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News

New social justice minor builds anti-oppressive mindset

November 20, 2020

A new minor in social justice covers much of Carthage’s social work curriculum without the in-depth field work required for the major.

Professor Danielle GearyProfessor Danielle GearyAlthough the interdisciplinary program is based in the Social Work Department, faculty see it as a solid addition to any major. Teaching critical inquiry skills and an anti-oppressive mindset, the social justice minor can especially help students to view pre-professional fields such as medicine, law, and education through a critical lens.

Five classes, taken in series, move from introduction to critical theory and then apply those lessons in the “real world.” Students will deconstruct social policy, personal ideology, and political institutions to gain an understanding of the world around them.

Professor Danielle Geary says the classes are intended to help students “navigate diverse environments” and “communicate multiculturally in the workplace.” The new minor comes at what she calls a “tipping point for making cultural change at our college,” alongside the opening of the new Intercultural Center and President John Swallow’s anti-racism plan.

For students who can’t take the full minor, Prof. Geary says a variety of elective courses can be “universally helpful” to any student. In Decoding Disney, for example, students learn the basics of critical theory by examining how Disney films reinforce stigmas and biases.