Reflection Arc Weeks 1-8 (June 4 - July 27) with Teaching Assistant Kyra Hanlon

Reflection is a way for students to integrate their experiences on the ground with deep, critical thinking to generate new insights into action in their communities. In this way, reflection in action fosters personal understanding both of self and of community, creating a holistic learning experience that enhances service and immersion. Students will have the opportunity to reflect in a variety of ways throughout all eight weeks of the course, including through 140-character “Pawprints,” a multimedia classroom blog, video conferences with peers, and solo journal activities. Our hope is that these activities will empower students to “dive deep” throughout the summer, and to develop reflection skills that will last beyond the course.


Module A1: Conflict Analysis and Mapping (June 11 - June 24) with Dr. Michael Loadenthal

The purpose of the module is to help students understand, map and interrogate conflicts both micro and macro. This will include both conflicts within an organization—such as disagreements with co-workers or management—as well as the global realities that create the need for sustained fights for social justice. Conflict analysts use a systematic exploration to look at individuals, groups, and institutions to try and better understand causes, interests, perceptions, impacts, and dynamics of multi-faceted conflict. Conflict analysis asks questions such as ‘What is the conflict about?’ ‘Who is involved in the conflict?’ and ‘What are the motivations of the parties involved?’ Advanced conflict analysis, especially that based in a reflective approach, seeks to answer an ever-expanding series of questions such as: 'What is my role in this conflict?' 'What role does the political economy, or socio-cultural norms play in sustaining conflict?' 'How does my position, or the position of my colleagues influence and possibly dictate the limits of our abilities to act?' Think of conflict analysis as a pre-stage to conflict transformation and resolution. Analysis aims to create an understanding of the conflict and in doing so, to help map a way forward. In the end, our hope is that through examining the structural and causal roots of conflict, we create opportunities to transform sites of violence and domination to locales of freedom, peace, equality, security and prosperity.

Module A2: Rhetoric of Social Protest and Social Justice (June 11 - June 24) with Dr. Jennifer Grubbs

This course is focused on developing a literacy of not only social justice theories, but also the role of rhetoric is shaping the discourse of social justice. The first portion of the course will look at the theoretical framework of studying social protest through a communicative lens, and then move into the rhetorical dimensions of social justice. The course will rely heavily on primary sources to examine how social actors rhetorically shape their social justice aims and work, and will also integrate the role of the media to shape the public perception of social protest. The course will help students develop a theoretical literacy and toolbox to identify and examine rhetoric within the realm of social justice and beyond. The culminating project will provide students an opportunity to showcase their understanding of how social justice organizations use rhetoric to recruit, mobilize others, and enact social justice aims.


Module B1: Peace Education (June 25 - July 8) with Professor Sara Williams

Through this module, we will explore peace education as a (1) pedagogy; and (2) a philosophy of education. First, students will explore ways to disrupt normalized schooling content and practices that uphold war culture and learn rather how to nurture peaceful values, attitudes, and behaviors, rooted in nonviolence and human dignity for all life. Second, students will investigate their own educational history to unsettle socialized patterns for teaching and learning that continue to impact their own self-awareness and practice as educators. This module approaches education as beyond the standard school building and classroom and considers practices of learning and teaching more generally - from under a tree to in a board room.

Module B2: Research Methods and Social Justice (June 25 - July 8) with Dr. Michael Loadenthal

This course is focused on developing an understanding of relevant methodologies for the investigations of issues related to social justice. Students will explore the research process through engaged scholarship that is methodologically rigorous, and be introduced to a variety of methods, theoretical positions, and ethical pitfalls hidden through the field of research. Through a focus on both qualitative and quantitative research methods, students will practice selecting the best method and data sources, and the basics of how these methods are deployed. Throughout this module, students will be encouraged to consider issues of ethical research, as well as how knowledge production impacts the researcher and the subject. In the end, this module seeks to understand research as a form of social activism, and a method of engaging in social change.


Module C1: Cultural Humility in Social Justice  (July 9 - July 22) with Professor Amanda Munroe

“Cultural competence,” “cross-cultural communication,” “cultural sensitivity” and similar terms are among mandatory skillsets for 21st century professionals - from law-enforcement officers to teachers to business executives - indiscriminate of their own cultural or ethnic heritage. But what does it mean to be “culturally competent” or to effectively “check your privilege”? This module favors a cultural humility approach to social justice work that is rooted in critical personal and interpersonal reflection. Students will grapple with the concepts of cultural appropriation, subjectivity vs. objectivity, privilege, and bias. Assignments in this module (including face-to-face exercises in active listening and nonviolent communication, varied media analyses, and a communication analysis of your site of work) will complement ongoing reflection and provide immediately applicable tools to deepen cultural awareness, practice reflexivity, and communicate across differences with the ultimate goal of more effectively realizing social justice.

Module C2: Culturally Responsive Evaluation (July 9 - July 22) with Dr. Jennifer Rosales

This module will explore what it means to be cultural investigators in students’ diverse community-based work and social action projects. Evaluation entails evidenced-based judgements to improve effectiveness and inform future decision-making and change. To make sound judgements, students must discover the cultural makeup of the communities in which they participate via exploration and comprehension of the communal meaning systems created through beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and artifacts that members of society use to make sense of their world and communicate with one another. By better understanding the cultural ecology in which students work and learn, students will be able to more thoroughly decipher their intervention in communities and evaluate their experiences in valid and reliable ways to minimize faulty conclusions and impact effective change. This module will incorporate both cultural theory and social science evaluation methods in readings, reflections, and hands-on assignments (such as producing an evaluation plan, conducting observations and creating tools) to uncover the ethical and cultural issues involved in studying and assessing social life as well as the practice of conceptually and methodologically creating culturally responsive research, learning and service.