Social Justice Concentration Integrates Learning and Action
Theory is Applied through Experiential Learning
by Annette Dipert
The Social Justice concentration being offered by New Century College offers a unique path for students to learn about and engage with their world. Developed by Kelly Dunne, Al Fuertes, and Paul Gorski, the concentration offers students a course of study focused on how bias, discrimination, and prejudice affect individuals and society, as well as how diverse social justice issues intersect.
The classes in the social justice concentration examine not only social justice theory and the history of social movements, but also include opportunities for students to put these advocacy theories into practice. Through out-of-the-classroom experiences, such as participating in rallies, protests and work with nonprofit organizations, students learn about current efforts to enact social justice. The program integrates learning and doing, encouraging students to take their learning out into the world with direct engagement in promoting social justice around issues that the students care about.
Professors teaching classes in the concentration have direct experience as activists addressing varied social issues, from gay rights to racial justice. This results in classes that examine how seemingly diverse social issues have important connections. Requirements include a class titled Poverty, Wealth, and Inequality, which consider the experiences of the poor and wealthy, as well as the social mechanisms that create and sustain this dichotomy. Students also take classes that focus on environmental and ecological justice, peace building and conflict transformation, and the social constructions of identity and oppression. Students gain a broad view of the convergence of race, gender, and class, as well as how those intersect with environmentalism and the animal rights movement.
Paul Gorski explains, “We believe that social justice must be understood as something that is enacted rather than just a set of philosophies, so our concentration requires that students take classes that focus on the application of social justice theory in practice.” Through this program of study, students will gain the necessary tools to go out into the world and enact positive social change, as well as view their world through a critical lens. The concentration in Social Justice prepares students for careers in law, non-profits, education, and other careers that emphasize community change.
If you have any questions, get in touch with Paul Gorski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.993.9365.
For a full list of classes offered by or required by the major, click here.
July 06, 2012