New Orleans, LA

Tulane School of Social work launches undergraduate course in protests, activism, and social movements

Pierre St-Jean

NEW ORLEANS, LA - Professors and co-chairs of Empowering Change Task Force Dr. Deidre Hayes and Dr. Reginald Parquet developed a new undergraduate course for Tulane School of Social Work, or TSSW, named "Protest, White Supremacy, Social Justice, and Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, Activism". The course aims to examine the layered aspects and experiential processes related to protest and activism, especially in the areas of EDI.

The persistent inequity and protests across the country inspired this course's development as Dr. Parquet thought that it would be helpful if students had a structure or model to engage around the EDI issues. TSSW Dean Patrick Bordnick supported the course's creation as an outlet for students.

“Calvin Johnson, a prominent activist, and retired Judge reminded me that everyone has a place in movements. Some will march, some will be behind the scenes, and some will carry the work forward,” said Dean Bordnick.

Students taking the class will learn from nationally renowned scholars and activists, develop an understanding of the nature of white supremacy, and analyze various eras, approaches, and organizations to understand the basics of protest and activism. To increase personal engagement in what they learn, students will choose an issue in their community to benefit from activism and create a strategy around it. Another activity in the course will have students design an effective activism strategy and provide reflections based on different roles in protests around environmental justice.

The course hopes to provide value beyond getting a grade and to build knowledge and skills that lead to a transformative experience for students. “I’m so grateful to Dr. Hayes and Dr. Parquet for leveraging their expertise and passion to build this course in support of our students, the school, and our community. By framing protests and activism from historical to contemporary times, students will discover their place in evoking effective social change,” said Dean Bordnick.

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