Combining courses from a variety of academic programs, Marist College began offering a new minor this school year.
Anaiya Bobo is studying communications at Marist. She was preparing to graduate a full two years early without a minor until the social justice minor was brought to her attention.
“I’m of the wholehearted belief that social justice, having an understanding of and awareness of social justice issues, is becoming less and less of an optional thing and more and more of a necessary thing,” Bobo said.
What You Need To Know
- Combining courses from a variety of academic programs, Marist College began offering social justice as a new minor this school year
- To complete the minor, students must take 18 credits, amounting to six courses
- Course topics range from social inequalities and social identities to social structure and social change
- The goal is to teach students to make an impact wherever they may go
Addrain Conyers and Steven Garabedian are co-directors of the social justice minor. They began working on developing it before COVID-19 shut down the campus.
“It just helps them open up. It gives them a different purview of society, helps them think about issues that they didn’t think about before, helps them think about identities they didn't think about before and not just their own, so I think there's a lot of value,” Conyers said.
To complete the minor, students must take 18 credits, amounting to six courses. Course topics range from social inequalities and social identities to social structure and social change.
“I think students feel the weight of history on them, but they don't feel trapped by that history,” Garabedian said. “They want to learn that history, and many do not feel defensive. They feel like they want to move forward.”
The goal is to teach students to make an impact wherever they may go.
“I feel very, very lucky and privileged,” Bobo said. “I think that this minor is going to equip me with the knowledge that I need to become a better, well-rounded citizen and just a well-rounded person living in America, a well-rounded student living in America, and that is naturally going to pair so well with whatever career that I go into.”
Many other public and private colleges and universities in New York and beyond have social justice programs. The co-directors said Marist’s is just beginning, and they hope it continues to grow.