2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Governing for Human Rights, Social Justice and Advocacy

Spring 2012 quarter

Marc Brenman

Public administrators, planners, and managers will inevitably face problems and controversies involving civil and human rights, social justice, equity, fairness, and discrimination.  The changing demographics of the United States are making it a more diverse place, with more demands for culturally competent services; globalism means that administrators and managers will be engaged more in international issues.  At the same time, declining resources make service distribution and allocation more difficult.  If the planner and manager makes mistakes, or is perceived by a demographic subgroup as acting in an unfair or neglectful way, she/he can garner bad media attention, official complaints, and public criticism.  A slip of the tongue can end a career.  Doing the right thing from a social justice perspective can involve difficult moral and ethical analysis, decisions, priority setting, and follow-through.

This course aims to provide and prepare public administrators, planners, and managers with the tools necessary to manage such controversies, create more equitable solutions, look at social justice in an informed way, and advocate for necessary change in effective ways.  With this knowledge, she/he will not be blind-sided by issues of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation and identity, religion, and other protected class issues.  An objective is to provide insights into the concerns of these and other protected classes and traditionally discriminated against groups.  There is no one answer to the needs and demands of traditionally discriminated against group representatives, but many good questions that can be asked.  Many types of advocacy are available.  The tone of the class is not accusatory or guilt-inducing, but rather uses examples from the history of governance in the United States and internationally of how organizations have successfully and less-than-successfully coped with the growth of demands and needs in a rights-based culture and polity.  Reference is made to international human rights schema and how they compare to US constructs and legal limitations. 

The course includes models for thinking about, evaluating, prioritizing, implementing, and evaluating social equity interventions.  Course activities include discussion of difficult and controversial human rights issues in an emotionally safe environment; a set of readings compiled for this course, many from primary sources; a unique glossary of social justice and equity terms; a civil rights timeline of US history to help set events and discussions in historical context; exercises and projects in media and website review; personal reflection on self-identification; and social equity impact analysis of an organization the student is familiar with.   

Advertised Schedule
May 11-13, June 1-3, 5-9p Fri, 9a-5p Sat/Sun
Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During
Evening and Weekend