What is Social Justice?

Social justice refers to fair and equal institutions, laws, markets, practices, and social relationships.  It allows all of us to participate fully in and contribute to our communities and to realize our full potential as members of society and human beings.  Issues of social justice affect educational and employment access and outcomes, health and welfare, everyday living and the general well being of our society. This minor invites you to investigate and reflect on the history and current state of social justice, on social relations as affected by race and ethnicity, economic class, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, and other forms of diversity.  It will help you to recognize and address persistent inequalities that are detrimental to the overall quality of life of this increasingly diverse US society of the 21st century, and thus gives you the potential to contribute directly to the realization of social justice. 

Who will benefit from the Social Justice Minor?

This minor will complement undergraduate majors in the professional schools and all divisions of the College, from the traditional disciplines such as history, sociology and geography to interdisciplinary majors such as human biology, African and African American studies, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Education, and Social Work—to name just a few.

The minor will bring a depth to your profile for a wide range of specialized private and public sector positions, whether you proceed directly into the workforce upon graduation or pursue advanced degrees leading to careers in government, education, business, public service, law, medicine, or emerging areas of research.  Regardless of the area you choose, you will be served well by the Social Justice Minor.

What skills and knowledge will I gain?

You will:

Develop the analytical and communication skills so that you are able to offer informed and practical contributions to your workplace policies and practices.

Develop the intellectual foundation to contribute to and thus to help build a more just and fair society.

Understand how inequality works as a persistent part of our society rather than merely as a matter of prejudice and misunderstanding.

Be a better informed member of society and participant in both your work and living communities.

Better understand and be able to explain structural inequities and injustices related to race/ethnicity, gender and sexuality, economic class, institutional barriers, and other aspects of diversity in the U.S. and transnationally. 

Understand ways various groups of activists and organizers have worked to democratize society more fully and realize the meanings of citizenship and freedom.

Apply your knowledge to real life issues of social justice and fairness. 

I.  9 Hours Core

a.  AMS 110:  American Studies Identities (3) SC S (offered Spring/Fall) (available on-line as of Sum 15)

                  or AMS 112/SOC 112:  American Identities, Honors (3) SC S

b.  AMS 100:  Introduction to American Studies (3) HT H (Offered Spring/Fall/Summer) (available on-line as of Sum 15)

                 or AMS 101:  Introduction to American Studies, Honors (3) HT H

c.  AMS 496 (in approval process) (3 hours):  New course titled, “Perspectives and Experiences in Social Justice”  (This proposed course requires students to engage in social justice work on or off campus and to engage in regular classroom activities and readings).  Prerequisite AMS 100 (AMS 101) and AMS 110 (AMS 112/SOC112 ).

II.  9 Hours of Electives Selected from 6 Social Justice Pathways

Select 9 Hours from 1 or more of the 6 Pathways courses approved List of Courses (Courses not listed may be considered for approval upon consultation with your AMS advisor/Director of Undergraduate Studies).  3 hours (1 course) may be shared with the major.  3 hours (1 course) may be shared with another minor.  (see attached list of Pathways courses)

Minor Hours & GPA

While completing all required courses, minors must also meet each of the following hour and grade point average minimum standards:

Minor Hours

Satisfied by 18 hours of minor courses.

Minor Hours in Residence

Satisfied by a minimum of 9 hours of junior/senior (300+) hours of KU resident credit in the minor.

Minor Junior/Senior (300+) Hours

Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the minor.

Minor Graduation GPA

Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 GPA in all courses in the minor. GPA calculations include all courses in the field of study including Fs and repeated courses.