Social Justice


"I was drawn to the Social Justice LLC because it offered the opportunity to live with fellow students who share a passion for social justice issues.”  --current Social Justice LLC member

“…I'd always been drawn towards service-oriented activities and wanted to continue my involvement in college. Additionally, I wanted to meet other freshman who shared similar values.” --current Social Justice LLC member

"The Social Justice theme will also be interwoven in the co-curricular programming as well as service learning and community engagement. And you can look forward to many activities throughout the year to balance the demands of study with the need for recreation and relaxation." --Dr. Kris Sloan, Social Justice LLC Faculty Director

Join other highly motivated St. Edward’s University students and faculty from a variety of academic fields who share a passion for creating a more fair and equitable society.

As a member of the Social Justice LLC, you will take a one-hour seminar designed to introduce interdisciplinary perspectives on social justice.  You will also select another course with a social justice theme. These courses (FSTY 1320), which are taught by some of the most accomplished professors at St. Edward’s represent a variety of majors across the university.

Fall Courses:

Note: All Social Justice LLC students take the Social Justice LLC Seminar and then choose ONE course from classes below.

FSTY 1120 - Social Justice LLC Seminar
The Social Justice LLC seminar will seek to bring to students a broad, interdisciplinary vision of social justice that recognizes the need to fight against unequal distributions of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.  More specifically, this vision of social justice can include, but is not limited to, analyses of systematic racism, sexism, heterosexism, colonization, investigations of socioeconomic disparities and their implications on health, the environment, and standards of living, and examinations of cultural oppressions that take place in society and through societal and cultural institutions. The seminar will serve as the central hub for all Social Justice LLC activities; activities which include:  community service learning, extra- and co-curricular events, cross-disciplinary engagements with social justice and community building activities for those in the Social Justice LLC.

FSTY 1320 - American Indigenous Writers, Dr. Catherine Rainwater
In a classroom setting that integrates spontaneous and guided discussions, lectures, a group project and assigned oral presentations, students will read and write about literary works by contemporary Native American writers. Study will focus on human concerns and problems as these are aesthetically formulated in these works representing different socio-cultural perspectives and worldviews from those to which students may be accustomed; contextual information such as tribal background necessary for reading and understanding particular works; literary terminology necessary for informed discussion of aesthetic features of texts; and analytical reading and writing skills relevant to the study of American Indian literature, and literature in general.

During the first half of the course in the fall of 2016, we will study Storyteller, by Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo), and Throwing Fire at the Sun, Water at the Moon, by Anita Endrezze (Yaqui). These two works exemplify ways in which Native writers have transformed Eurocentric written genres to serve alternative, indigenous purposes. The second half of the course will be devoted to the study of The Ancient Child, by N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa Cherokee), and The Death of Jim Loney, by James Welch (Blackfeet Gros Ventre), two novels focused on protagonists whose efforts to create and sustain their own identities are constrained by the worldviews of the dominant society but also enabled by their particular tribal cosmologies.

FSTY 1320 - School, Education and Society, Dr. Arcelia Hernandez
The American Experience has varied with the gender, race, ethnicity and social class of the person. The purpose of this course is to examine this diversity in experience throughout the country’s education history, examining the struggles, achievements and perspectives of marginalized groups in the U.S. history with a focus on the historical, philosophical and sociological foundations of public and private schooling. Individual and group experiences will be placed within the social, economic and political context of various eras. The course will also examine the role in these histories of the ideals and values of traditional U.S. civic culture, such as liberty, equality, and human rights. The overall goal of this course is to develop historical understanding of the problems and strengths inherent in our pluralistic society, particularly as these relate to education.

FSTY 1320 - Disabled Bodies at the Edge of Justice, Danney Ursery
Through the use of film, mass media, class discussion, and readings, this course is designed to raise awareness and to explore issues of disability, body oppression, and personal identity.  By being exposed to the concepts of, and issues surrounding, normalcy, ableism, cultural meanings, and accessibility, it provides an overview of the variety of connections between disability and social justice as well as some of the prominent debates within the field.

FSTY 1320 - Personal Finance/Social Responsibility, Dr. Camelia Rotaru
This course introduces students to the personal financial management skills needed to make ethical individual and business decisions. Topics covered include time value of money, budgeting, tax planning, consumer credit, spending decisions, insurance, investment selection, and retirement planning. Consideration is given to how individual’s finances are impacted by business and government practices. Sustainable investing practices are discussed, and emphasis is placed on individual due diligence for corporate social responsibility and human rights.

FSTY 1320 - Human Rights in Latin America, Dr. Georgia Seminet
This course will examine the historical legacy of violations of basic human rights in Latin America from a historical perspective. The diverse populations of this region have experienced human rights violations from both ends of the ideological spectrum: from authoritarian state regimes as well as from revolutionary groups dissatisfied with the status quo. The course will employ a cultural studies focus as it introduces students to the societies of Spanish-speaking Latin America using a wide range of primary and secondary texts, including film, and from a variety of disciplines (literature, history, social sciences...). The broad range of readings will allow students to explore the historical origins of contemporary issues of social inequalities. The most prominent topics to be explored include indigenous rights, military and authoritarian abuses, violence in the cities, gender issues, migration and neoliberalism. Finally, students will be engaged in the Austin community as volunteers in local organizations that support immigrants fleeing violence or poverty, and/or seeking asylum in the US.

Just the Facts
: 3rd & 4th Floors, Hunt & Le Mans halls 
Capacity: Up to 98 students
Faculty Director: Dr. Kris Sloan, Associate Professor of Education
Twitter: @SEU_JusticeLLC
Signature Events: Social Justice Film Series, Monthly Community Activities, Service Opportunities
Founded: 2007--reimagined for 2015!

“Austin has endless opportunities to get involved in change, but it's important to be familiar with the environment we're working with. More than anything, the Social Justice LLC has encouraged me to be aware and active in my world. It's a supportive community that continually challenges me to see other perspectives and understand the complexities of our world.”  --current Social Justice LLC Member