“To truly advocate for a beautifully just world that does not yet exist is to commit an act of radical imagination. Justice is only within our grasp when ushered in from a distant horizon of possibility---through study, imagination, and effort.”
~Cornell William Brooks
Many on the front lines of social justice fundamentally confront three issues that represent intersectional challenges demanding interdisciplinary public policy responses. Accordingly, this course takes up three themes: reparations, voting rights and criminal/legal reform or transformation. These three social justice challenges are often cited as the crumbling pillars propping up white supremacy and so many intersecting inequities. For generations, these racial challenges have obscured what is possible. The projects of this social justice clinical represent the discrete public policy challenges identified by the multiple organizations and/or mayors on reparatory justice, voting rights, and criminal legal reform/transformation. These organizations and affected communities undertake this work in a moment of unprecedented activism and advocacy, for which many of our forebears yearned. This class is about rigorously exploring public policy and advocacy in service of justice through study and imagination.
Working with the William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice, municipal governments, as well as national/state advocacy organizations, a select cohort of students will work to address current injustices in real time—with a focus on what is demonstrably effective. Students will develop visions, strategies, and campaigns as well as legislative, policy, best practice, organizing, communication, and moral framing strategies to address injustices related to voting rights, reparations, and criminal legal reform. Students will employ advocacy principles such as moral ambition, perfect/imperfect victims, concentric/consecutive coalitions, and using scholarship as an organizing tool.
Angela Davis, the activist, philosopher, and academic, reminds us that, “sometimes we have to do the work even though we don't yet see a glimmer on the horizon that it's actually going to be possible.” Those on the front lines of social justice fundamentally confront three issues that represent intersectional challenges demanding an interdisciplinary response. Accordingly, this course is divided into three topics: reparations, voting rights and criminal/legal reform. These three social justice challenges represent the crumbling pillars propping up white supremacy and so many intersecting inequities. For generations, these racial challenges have obscured what is possible. And yet we do this work with the understanding that this moment of unprecedented activism and advocacy is one for which many of our forebears yearned.
This is an application-based course. Interested students should fill out the google form at this link.
We strongly encourage you to apply by the early application deadline of January 11, 2024, to provide an opportunity for the teaching team to review your application in advance of the Shopping Period. The final application deadline is 10 pm EST on Thursday, January 18, 2024. Due to the large number of applications and the dates of course shopping, we will inform students on Friday by 5:00 PM EST, January 19, 2024, regarding acceptance to the course. If admitted, we expect students to have read and reviewed themes for Monday's, January 22nd, class.
Please reach out to Lynn Yeboah (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Also offered by the Divinity School as HDS 3093.