Vision & Strategies For Change in American History


Students will complete all four essays. Read each essay question careful and address all the sub-questions. I expect to read critically written essays, not just superficial content.  Reflect on what you read and learned this semester and write insightful responses/reactions. See the length requirement for each essay is below. Note: This paper should include: a cover page with your class number and name, headings for each Essay (i.e. Essay 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) clearly labeled, and a reference page with references used in this assignment.

Essay 1 (write 1 page; double spaced)

In his essay entitled Courage, Cornel West argues that it takes courage to interrogate oneself and asks: “How did I become so well adjusted to injustice?” What did you learn from this essay? How does Harro’s Cycle of Socialization in the Conceptual Frameworks Chapter help you understand why we are so well trained not to see injustice? How does Harro’s Cycle of Liberation in this chapter help you identify steps you can take to muster the courage to think critically and take actions that promote social justice in your own spheres of influence?

Essay 2 (write 1 page; double spaced)

Read A. Ayvazian’s Women, Race and Racism: A Dialogue in Black and White in the Racism Chapter, and X. Zúñiga’s, G. Lopez and K. Ford, Intergroup dialogue as social justice pedagogy in this chapter. What are your personal hopes for dialogues across similar and different social identities? What steps could you take in your neighborhood community, place of worship, or college campus to participate or organize dialogues across differences?

(Note: Engaging in dialogues across differences can be both challenging and rewarding. Go to the Everyday Democracy website (Links to an external site.) and review the “A comparison of dialogue and debate” handout. Take note of the characteristics that distinguish dialogue from debate , as you consider what steps you would take to prepare yourself to engage in a sustained dialogue effort about a controversial issue impacting in your community, place of worship, or college campus, etc.)

Essay 3 (write 1 page; double spaced)

We all need allies to help sustain our work for social justice. What did you learn about the role of allies from reading G. Anzaldúa’s interview? What did you find helpful about her perspective and why? What did you find challenging about her perspective and why? What are some next steps for you to developing trusting ally relationships?

Essay 4 (write 2 pages; double spaced)

Write a reflection paper about your experiences in this class and what you learned. A reflection paper is your opportunity to add your thoughts and analysis to what you have read and experienced. This paper is meant to illustrate your understanding of the material and how it affects your ideas and possible practice/action in future. You may focus your reflections on anyone or more of the following areas:

  1. The oppressions we explored in this course (i.e., racism, colorism, classism, religious oppression, sexism, heterosexism, transgender, ableism, adultism, and/or linguicism, etc.).
  2. A specific concept: White Privilege, Heterosexual Privileges, Christian Privileges, or Able-bodies Privileges, etc.
  3. Young’s Five Faces of Oppression (i.e., Exploitation, Marginalization, Powerless, and Cultural Imperialism).
  4. Kirk and Okazawa-Rey’s social location (i.e., Macro, Micro, and Meso).
  5. Harro’s Cycle of Socialization.
  6. Harro’s Cycle of Liberation.

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