Courses in: Inequality, Race, and Poverty

Equitable Community Engagement

Key to the planning profession is engagement. Most of a planner’s work necessitates engagement of institutions and of people in order to effectuate change, and change (or prevention thereof) is the planner’s currency. Specifically this course will look at community engagement, or engagement of the public within a defined geography. What is community? How is it defined? What does it look and feel like? And how does it manifest itself, or not, as part of the planning process? Communities in the United States are rarely equitable, particularly as it relates to planning.

Labor Movement Politics, Advocacy & Social Change

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of U.S. workers involved in work stoppages in 2018 reached its highest point since the mid-1980s. The resurgence of the use of strikes and worker activists withholding labor is set against the backdrop of enormous societal challenges like wealth and income inequality, climate change, and a lack of affordable, quality health care.  

Social Impact and Emerging Technologies

Technology excites in its promise to help transform and improve lives. Yet we observe that this promise has not always translated into reality, particularly in the Global South.

Organized around key applications and case studies, this course examines the promises – and pitfalls – of technology for impact. It examines the ways in which entrepreneurs and practitioners harness technologies to solve key challenges, while also questioning how new technologies transform or reinforce dominant paradigms.

Digital Communications for Advocacy and Politics

This course examines digital content marketing for nonprofits, NGOs and corporate philanthropy through a practical lens. Through case studies across industries, it explores professional digital marketing, and develops fundamentals for digital professionals including principles of design thinking, strategy, measurement, analytics and more.

Race, Identity, and Inclusion in Organizations

This course brings together a wide range of thinking and scholarship about race and identity to encourage learning about what race is, why it matters, and racial dynamics in organizations and how best to address them.

Disability, Policy and Leadership-Building an Accessible World

Advancements in awareness and understanding have led to greater equity and inclusion in society for people with disabilities and health conditions. Developments such as the establishment of Disability Studies as an interdisciplinary field in the 1980’s and the introduction of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) in 1990 are key milestones in this journey. However, these achievements alone do not guarantee the extent of attitudinal and behavioral change needed within our communities and organizations to remove the barriers and prejudices that remain.

Gender, Politics, and Leadership

Together we will look at gender in the context of politics and leadership and consider how to take a practical stance in identifying both problems and solutions on the path to greater gender equality in those spheres.

US Reproductive Rights Advocacy

This course examines the intersections of gender, race and reproductive rights as it has been constructed and reinforced in the United States.  It examines how gender roles, sexuality, and reproductive freedom are influenced and constrained by social, historical, and cultural forces in a race, class and gender framework.  Some of the themes we will discuss in this course are gender roles in transition, self-esteem, sexuality, birth control, abortion, sterilization, relationships, family size, family organization and the politicalization of reproduction in the US.  We will explore and discus

Topics in Urban Studies: The Uprising for Racial Justice

Seemingly out of nowhere, the largest movement in U.S. history ignited in 2020, when an estimated 15 to 26 million people protested the televised killing of a handcuffed, unarmed man named George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. A wide range of law enforcement reforms have followed, including the use of body-worn cameras, community-based anti-violence efforts, decriminalization of minor offenses and retraining of officers.

Constructing National Development Strategies

In this course, students examine the challenges and opportunities of national development. Following Lant Pritchett, we define national development as the lockstep improvement in (i) economic productivity, (ii) political representation, (iii) public sector’s administrative capacity, and (iv) respect for minority rights. In contrast to targeted or piece-meal policy interventions that strive to improve conditions in one sector or alleviate the poverty of a chosen group, the pursuit of national development promises sustained gains to the entire nation.

Community Organizing (EMPA)

Community Organizing will provide an overview and introduction to the fundamentals of organizing to win, implement, monitor and sustain change in the private and public sectors.

Racial Inequality in America: What Do We Do Now?

Students in this course will explore the spatial aspects of inequality, including racial segregation, concentrated poverty, and government structure. Course materials will investigate the consequences of these inequalities for individuals, communities, and American society as a whole, as well as how these seemingly-intractable problems were created by and continue because of public policy decisions. This course will be an interactive experience, requiring preparation before coming to class and active exchange during class.