Staff as Students of Social Justice
Program for Staff to audit AC Courses
About the Program
The 'Staff as Students of Social Justice' (SSSJ) Program is an opportunity for up to 25 staff per semester (from the Division of Undergraduate Education and beyond) to audit an American Cultures course and participate in discussions about timely and important topics. Piloted in Fall 2020, the SSSJ Program is a unique opportunity to learn first-hand from leading scholars and American Cultures instructors about the intersections of race, ethnicity, and gender; dig into subjects of personal interests; and build connections with faculty, students, and fellow VCUE colleagues.
- Staff participants audit a course of their choosing from a curated list of relevant AC courses, which vary each semester.
- Staff participate in a weekly discussion section led by a GSI specifically for staff.
- Flexible scheduling: roughly 3-4 hours of class/discussion per week (plus additional time for optional readings)
- Professional development opportunity: staff work with their supervisors to ensure that they will be able to take full advantage of this learning opportunity
- Staff complete a sharable artifact with their classmates instead of assignments/ exams/ finals to showcase what they learned and gained from experience with other members of VCUE. These artifacts are presented at the end of each term - check out some examples from the Fall 2020 cohort below!
- Upon completion with at least an 80% attendance rate and participation during meetings, staff receive a certificate of completion signed by the Vice Chancellor of Undergraduate Education, Catherine Koshland, and a letter in their HR file for merit and performance reviews.
During Summer 2021, we are offering a shortened (6-week) version of our regular program. Staff will participate in lectures led by our GSI David Maldonado (Graduate School of Education) and guest speakers, as well as weekly discussion sections designed specifically for staff participants. The summer session begins the week of June 7 but exact meeting dates will be determined together with participants to allow for maximum flexibility and engagement.
Applications for Summer 2021 are now closed.
The Fall 2021 application will likely open in August, due before the start of the academic semester. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
Through this course, we learned how the devastating fires we experience in California today are a product of climate change and pervasive policies of suppression deeply connected to settler colonialism, white supremacy, and dispossession of Native peoples from their ancestral lands. We also learned from guest speakers about several tribal groups' ongoing efforts to preserve, sustain, revitalize, and share their cultural practices and scientific knowledge.Jean Cheng, Sarah Pickett, and Alex Tan
Spring 2021 Courses
- Principles of Sociology (SOC 3), Instructor: Laleh Behbehanian
- Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History (HIST C139C), Instructor: Waldo Martin
- The Urban Experience (GEOGRAPHY 70AC), Instructor: Brandi Summers
- Social Movements, Organizing, and Policy Change (PUBPOL 192AC), Instructor: Saru Jayaraman
Fall 2020 Courses
- “The 2020 Election,” (African American Studies C20AC / PUBPOL C20AC), Instructors: Michael Cohen and Saru Jayaraman
- “Fire: Past, Present, and Future Interactions with the People and Ecosystems of California," (ANTHRO C12AC and ESPM 22AC), Instructors: Kent Lightfoot and Scott Stephens
- “Introduction to Ethnic Studies,” (Ethnic Studies 11AC), Instructors: Juana Maria Rodriguez and Keith Feldman
- “Defiant Women: Gender, Power, and Violence in U.S. History,” (HIST 136AC), Instructor: Stephanie Jones-Rogers
- “Transforming Tech: Issues and Interventions in STEM and Silicon Valley”, (New Media 151AC), Instructor: Abigail De Kosnik
The best thing about the program was that I was able to gain a more firm and nuanced understanding of the harms and inequities of the tech industry while having really thoughtful conversations with our professors, my classmates, and folks from the VCUE Division around existing and imagined interventions into so many different facets of tech in a lot of other spaces from art to journalism to activism.Sara Assadi-Nik, Program Coordinator, Division of Summer Sessions, Study Abroad & Lifelong Learning
Fall 2020 Final Projects
|Spring 2021 Presentation / Presenter||Time|
Social Movements, Organizing and Public Policy - Public Policy 192 AC: Louise, John, Joven, Colette
"Common Sense Assumptions: Deconstructing Mass Incarceration and "Illegal Immigration" - Sociology 3AC: Principles of Sociology: Michael, Hannah, Amber, Anna
Civil Rights and Social Movement in US History 139C: Janet, Jason, Dave, Monica and Gigi
|The Urban Experience: A West Oakland Atlas - Ross, Hailey, Kelly, Kate, and Katie||49:22|
|Presentation / Presenter||Time|
|“Defiant Women: Gender, Power, and Violence in U.S. History,” by Alexandra Calvert, Jessica Bauer, and Michele Rabkin||00:09|
|“The 2020 Election,” by Brianne Tabios, Judy Stern, Krista Meyer, Setareh Sarrafan, and Susan Hagstrom||04:23|
|“Introduction to Ethnic Studies,” by Georgette Estilo, Indu Tandon, and Paris Cotz||06:01|
|“Fire: Past, Present, and Future Interactions with the People and Ecosystems of California," by Alex Tan, Jean Cheng, and Sarah Pickett||09:57|
|“Transforming Tech: Issues and Interventions in STEM and Silicon Valley,” by Betsy Greer and Sara Assadi-Nik||11:21|