Frequently Asked Questions

What is SSSJ?

The ‘Staff as Students of Social Justice’ (SSSJ) Program allows 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 staff colleagues.

What course offering is available for Summer 2024?

This spring, we will offer “Material Anti-Racisms,” a seminar for staff led by SSSJ Director of Pedagogy David Maldonado. This seminar explores abolitionism and higher education, paired with content from our previous spring 2023 lecture series, “Aspirations of Material Anti-Racism: What’s Next.” This seminar would be scheduled for 90 minutes, meeting once a week. In addition, participants can look forward to periodic brown bag lunch sessions hosted by the American Cultures Center over the semester.

For more information, contact

Who hosts the Program?

Staff as Students of Social Justice is a collaborative offering from the American Cultures Center, Divisions of Equity & Inclusion, and Undergraduate Education, and People & Culture.

How do I register for the Program?

Applications open ahead of each semester. The registration form is relatively simple and asks you to provide information about yourself and your role on campus and list your preferred meeting times.

What are the expectations of staff-student participants?

Staff-students are expected to attend SSSJ-specific discussion sections and keep up with readings as assigned by the SSSJ Director of Pedagogy. They are also expected to complete one staff-student experience survey at the semester’s midpoint.

Staff-students are encouraged to attend lectures for the course they are auditing and/or keep up with recordings and course readings as assigned by the course instructors.

What will I get from participating in this Program?

Staff-students study the original curriculum prepared by the SSSJ Director of Pedagogy and have access to an online database of course materials. At the end of the semester, staff-students will receive a certificate of completion signed by Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Oliver O’Reilly, Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Dania Matos, and Associate Vice Chancellor Eugene Whitlock, which is added to your HR personnel file. 

Will class attendance be required?

SSSJ Program staff understands that our fellow staff at UC Berkeley are bustling! With that in mind, the Program’s success depends on staff-students attending our discussion sections to share in the collective learning process. We expect staff-students to attend those discussion sections and highly recommend that they also attend lectures for their chosen course.