CLA AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: BLACK LIVES MATTER

In light of the recent protests and statements in support of Black Lives Matter and other anti-racist organizing efforts, the College of Liberal Arts is highlighting how its courses incorporate issues related to Black Lives Matter. See the descriptions below detailing how CLA faculty advance the anti-racist messaging of Black Lives Matter through assignments, readings, and pedagogical practices that affirm the lives, history, and culture of Black people across the globe. Descriptions fall into one of three categories—Long-Standing Practices, Recent Changes, and Future Plans—designed to demonstrate the ongoing nature of anti-racist efforts:

Instructor:  Linda Alexander
Course:  PSY 354 – Psychology of Women

PSY 354:  The Psychology of Women examines women’s lives, experiences, and roles throughout the lifespan through the lens of feminist-, community-, and social- psychological research and theories. Socio-cultural, economic, regional, and ethnic diversity is emphasized throughout the course as we examine how androcentric and patriarchal attitudes impacts gender roles, body image, pregnancy, sexuality, power dynamics, communication, relationships, motherhood and the childfree, reproductive rights, work, physical and mental health, interpersonal violence, and more.  

It is vital to me to present this course through a global multi-cultural lens, both to enhance student learning and to help them better understand the intersection of sexism and racism.  From the selected textbook, to assigned articles, videos, and class discussion, the course is designed to integrate all women’s lives and experiences, including those of African American women, Africanas, as well as the Americas, indigenous women, as well as all women of color. Through an exploration of stereotypes of Black women and how this multi-layer marginalization of race and gender increases barriers for them to research on the resilience of black girls and women, this course aims to enhance understanding and assist students to take personal and social action to make change. Examples of this include a talk by Loretta Ross sharing a birthing moment of the term ‘women of color’, a video on the intersectionality of skin color on objectification, sexism, racism, and life for women of color, a talk by Adia Gooden from the University of Chicago on Unconditional Self-Worth, as well as exploring racial bias in education, the gender pay gap, and disparities in physical and mental health services.