In recent years, TCNJ has framed a bold approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion, in part responding to student activism. To help address the growing demand for education around equity and inclusion, TCNJ’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences will add a minor in social justice beginning with the fall 2020 semester.
The minor offers students the opportunity to interrogate and think critically about structural inequalities and injustices and to develop strategies for creating and sustaining an equitable and just world. The program is housed in the department of African American Studies in collaboration with the department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
“The creation of a social justice minor will provide a signal to prospective and current students regarding TCNJ’s commitment to diversity, not just as an admissions priority but as a serious intellectual endeavor,” said Jane Wong, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
This interdisciplinary minor introduces students to the complexity of social justice and helps them develop an intersectional framework that recognizes ways in which various forms of oppressions and privilege interact, and how oppressive systems such as racism and sexism are intricately connected.
Social Justice sits at the heart of African American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. As Janet Gray, chair of TCNJ’s Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality, recently remarked: “the changing demographic of college students makes it pragmatically necessary to scrutinize the ways that business-as-usual in higher education perpetuates historical patterns of marginalization and exclusion.”
Piper Kendrix Williams, incoming chair of African American Studies, added, “Activism needs education. One thing that people forget about Colin Kaepernick’s protests at the NFL was he was educated in Black Studies and that the history of racial oppression ignited his passion for social justice in the 21st century.”
The minor is designed flexibly so that students in any major can take it, and even upper-level students in some disciplines can readily add it to their course load.
For more information on the Social Justice minor please visit https://african-americanstudies.tcnj.edu/academic-programs/social-justice-minor/