New Course Spotlight: Intro to Social Justice

Sociology course explores social justice issues from multiple perspectives

Inver Hills Community College is delivering a new course, SOC 2250: Introduction to Social Justice, starting spring semester 2021. The college’s Sociology department is offering the 3-credit, hybrid course as a special topic. This social justice initiative is one of the first in the Minnesota State system, and the first such course taught at Inver Hills.

Vicky Knickerbocker serves as a sociology, humanities and human services instructor. Vicky related that interested students should look for SOC 2250: Special Topics: Introduction to Social Justice, adding that the online/hybrid course will meet once a week on Mondays from 1:30 to 2:45 pm. Three sociology instructors are teaching the course in a team effort, Vicky, Katie Nelson (also anthropology faculty) and Sadie Pendaz-Foster.

Intro to Social Justice will be quite a unique learning experience,” Vicky said. “I am super-excited that Inver Hills students will have the rare opportunity to learn more about contemporary social justice issues as well as what they can do to make a positive difference.”

Source: Close Up Washington, D.C.

SOC 2250: Introduction to Social Justice

Taught by three sociology instructors 3 credits spring semester 2021

In this special topics course, students will explore, critique, and apply the fundamental concepts of justice, oppression and social change, and examine the ways in which political, economic, legal, political, education, and other institutions create challenges for justice. Through course activities, students will begin integrating ideas and perspectives, formulating personal ideologies, and developing an enhanced sense of civic responsibility.

They will also examine the broad concept of social change through explorations of different social movements, profiles of human rights activists, and various policies. The course seeks to broaden student understanding of contemporary justice issues and to enhance their knowledge of how they can become positive social change agents.

Source: Sky News

Faculty perspective…

“Through our Social Justice coursework, I’m excited to help empower students around issues of social justice and inequality. Empowerment starts with the recognition that lifelong learning can help us to engage in the changes we want to see in ourselves and in our communities.”

Sadie Pendaz-Foster, PhD
Sociology Faculty
Inver Hills Community College

Administrator perspective…

It is exciting to see this course added to the curriculum. This is a great opportunity for students to grow as responsible citizens and learn to participate in society in an active and productive way. I couldn’t imagine three better instructors to lead this effort.

Michael Birchard
Associate Vice President of Equity and Inclusion
Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College

“Following the death of George Floyd, Inver faculty felt there was a greater need to better address racial inequalities and increase student knowledge of systematic oppression,” Vicky Knickerbocker added. “On the eve of my retirement from the college, I feel this is an important legacy to help establish, one that offers the promise of empowering students to become more informed, empathetic, culturally competent and socially responsible citizens.”

Learn more about the new Sociology special topics course, SOC 2250: Introduction to Social Justice, by contacting:

Barbara Curchack, PhD
Dean of Liberal Arts

Vicky Knickerbocker
Humanities, Sociology and Human Services Faculty
Phi Theta Kappa Faculty Advisor

Katie Nelson, PhD
Anthropology Faculty

Sadie Pendaz-Foster, PhD
Sociology Faculty

Learn more about the college’s work to address law enforcement education reform by reading:

Friends of the Colleges Newsletter

With a feature by:
Dr. Tia Robinson-Cooper
Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
Inver Hills Community College
Source: Brookings Institution

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