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Class Descriptions

Youth Empowerment and Organizing


Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

Pathway Associations

Community ChangeElective (Host)
Interpersonal Practice
Mgmt & Leadership
Policy & Political
Program Evaluation
Older Adults
Children & FamiliesElective

Course Description

This course examines strategies for engaging and empowering young people, with emphasis on approaches in racially segregated and economically disinvested areas. It considers core concepts of youth empowerment at the individual, organizational, and community levels; models and methods of practice; age-appropriate and culturally-responsive approaches; roles of young people and adult allies; and perspectives on practice in a diverse democracy. The course will draw upon best practices from grassroots organizing, civic engagement, youth development, and child welfare.


1. Understand the core concepts of youth empowerment in a diverse democracy;
2. Analyze major models and methods of age-appropriate and culturally-responsive practice;
3. Develop knowledge from empirically-based efforts by young people to create change; and
4. Identify problems and issues of young people in racially segregated and economically disinvested areas.

Intensive Focus on Privilege, Oppression, Diversity and Social Justice (PODS)

This course integrates PODS content and skills with a special emphasis on the identification of theories, practice and/or policies that promote social justice, illuminate injustices and are consistent with scientific and professional knowledge. Through the use of a variety of instructional methods, this course will support students developing a vision of social justice, learn to recognize and reduce mechanisms that support oppression and injustice, work toward social justice processes, apply intersectionality and intercultural frameworks and strengthen critical consciousness, self-knowledge and self-awareness to facilitate PODS learning.

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