Advocacy & Social JusticeLawNonprofit & NGOsPublic Health

CSPL 235 / FGSS 236 / AFAM 235 / IDEA 235 – Activism and Theories of Change

In this course we will explore strategies and theories of change that shape social justice movements, with particular reference to recent movements in the United States. We will discuss the benefits and risks of the many available strategies including direct action, grassroots mobilization, impact litigation, legislative campaigns, electoral campaigns, artistic protest, and public education. What strategic, ethical, or moral questions are raised by various types of protest and communications? The instructor will draw on her own experiences as an activist for women’s rights, queer rights, and economic justice. In addition, the course will feature a guest teacher for a segment of the semester: Beverly Tillery, Executive Director of the Anti-Violence project in NYC will look at the ways BIPOC and Queer BIPOC communities are reshaping the social justice landscape by addressing the safety of trans women, challenging the gender binary and reforming and ending the carceral legal system. We will allow time to discuss events that may occur in real time over the course of the semester. This course will be relevant to students interested in public policy, feminism, gender and sexuality studies, and other social sciences, and will provide useful insight for future organizers and activists, lawyers, and public policy makers.

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