We are excited to inform you that after reflecting as a community, evaluating our mission, priorities, and values, and consultation with various stakeholders, we have decided on an Anti-Racist Academic Program related to the topic of systemic racism and anti-racism. All current students at MIIS are encouraged to take a non-credit bearing mandatory course on systemic racism (work will be equivalent to a one-credit course) in Fall 2020. 

We are developing two courses in Fall 2020 as part of our Anti-Racist Academic Program. Students are encouraged to take one of these courses, depending on their needs and interests. Please note that there will be significant overlaps in materials, concepts, and terminology between both courses.The course description and objectives should help students decide on which course best suits their needs and interests. 

Course A: Education for Action: Racial Equity and Social Justice

Course Description

Race, a sociological construct, is an integral part of one’s identity in the United States. Racism, if understood as the overarching and overbearing dominance of whiteness (as a colonial concept, an ideology, and a power structure), is prevalent in every part of the world. However, to understand the various manifestations of racism and the present conversations and protests against systemic racism in the US, one needs to study the evolution of racism through a historical lens, especially the period of slavery and civil war. Students participating in this course will understand the current structural challenges that plague the United States and predominantly white institutions of higher education, like MIIS, by developing a racial equity and justice lens. Students will also understand their role and responsibility as allies for marginalized and minoritized individuals and communities on our campus and beyond. Finally, and most importantly, students taking this course will be able to engage in conversations about race in the classroom and in various settings.

Course Objectives 

  • Understand the history of racism in the US (and beyond)
  • Assess whiteness as racial capital and view structural racism through the colonization lens
  • Demonstrate familiarity with and comfort in the use of racial equity terminology
  • Explore personal biases, prejudices, and assumptions through a process of self-reflection
  • Identify and analyze systemic and institutionalized racism through the concepts and frameworks of whiteness, white privilege, and white supremacy
  • Develop clarity, confidence, and skills to engage in difficult conversations about race based on research and lived experience.
  • Recognize the need and importance for prioritizing racial justice in social justice work.

Who should take this course?

  1. You want to be confident in discussing race or racism.
  2. You want to be knowledgeable about concepts such as Indigenous, Black, Persons of Color (IBPOC), Whiteness, White Privilege, and White Supremacy 
  3. You want to understand better the role you play in furthering systemic racism
  4. You want to be an Ally for economically , socially and structurally separated, individuals  and communities
  5. You are committed to the principles of social justice

 

Course B: Education in Action: Anti-Racism in Praxis

Course Description

Racism is not easily identifiable in everyday life if you are not living in a group that is suffering from discrimination and marginalization. Our lived experiences affect our ability to respond to racialized language and behavior. Therefore, we need to study and discuss systemic racism to understand and empathize with the lived experiences of those who are minoritized. In order to actively transform the system that offers privileges to some, while disadvantaging and harming others, we embark on the journey of becoming anti-racist in our personal, academic and work careers. What is anti-racism, and what role does it play in dismantling systemic racism in institutions and organizations? What does the journey of becoming an anti-racist ally require of us physically, mentally, socially and spiritually? In this course, we will explore intersectionality holds the key to understanding systemic racism and the anti-racism approach we adopt. This course will help students in understanding the praxis of anti-racism and apply it to life in the institutions of higher education, current and future careers, and the larger society.

Course Components and Objectives

  • Analyze racism - structural and institutional - using intersectionality and colonization frameworks.
  • Learn to articulate structural and institutional racism by evaluating our roles in keeping structures of differential power intact.
  • Identify and articulate our biases, prejudices, and core values in the classroom.
  • Critically analyze and discuss the journey to anti-racism, its principles, and available tools to use.
  • Initiate and take the risk to participate in conversations about race in varied settings.
  • Connect anti-racism objectives to career choices and decisions.

Who should take this course?

  1. You want to be more confident about discussing race and racism.
  2. You want to work deeper on your biases and prejudices and explore ways to become an effective ally for minoritized groups.
  3. You want to challenge yourself and take steps to chip away at personally embedded assumptions and learned behaviors , as well as structures of systemic racism.
  4. You want to explore in-depth personal ethics and societal “norms” when engaged in anti-racism work.
  5. You are committed to the principles of social justice.

Pushpa Iyer is the instructor for the course. Ericka Huggins and Anita Crawley served as consultants for the development of these courses.A core group of alumni will provide support in various aspects of course development and implementation.

Each course will be offered in six two-week slots.

Two-Week Slots

# of Students 

(Course A)

# of Students 

(Course B)

Aug 31 - Sept 13

25 

25

Sept 14 - Sept 27

30

30

Sept 28 - Oct 11

45 

45

Oct 12 - Oct 25

85

85

Oct 26 - Nov 8

85

85

Nov 9 - Nov 22

85

85