Psychology and Social Justice: Making Change Happen

Winter 2020
Spring 2020
Junior - Senior
Class Size: 50
8 12 Credits per quarter
Variable credit options, see below
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Institutions and organizations are always in states of flux, responding to environmental and personal demands. How does institutional change happen? How do we move institutions and organizations toward greater inclusivity, equity and social justice? The guiding questions of this program are framed in terms of democracy, social justice, welfare, civil rights and personal transformation and transcendence. We will explore how we engage institutions and organizations in transformation, effective change strategies that allow for both personal and institutional paradigmatic shifts, and how we become the leaders of the process. We will examine the psychology of change, what role transcendence plays in our ways of thinking about change and how equity and justice are served. This program explores these questions in the context of human development, systems theory, multicultural and anti-oppression frameworks, leadership development, and within the context of the civil rights movement.

Our focus winter quarter is on personal development and change. We believe that the personal is political (and vice versa), so we have to understand what experiences inform our stance towards change. The focus is on the self, particularly from a cultural and autobiographical perspective, as it informs our world view. We will study human development including cross cultural perspectives. We will explore systems theory and leadership development.   The assignments are geared to self-reflection. Remember, in order to impact change you must challenge yourself to become the change.

Spring quarter we examine cultural groups and their development, norms and boundaries. We'll also work on the relationship of the cultural group to the larger society. Our work is geared toward understanding the collective group's position in the world and your personal and small-group interface to the group of your faculty-approved choice. This involves the central themes of democracy, social justice, inclusivity and exclusivity that form the foundation of the program. We will examine how the self, the group and the community intersect. We will explore these points of intersection as influenced and shaped by the personal, cultural and sociopolitical forces at work in our communities.

4 additional credits are available in spring quarter. Contact the faculty for additional details. 


Winter 2020 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Jr - Sr (8): 20029
Spring 2020 Registration

Signature required for 12-credit option. Discuss this option with either faculty and to received signature. 

Course Reference Numbers

Jr - Sr (8): 30003
Jr - Sr (12): 30004
Jr - Sr (4): 30412

Academic details

Preparatory For

psychology, social psychology, social justice, social sciences, activism, diversity and anti-oppression studies, systems theory and group process/change.

Variable Credit Options

Spring only: 12 credit option, crosslist with 8 credit, signature required--- Field Trip to Highlander Research and Education Center

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$50 in winter for materials and supplies. 


In Person or Remote
Hybrid (W)
Remote (S)
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

SEM 2 B2105 - Workshop


Date Revision
2019-01-17 Program Name Change: Was previously Making Change Happen