the creation of alliances among people who normally do not occupy the same spaces. It is an occasion to stand with the most vulnerable communities and to develop ethical collective leadership that can build strong anti-racist coalitions.

This course will help students strengthen their analysis related to questions of race and power, and give them tools to challenge structural racism, advance racial equity, build solidarities, and begin to think about collective leadership strategies.

No previous course work or expertise is required but open-mindedness and enthusiasm for the topic will be expected. This course provides a foundation for students who have an interest in the humanities, and in particular, American Studies, Africana Studies, Ethnic Studies, History and Media Studies. Students will gain skills and expertise that will be useful in all careers.

Please Note:

This course is part of the Leadership Institute program, a 2-week immersive experience with busy days. Our mission is to help students develop and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes associated with effective and socially responsible leadership. The Leadership Institute consists of three elements: academic content, leadership development, and the Action Plan. Participants are intellectually curious and compassionate students who are interested in social issues and creating positive change.

Additional programmatic information can be found here

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