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Community Awareness: What is a Socially Just University


The course assumes that higher education is a gateway to the resources of society and that there is a need for institutions to become more socially just for all groups, with emphasis on low-income and minority populations that are traditionally underrepresented.

The course includes sessions with institutional leaders about higher education and American society, diversity and inclusion in learning and teaching, professors and students as change agents, socially-just research, and struggles for equity and justice on campus and in communities.

Illustrative modules include: What is a university? What is the role or potential role of universities in making societies more socially just? Do present universities contribute to inequalities and injustices and, if so, how? What changes are needed now?

Sessions will draw upon initiatives at the University of Michigan for starters, and we also will draw upon other educational leaders nationwide




8 weeks



U-M Credit Eligible



  • Barry Checkoway


    School of Social Work

  • Dilip Das

    Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

    University of Michigan Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Rachel Niemer

    Director of the Gameful Learning Lab, Office of Academic Innovation

    U-M Women in Science and Engineering