LETTER: Social justice is on a roll at WKU

When it comes to social justice, the Institute for Citizenship & Social Responsibility is on the move, literally and figuratively. We have rolled down the Hill to Room 110 of Tate Page Hall. We have launched a new minor with new courses, hired new faculty, organized a new student activist group and are running new programming.  

Our new minor in Citizenship & Social Justice prepares students to critically examine the cultural, economic, and political dynamics of problems related to citizenship and struggles for social justice. This minor is a great complement for a wide-variety of majors and serves students who want to play a role in developing a more humane world. 

Students who want to advance the cultural, environmental, and social health of Kentucky and beyond should consider these new academic options, such as new courses “Intro to Social Justice” and “Reimagining Citizenship.” ICSR courses empower students to improve their leadership talents, critical thinking, collaboration skills and communicative abilities. Most importantly, they teach students to improve the world around them.

The ICSR is part of the department of diversity & community studies, which launched a new major that fits well with a minor in Citizenship & Social Justice. DCS is an interdisciplinary degree program that provides students with a critical framework for understanding social systems and structural forms of oppression. Students who major in DCS will gain practical skills of working with others while strengthening themselves through solidarity, scholarship, sustainability and service.

Students who want to build a socially progressive university should get involved. Outside of our curriculum, the ICSR is busy supporting the WKU Coalition for Social Justice — a newly constituted student group. In less than a month, they have written a commentary on WKU’s Title IX policy, met with the Title IX Coordinator Huda Melky, published a short zine, and had a successful bake sale.  

ICSR is on a roll. We support collaborative, social justice research-action initiatives. We host monthly “Faculty Brown Bags” where works-in-progress are shared and we are organizing our second annual “Social Justice Speakers Series” to bring three scholarly activists to WKU. This spring we are excited to host Dr. Jean Dennison, of UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. Matthew Wilson, of the University of Kentucky and Dr. Alison Kafer, of Southwestern University.

Consider our minor in Citizenship & Social Justice, roll in and check us out in Tate Page Hall, attend our programs, or contact us at www.wku.edu/icsr, [email protected] or 270-745-3218.