Social Justice Program

Dr. Anna J. Brown, Director

The Social Justice Program offers a multi-disciplinary minor that emphasizes the thought and work of social justice, the thought and practice of nonviolence and peacemaking, and the peace and justice teachings of the world’s faith traditions. The aim of the social justice project, within the Jesuit tradition, is to appreciate the dignity of each person, to understand the systemic causes of social oppression, to dismantle unjust social structures, and to imagine and create social structures that uplift the human family as well as the earth.

Social justice students are encouraged to engage in our numerous social justice workshops and lectures, local, national, and international works of service and justice, and seminars on nonviolence and peacemaking.

Each year during the Michaelmas ceremony, the Social Justice Program awards the Philip Berrigan Social Justice Award to that social justice student who excels both in academic and social justice work.

Requirements for Minor in Social Justice

SJ/PO-250Introduction to Social Justice3
Select one of the following urban internships designated as Service Learning3
Urban Internship
Urban Internship
Select one of the following Faith and Justice electives:3
Theology of Social and Racial Justice
Christian Medical Ethics
Select one of the following Politics, Economics and the Environment electives:3
Economic Development
Contemporary Topics in Biology
Biological Issues: Decisions and Ethics
International Travel Course
Government and Politics in Latin America
Political Development
Select one of the following Social Diversity and Stratification electives:3
Poverty and Inequality
Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Studies
Haitians in America
Ethnicity and Race in Urban History
Minority Group Relations
Ethnic and Racial Relations
Issues in the Latino Community
People and Culture of North America: Native Americans
Select one of the following Social Movements and Change electives:3
U.S. Civil Rights Movement
Introduction to Nonviolence
Social Work in Urban Systems
Peace and Justice Issues Within Political Theory
Vietnam and the U.S.
Seminar: Political Poetry and Music
Total Credits18


SJ-130. Introduction to Nonviolence. 3 Credits.

A study of violence and human nature the theory and practice of nonviolence, how conflicts - local and global - can be solved nonviolently and the lives of past and current peacemakers, including Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and many others.

SJ-136. Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Studies. 3 Credits.

This course will offer students an introduction to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered studies. Along with a focus on the history of this topic as a social movement, the course examines the topic from community, social justice and lifestyle perspectives.

SJ-140. Introduction to Women's Studies. 3 Credits.

This interdisciplinary course introduces students to women's studies, including its roots in the feminist and civil rights movements and the construction of gender in culture and society, giving specific attention to forms of gender inequality in the family, workplace, religion, healthcare, and relationships.

SJ-155. Introduction to Environmental Politics. 3 Credits.

This course will explore how environmental issues - such as climate change, resource extraction and energy use - are shaped by politics and political systems at the international, domestic and local levels. We will also examine the ways in which environmental issues have shaped politics - with concepts such as sustainable development and environmental justice - since the emergence of the environmental movement.

SJ-202. Urban Music: Jazz to Hip-Hop. 3 Credits.

This course studies the history of urban music from jazz to rock and roll up to today's urban sounds. The course will concentrate both on the music and its socioeconomic impact on the urban landscape. Prerequisites: SO-121 OR UR-151.

SJ-203. Global Citizenship II: U. N. Earth Chart. 3 Credits.

As in "Global Citizenship I: Issues, Policy and Decision Making" (PO-202), here students will examine what it means to be a "global citizen" in the 21st century--in this case through the framework of the United Nations Earth Charter. PO-202 is not a prerequisite. Prerequisites: PO-100.

SJ-216. Gender, Sexuality and Religion. 3 Credits.

Religion is known to have devoted considerable energy to regulate sexual norms and gender roles. This course seeks to help students to understand the social construction of religion, gender and sexuality. It will analyze and examine how different religions view gender and sexuality and how religion construct, reconstruct, and deconstruct gendernorms and sexuality. Prerequisites: SO-121.

SJ-221. Surveillance in the Cybercity. 3 Credits.

Smartphones, debit cards, social networking sites, transportation systems, and public spaces increasingly produce troves of data about everyday life. This data is used by governments, corporations, educational institutions, activist organizations, and everyday people. This course critically analyzes forms of urban surveillance so as to reconsider personal and collective rights to privacy, property, and security within the contemporary cybercity. Prerequisites: SO-121 OR UR-151.

SJ-223. Latin America Today: People, Culture and Issues. 3 Credits.

This course provides an overview of the diverse societies of Latin America from a social science perspective. We will explore everyday life and experiences as they relate to culture and diversity, race, ethnicity and gender, politics and the economy, migration and urbanization, social justice and pop culture.

SJ-235. Harlem Renaissance. 3 Credits.

This course examines the period beginning in the 1920's known as the Harlem Renaissance. It was a time when black and white Americans alike discovered the vibrancy and uniqueness of black art, music, and literature. The class will also examine the importance of external forces, both positive and negative. Prerequisites: UR-151 OR SO-121.

SJ-245. Haitians in America. 3 Credits.

