racial justice

The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has added a Racial Justice, Equity, and Inclusion minor to the Fall 2021 class roster. 

In this new minor, students can expect to learn about culture, privilege and the history of different races. 

The undergraduate catalog says the minor is open to all students wanting to learn about racial justice, and students will gain training which could be helpful for professional workplaces. Students can expect to see races and cultures through different lenses or perspectives. 

According to the undergraduate catalog, “Students will gain knowledge proficiency about the history, politics, and culture of key racial and ethnic groups, including African Americans, Latinx Americans, and Native Americans. They will develop ease and confidence in having difficult conversations about race, privilege, and cultural difference, as well as the ability to research, write, and speak about racial and ethnic issues in an evidence-based, clear, logically sound, and persuasive way.”

Sarah Feit, the undergraduate academic advisor for Ethnic Studies and Latin American Studies, said in an email students can start their minor in the Spring of 2021 by signing up for “How to be an Antiracist”, ETHN 101 in MyRed

Feit said the minor requires 18 credit hours and has six required courses. 

Thomas Gannon, associate director and academic advisor of the Institute for Ethnic Studies, said in an email this minor was an idea started after the summer of 2020. 

“In the summer of 2020, propelled by the international wave of #BlackLivesMatter protests in response to the racist killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, Dr. Alice Kang and Dr. Patrick Jones, two of our professors, kicked around the idea of developing a new introductory course in anti-racism, which Dr. Jones then designed and taught as ETHN 101: How to Be Antiracist,” Gannon said in an email

This new course and others for the minor were ideas from ethnic studies faculty meetings, said Gannon. He said Joy Castro, interim director and chair of ethnic studies, is the person who really started the work to get the minor together. 

“We put a new signature course together with our other great 200-level intro courses—Intro to Africa, Intro to African American Studies, Intro to U.S. Latinx Studies, and Intro to Native American Studies—to make the minor, which also includes one upper-level cross listed course of the student's choice,” Gannon said

Gannon said the courses will be taught by experts in this field who have personal experience, and he expects the classes to have small numbers of students.

Students can talk about adding the minor with an advisor at the Academic and Career Advising Center on campus, Gannon said.

“We can’t reiterate enough our belief that any major would be enhanced with a minor in Racial Justice, Equity, and Inclusion, which prepares you to thrive in a diverse workforce—and perhaps to change the world,” Gannon said.