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River of Resistance

By Cheryl Johnson-Odim

“Little by little the raindrops swell the river.” (African Proverb)

All over this country, and the world, women (and some male allies) marched on Saturday, January 21st, 2017. Each woman who marched was a rain drop in a river of resistance to an increasing turn by demagogic leaning world leaders toward policies that trample on human rights. For us in the United States those world leaders are Donald Trump and Mike Pence and their allies in the Republican led Congress: Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and others.

Actions are Illegal, Never People: Jose Antonio Vargas

https://youtu.be/tmz9cCF0KNE Jose Antonio Vargas, an award-winning multimedia storyteller, is the founder of Define American, a campaign that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration. Born in the Philippines, Vargas immigrated to the United States at age 12. Stunning the media and political circles and attracting world-wide coverage, Vargas wrote the groundbreaking essay, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” for the New York Times Magazine in the summer of 2011. A year later, he was the author (and subject) of a cover story for TIME magazine headlined “We are Americans — just not legally.”

Law, Protest, and Social Movements

This course is for students interested in learning how to create social change through collective action. The dual aims of the course are to enrich our understanding of the mechanics of social change and to critically examine the relationship between law, lawyers, and social movements. Together, we will develop a nuanced understanding of law as a complex tool that has the potential to both coopt social movements and support liberation. We will take a historical and theoretical case-study approach, with emphasis on the civil rights and Black Power movements in the United States. We will also draw lessons from contemporary movement-building efforts. Throughout the semester, guest speakers on the front lines of racial and economic justice movements here in Michigan will join us to share their insights and ground our discussion. Syllabus here. Dr. Amanda Alexander University of Michigan

Finding Hope Amidst Despair: Journalism and the Current Refugee Crisis in Europe

By Shayna Plaut, Contributing Editor, Human Rights

We’ve seen the body of the toddler Alan Kurdi, who, along with mother and brother, drowned on the shores of Europe seeking safety.

We have heard the impassioned pleas of people from Syria and Afghanistan and Eritrea holding train tickets that are no longer valid.

We have listened in confusion as the Prime Ministers of Hungary, Germany and other Central European countries debate the politics of the European Union as people sleep on the street with neither blankets nor water.

Environment, Health & Society

This course draws on multiple sociological perspectives to examine two interrelated domains: 1) how dimensions of social organization shape the production and distribution of environmental health and illness in the United States; 2) how we know and regulate relationships between the environment and human health. Central to our examination is the question of how environmental health has been understood in various social worlds, at different historical moments, and by different (and often, competing) social actors. We will look at these questions across sites, including industry, clinics, neighborhoods, scientific laboratories, social movements, and government regulation and policy making. Dr. Sara Shostak Brandeis University Syllabus

Comparative Environmental Policy

Comparative Environmental Policy: This course emphasizes the comparative study of the domestic and international environmental policies of advanced industrial states with an emphasis on the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The key questions under study are: 1) How do differences across countries in political institutions, political culture, regulatory style, and economic structure influence domestic and foreign environmental policies? We will focus in particular on how environmentalism emerged across countries and how science is introduced and interpreted in the policy process. 2) What impact do these differences have on the ability of states to achieve cooperative solutions to common environmental problems? 3) What influence do international environmental interactions have on domestic environmental policy? Dr. Loren Cass College of the Holy Cross

Problems of Identity at the Biology-Society Interface

This course will explore the entanglement of biological and social concepts in knowledge about racial and ethnic variation among human populations. The course compares the population genetics understanding of population variation and groupings to the sociological and anthropological conception of the social construction of race and ethnicity. Dr. Aaron Panofsky University of California Los Angeles Syllabus

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