In 2015, it began:
HuffPo: “If colleges cannot address current events in an intellectually rigorous manner then what are they good for?”
Mary K. Coffey, Dartmouth College’s Art History department chair, asks a valid question — and one that her school’s students, faculty and administration plan to answer.
Dartmouth is set to offer a course titled “10 Weeks, 10 Professors: #BlackLivesMatter,” centered around racial inequality and violence in America.
‘The Dartmouth’ student newspaper reports that professors across more than 10 academic disciplines, from the humanities to geography to mathematics, will come together for an interdisciplinary approach to modern and historic perspectives of America’s racial climate.
According to Dartmouth geography professor Abigail Neely, the course was originally born from a Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning workshop that encouraged discussion of events that took place in Ferguson, Missouri following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown.
“The course has the potential to be revolutionary insofar as the students who take it will come away with a wide ranging critical framework for thinking through not only what happened in Ferguson (and elsewhere), but also why we continue to see so much violence perpetrated against poor people of color,” Coffey told The Huffington Post. “Having the ability to address the why question will make these students capable of thinking about change, alternatives, or forms of activism that might have a revolutionary impact.”
The creative curricular development comes on the heels of recent on-campus student activism and Dartmouth community protest, and in cooperation with members of faculty and administration dedicated to addressing student concerns.
“It reflects faculty support for student activism over the past several years around issues of inclusion, social justice, and campus climate,” professor Coffey explains. “Those students took risks to raise these issues on campus. Their work has generated interest in these issues within the student body. And it has given faculty who are dedicated to these concerns a new sense of purpose and motivation.”
The course is scheduled to begin during the university’s upcoming spring term.
Then there is the University of Miami Law School:
In Spring of 2017, the School of Law will be convening an interdisciplinary course called “Race, Class, and Power: University Course on Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.”
The course will engage the multiple lenses through which Ferguson, the Black Lives Matter movement, and racial justice in the United States might be explored, including: policing and criminal justice, comparative inquiry regarding race and identity, theories of social movements, education reform, healthcare and medicine, environmental justice, literature and artistic expression, law and legal reform, statistical data analysis, and much more.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego State University plans to offer a course called “Black Minds Matter: A Focus on Black Boys and Men in Education,” that was inspired in part by the Black Lives Matter movement.
The weekly course will be open to the public for enrollment in October and will feature various speakers who will talk about how black men are undervalued in the classroom.
SDSU professor J. Luke Wood, who helped create the online course, said it will connect themes from the Black Lives Matter movement to issues facing blacks in educational settings.
“The Black Lives Matter movement has shed light on two invariable facts. First, that black boys and men are criminalized in society and second that their lives are undervalued by those who are sworn to protect them,” Wood said in a video introducing the class.
The upcoming course has drawn criticism.
Craig DeLuz, a gun rights advocate with the Sacramento-based Firearms Policy Coalition, said a public university should not be offering a course that includes speakers from a movement whose members have been accused of inciting violence.
“The biggest concern is they are offering a course based on the Black Lives Matter movement which has promoted violence and segregation and has really little to do with education, let alone presenting a positive image of education,” DeLuz said.
DeLuz, a member of Robla Elementary School District board of trustees, is organizing a group that plans to ask SDSU to cancel the course. They have not contacted the university yet, he said.
SDSU said in a statement that the “Black Minds Matter” course “has a racial justice focus, directly aligned with the mission of the joint doctoral program in Education. This program focuses on social justice, democratic schooling, and equity, as well as the research of the faculty who teach in it.”
A number of US colleges, including New York University, University of Washington and the University of Miami, now offer courses that include discussion of the Black Lives Matter movement.