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Innovative New Course to Examine Impact of Social Inequality
08.20.13 |
Lebanon Valley College’s Dr. Cathy Romagnolo, associate professor of English, and Venus L. Ricks, director of multicultural affairs, will co-teach an Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) course during the upcoming semester focused on issues surrounding today’s race and social issues. This interactive experience was made possible for upcoming sophomores, juniors, and seniors by the College’s newly created Presidential Innovation Fund.

The main goal of this newly developed course is to “bring students together from two or more social identity groups to understand commonalities as well as differences,” explained Romagnolo. The class is also intended to “examine the impact of social inequalities, and explore ways to work together for equality and social justice.”

“We are limiting course enrollment to 10 students and will ensure participants represent two or more racial identities, which is integral for the inclusion of differing viewpoints and perspectives,” said Ricks. “Class meetings will consist of discussions about historical, theoretical, and literary readings, reflective writings, and a collaborative action project.”

“It is important for people to have civil discourse. Because these things are happening in our world we must be able to talk about them. This course is important because it teaches students not only about the issues but also allows them to develop dialogue skills which will be helpful in the workplace and in the world in general, ” Ricks said.

Throughout the semester, students will be assigned readings and various topics that will be used to fuel conversations within the classroom. The focus of this IGD course gives students the opportunity to develop opinions and knowledge not only by learning in the classroom but by being a part of hands-on experiences and field trips throughout the semester.

“It is important for students to be able to have dialogue and I feel that this class will help the to start to feel more comfortable and confident when discussing these issues outside the classroom,” said Ricks.

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