Social JusticeMS-B1805Hamline University1536 Hewitt AvenueSaint Paul, MN 55104
Earl SchwartzAssistant Professor651firstname.lastname@example.org
The social justice major is an interdisciplinary field of study that permits students to focus on social justice issues in local, national, and international arenas so that they may become more informed citizens and community leaders, able to participate effectively in the discussion of social justice concerns and community responses to these concerns. In addition, the major is one avenue at Hamline to prepare for professional work in social justice related occupations—i.e., legislative advocacy, government service, human services occupations, human rights and peace organization work, education, community organizing, and law. The required courses examine the value conflicts that drive social justice efforts, the history of social justice movements, and some current social justice issues. The breadth and concentration requirements are intended to ensure that students will be familiar with a variety of disciplinary approaches and practical skills with which to analyze social justice issues, along with an in-depth focus on a particular topic for which social justice concerns are key.Students wishing to earn either the major or the minor must make application to the program director, preferably during their first or sophomore year.Admission to the program will be based upon the student’s statement of purpose, describing the student’s proposed course of study and relation to his or her major. In order to assure appropriate course selection, students must meet with the program director/advisor to identify courses for the program that complement the student’s major course of study.
How did the social justice program get started?
Hamline's social justice program was established in 1999 by a group of faculty from the College of Liberal Arts and the Law School who designed and won approval for an undergraduate program focused on understanding and confronting injustice on a societal scale.
How many students major and minor in social justice?
Approximately 8-12 social justice majors and 6-10 minors graduate each year. The total number of majors in the social justice program is typically around 30.
How does one become a social justice major or minor?
Students may declare a minor in social justice if they intend to complete the introductory social justice course and designated courses in each of the five social justice breadth areas: legal and political systems, social science, history, culture and ethics, and advocacy skills. Majors must meet the requirements of the minor, and in addition, complete the social justice capstone course and a five course "area of concentration." Each major puts together her or his area of concentration in cooperation with an advisor. Areas of concentration are intended to help students to prepare for next steps in their live by providing them with specialized expertise in an area of their choosing.
What are some examples of social justice "area of concentration"?
Students' areas of concentration typically reflect their goals for life and work in the years ahead. Past areas of concentration include: Environmental Quality and Economic Development; Women, Families and Law,; Disability and Governmental Policy; American Labor; Native American Studies; Latin American Studies; Gender and Justice; Justice and the Arts; Elementary Education ; Race and Racism; International Human Rights.
What types of work are social justice graduates doing?
Majors have gone on to work or continue their studies in a wide variety of settings, including teaching, social work, the Peace Corps, Americorps, Law School, community organizing, civil liberties advocacy, not-for-profit financial development, and environmental protection. Equally significant are the contributions social justice alumni are making as members of their communities, volunteers and parents.
What do social justice graduates say about the program?
In a survey of social justice graduates conducted in 2005, alumni were asked to respond to a series of statements on a scale of 1-5, with "1" indicating strong disagreement and "5" indicating strong agreement. Responses to the statements "The Social Justice Program at Hamline had a positive impact on my life values," The Social Justice Program prepared me for my current employment/activity," "I would recommend the Social Justice Program to someone starting at Hamline University," and "Given the choice, I would still be a social justice major/minor at Hamline University" all averaged between 4.5 and 4.83.
Why is the social justice an interdisciplinary program rather than a department?
Informed analysis of social inequality goes far beyond simply expressing one's own hopes and concerns. Social Justice students at Hamline are challenged to learn from the ways in which many different thinkers and movements, past and present, have envisioned and sought to build just societies. Students learn to grapple with complex issues form a variety of perspectives. They are expected to become knowledgeable in the social scientific tools, thoughtful about political and legal systems, and skilled in their advocacy of justice issues. The social justice program is designed to provide students with a multifaceted set of learning experiences that can help them to think comprehensively and act effectively in the building of a more just societies.
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