Students might find themselves meeting face-to-face with survivors of genocide, discussing immigration with their congressman, or debating trade policy with a coffee grower in Guatemala and a roaster in the U.S. who buys his beans.
Most colleges have community service programs, but Justice Matters goes beyond service to give students the skills to bring about meaningful change.
And those skills—how to identify a problem, examine its causes, consider possible solutions, and put the best solution into action—translate directly into the major and are vital for any career.
This writing-intensive course approaches the Common Good from a variety of perspectives by exposing and interrogating the tension between the individual and society. It also examines the individual's position in various communities: family, nation, race, class, gender, and other categories of identity.
During ECG 100, students will:
Reflect upon and critique their own personal core values in light of theories of social justice
Document, analyze, and critique their social identities and the values of the groups to which they belong
Inspect their own spiritual, cultural, political, and economic connectedness to other social groups to which they were not aware they were connected
Explore historical and contemporary social groups, organizations, and political institutions that express a just and empathetic vision for community
Understand the key terms of power, privilege, difference, dignity, solidarity, and equality
This experiential, writing-intensive course explores through texts and community partnerships how power, privilege, and difference affect solidarity, equality, and dignity—the essential elements of the Common Good. Students will expand their moral imaginations through their exploration of contemporary, historical, and cross-cultural causes of systemic justice and injustice in the world.
During ECG 200, students will:
Demonstrate a growing commitment to the practice of social justice and civic engagement by participating in a community partnership
Analyze the complexity of the challenges faced by those who work and have worked for greater justice
Reflect on and critique their participation in and learning from their community partnership experience—looking carefully at the complex realities of the mission and efforts of the particular group with which they work
Differentiate between practicing charity and seeking justice through systemic change
Articulate a personal philosophy of social justice grounded in their community involvement and in their intellectual understanding of philosophical, historical, and contemporary movements that sought to create social justice
This experiential, writing-intensive course helps students utilize their assets and the assets of community partners (local or global) in the pursuit of social justice. Students will work with community partners, contributing to research that will be used to expand the capacity and quality of the partner organizations while providing students with life-long tools for civic engagement.
This research also may be used to advocate for systemic changes that will affect greater solidarity with local and global communities. Students will develop skills and strategies to advocate for policies with U.S. and international public and private decision makers.
During ECG 300, students will:
Reflect on the tensions among their individual beliefs and personal interests, political realities, and the common good in local and global communities
Demonstrate a sustained commitment to the practice of social justice through community-driven projects designed to create social change
Demonstrate in practice (by developing their research and advocacy skills) and in reflection the difference between seeking justice through charity and through social change
Critique their personal philosophy of social justice grounded in dignity, equality, and solidarity through community involvement, growing solidarity with diverse communities, and understanding of philosophical, historical, and contemporary movements that sought to create social justice
The Engagements with the Common Good sequence culminates in the senior year with a capstone project in the student's major.