Organizing for Social Change

Fall 2022
Rebecca A Watts Hull
Ruthie Yow
HTS 2803

“If not us, then who? If not now, then when? Hillel the Elder Collective action enables groups of people to advance solutions to complex social and environmental challenges. In a democratic society, organized groups are better able to develop, articulate, and assert shared interests to advance equity, accountability, effectiveness, and sustainability in social institutions. Individuals and groups often use similar strategies to advance social change within organizations, from universities to corporations and government agencies. In organizations and communities, what kinds of knowledge, skills, and practices help people work together effectively around a shared idea, concern, or interest? In this course we will explore several frameworks and 20thcentury traditions that guide change agents within organizations and communities in the U.S. We will draw on these frameworks and traditions, historical examples, and Serve-Learn-Sustain community-based partner organizations to understand and practice strategies and skills used to advance social change. Students will apply the knowledge and skills they develop to “map” community assets and to create a plan of action for a desired change on campus that they identify as a priority. After this class you should be able to: Describe key elements of community organizing, organizational change, and Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) and provide examples that illustrate the impact of each. Use historical examples, traditions and contemporary practice to explain how community-based collective action influences the lives of participants and helps create a more just and sustainable society. Demonstrate skills needed to work effectively with different kinds of collaborators and communities. Apply frameworks from the course and your own skills and interests to design a plan of action for a desired change on campus, and imagine change-making opportunities you might explore in future professional work and community life.

Course type: 
Course Level: 
Partner Engagement: