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'Social justice' curriculum that highlights school's role in racism a core requirement for Georgetown University students

Photo by: Robert Knopes/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A Georgetown University subcommittee of students and faculty members recently approved a new "Pathways to Social Justice" requirement, highlighting the school's role in racism and the history of slavery, which will be added to the core curriculum for undergraduate students.

The subcommittee was tasked with restructuring the school's existing "Engaging Diversity" requirement, created in 2016. The new social justice curriculum, approved in February, obligates students to complete several courses that teach diversity and other related topics.

"The replacement of the term 'Diversity Requirement' with the title 'Pathways to Social Justice' will demonstrate and signal our recognition that the time is now for a transformative cultural change in our curriculum and anti-racism practices," the subcommittee stated.

Biology professor and subcommittee member Heidi Elmendorf stated that the curriculum was revised to balance historical and modern-day perspectives.

"Some of this was about tackling issues of structural inequities of power and privilege rather than relying too singularly on diversity as a stand-alone concept. And some of this was about looking at our own world — including Georgetown — when we examine these issues rather than always looking elsewhere," Elmendorf said.

Class of 2027 students will be required to take a one-credit seminar with a pass-fail grade called "University Seminar in Race, Power, and Justice at Georgetown."

According to the subcommittee's proposal, the new course will teach about "Georgetown's role in the history of enslavement and racism," reported the university's newspaper, the Hoya.

"This course will teach Georgetown's history of enslavement of people of African descent and how that history intersects with national and global experiences of slavery and emancipation, settler colonialism, imperialism, and contemporary struggles for justice," the subcommittee's proposal stated. "It will develop a common vocabulary for all Georgetown students to continue to engage in conversations about racial equity and justice and should be taken in the first or second year."

Students must also take two additional classes to meet the social justice pathway requirements, such as "Business Arabic" or "Issues in Environmental Justice."

The courses will "require approval by a committee" to ensure they meet the school's "new learning goals."

To be considered an eligible course, the class must meet the school's five instructional priorities, including providing "inclusive scholarship;" "intersectional approaches to identity;" "historical legacies of inequality and their contemporary impacts;" "national, regional, and global comparisons;" and "imagining justice."

Georgetown University did not respond to a request for comment, Campus Reform and Fox News Digital reported.

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