Teaching social justice in skills-oriented courses

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Adina Schneeweis


Much of the existing curriculum in journalism and writing programs has been organized around skills, with a nod to diversity relegated to at most one or two class periods. What I found to be at stake is perpetuating a culture of communicators who do not fully understand the diversity of their audiences, are not prepared to address their needs, risk overlooking key elements of our changing society, chance perpetuating stereotypes, and, most broadly, continue to hurt, harm, and oppress – through words and ignorance. For the last eight years, I have gradually revised my skills-oriented courses to teach diversity- and equity-related issues at the same time as skills in writing, communication, journalism, and digital storytelling. The student response and engagement have been inspiring and motivating.

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