Examines the history and experiences in America, paying special attention to how and why Haitians come to the U.S. It also explores patterns of settlement and mobility as well as interaction with other groups. Prerequisites: AS-175, AS-177 OR SO-121.

SJ-250. Introduction to Social Justice. 3 Credits.

An examination of how racism, classism and sexism create barriers to the realization of a more equal and just society, with a particular focus on pressing current social justice issues - such as affordable housing, health care, immigration, the prison system, war and the environment - and the people that are working to build a better world.

SJ-256. Sociology of Sports. 3 Credits.

This course uses both readings and films to explore the impact of economic and political forces and changing constructions of gender and social values on organized athletics at the professional and amateur levels. Prerequisites: SO-121.

SJ-295. Co-Op. 3 Credits.

SJ-304. Recent American Political Theory. 3 Credits.

A survey of the evolution of the American public argument from the reconstruction until the present with emphasis on today's debate between the proponents of liberal individualism and communitarianism.

SJ-310. Feminist Political Theory. 3 Credits.

Historical overview of feminist political activity in the United States and an analysis of feminist theory: liberal feminism, Marxist feminism, radical feminism, and post-modern feminism.

SJ-311. Philosophy and Bob Dylan. 3 Credits.

An investigation of the philosophical, ethical and cultural themes in Bob Dylan's lyrics. Philosophical ideas such as appearance versus reality, truth and knowledge, and good and evil will be explored through a comprehensive study of Dylan's music. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101 OR TH-110 TH-120.

SJ-328. Social Work in Urban Systems. 3 Credits.

Focuses on the major social welfare systems in America and the field of social work as the profession charged with implementing social welfare today. Prerequisites: SO-121 OR UR-151.

SJ-333. Black Community and the Law. 3 Credits.

An examination of the role of the American legal process in African American history from 1619 to the present, with concentration on laws and their application during the slavery and post-slavery era, the early and mid 1900's, and in modern rural and urban life. Topics include civil rights, constitutional, property, and criminal law.

SJ-351. Issues in the Latino Community. 3 Credits.

The socio-economic and political origins of the various Hispanic peoples, with analysis of Social issue arising from Hispanic involvement in American Societal institutions, i.e. education, politics, family, etc. Prerequisites: SO-121 OR UR-151.

SJ-352. Minority Group Relations. 3 Credits.

A study of the history, conditions, and contributions of racial minority groups within the United States. Special emphasis on developments involving African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans.

SJ-368. Health and Inequalities: Race,Class and Gender. 3 Credits.

This course critically examines the relationship between health status and social inequalities along the lines of race and ethnicity, social class and gender. We begin with an overview of epidemiology and the idea of studying health from a sociological perspective. We then consider the complex relationship between socio-economic status (class) and health statuses, followed by an examination of specific health issues for major racial/ethnic minorities and gender groups. We will try to understand how low socioeconomic status leads to poor health, how conscious, unconscious, and institutionalized racial/gender bias affects medical care and health outcomes, and address ideas for reducing health disparities among all groups. Prerequisites: SO-121.

SJ-370. Urban Anthropology. 3 Credits.

An exploration of the emergence of urban culture in its present form from its neolithic roots. Emphasis on urban life in the New Jersey area, with reference to the peoples and cultures in urban environments world-wide. Prerequisites: SO-121 OR UR-151.

SJ-378. Global Inequality. 3 Credits.

An exploration of the patterns of economic and political inequality that exist between countries and within countries in the contemporary international system.

SJ-411. Nationalism and Revolution. 3 Credits.

A comparative and analytical study of nationalism and revolutionary movements. Nation-building in contemporary underdeveloped countries.

SJ-412. Ethnicity and Race in Urban History. 3 Credits.

Includes the African and European immigrant experiences in America, the effects of slavery and urbanization, and the formation of class consciousness. Prerequisites: SO-121 OR UR-151 OR PO-100.

SJ-443. Black Theology. 3 Credits.

The study of the origins and influence of the major religious traditions found in the American black community. May be used as a substitute for Th120. Prerequisites: TH-110 TH-117 HP-117.

SJ-454. Black Films. 3 Credits.

A survey of 20th century film making by and about African-Americans. Prerequisites: CM-115 CM-116 CM-117 CM-119 CM-120 OR HP-122.

SJ-460. U.S. Civil Rights Movement. 3 Credits.

Analysis of the origins, processes, and outcomes of the twentieth century black American Civil Rights struggle.

SJ-465. Vietnam and the U.S.. 3 Credits.

A multidimensional view of the Vietnam era. U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia as a backdrop for an examination of changes in America from the late 1950s to the mid 1970s. Impact of Vietnam on civil rights, youth culture, the women's movement. Prerequisites: SO-121 OR UR-151.

SJ-486. Seminar: Genocide. 3 Credits.

After a through conceptualization of genocide, the course will examine case studies of modern genocide, ranging from the 20th and 21st centuries. Prerequisites: SO-121, UR-151 OR PO-100.

SJ-489. International Travel Course. 3 Credits.

SO-121 UR-151 PO-100 OR LS-101;.