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Module One
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  Creating a Just and Equitable Society

Six Hours – Class Time


This module provides an overview of the multigenerational systemic dynamics that tend to replicate poverty and social subordination. It will explore how systemic advantages based on socially-constructed identities (race, gender, class, sexual orientation, ability, etc.) reproduce disproportionate economic, political and cultural benefits. Due to the role that race has played in U.S. history – and continues to play – it will be the entry point for an in-depth exploration of the dynamics of poverty. Finally, the module will address the implications for organizing social transformation rooted in the strengths and assets of local communities.

Students will have the opportunity to view how these dynamics play out in the diverse, vibrant neighborhoods of Chicago. They will encounter individuals and groups that are actively involved in social justice organizing efforts and will be challenged to imagine their place in organizing social change. Particular attention will be paid to surfacing the deep linkages between social justice and shaping a green and sustainable society.

Learning Objectives/Outcomes

  • Students will gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of systemic oppression, socially constructed identities (race, class, gender, etc.) and the self-replicating processes that produce poverty and social subordination;
  • Students' sense of personal agency and resolve will be strengthened;
  • Students' capacity for systemic thinking and analysis will be strengthened.