Environmental and Social Justice Successes: How to Grow Hope in the Dark

Winter 2019
Evening and Weekend
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 17
12 Credits per quarter
Log in to add this offering to your saved list.
Taught by

In an era of despair, cynicism, and seemingly insurmountable challenges, how do we use environmental and social successes to cultivate determined action and optimism?   “Your opponents would love you to believe that it's hopeless, that you have no power, that there's no reason to act, that you can't win. Hope is a gift you don't have to surrender, a power you don't have to throw away,” says Rebecca Solnit in  Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities. We'll study vibrant ecological and social justice success stories being replicated nationally and globally. Students will find treasure troves of positive templates. We'll consider local programs like Garden Raised Bounty, and look at other organizations and efforts that have built victories. Students will examine the importance of celebrating victories, and other methods to build resilience as individuals and in movements. As a program, we will create a project of inspiration to motivate change for the Evergreen Community. In individual projects, students will write a journalistic profile of a community-based victory in righting social or environmental injustice. Students will gain introduction to developing coalitions for change; to persuading elected officials and other decision-making bodies, and to creating narratives of imagination and change to inspire others mired in the inaction caused by despair. Texts will include Solnit's  Hope in the Dark, as well as Senge's  Breaking through Gridlock: The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World. 


Winter 2019 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

(12): 20223

Academic details

Preparatory For

Public policy, Journalism, Non-Profit, Environmental-related, Social Justice-related, Writing, Advocacy.

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


Time Offered
Evening and Weekend
Advertised Schedule

Mon/Wed 6-9:30pm + Alternating Saturdays 10am-5pm ( 1/19; 2/2; 2/16; 3/9)

Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

Purce Hall 8 - Classroom