Students Undertake Research, Discuss Current Events in Black Lives Matter Class

Lebanon Valley College students in the Black Lives Matter Class pose for a photo.

Motivated by current events on and off campus, Lebanon Valley College launched a year-long Black Lives Matter class.

The Black Lives Matter movement highlights basic human rights and racial equality among all races. The class focuses on the different elements of the global movement.

“Its subject matter is not just innovative at LVC, it's unusual across the nation,” Dr. Catherine Romagnolo, associate professor and English department chair, said. “There are several Black Lives Matter classes at other colleges, but for a school as small as ours to address such a current and controversial issue is really unusual.”

The new undergraduate course was offered this semester and will extend into the spring. The course is taught by both Dr. Romagnolo and Dr. Conā Marshall, assistant professor of Africana studies. Students enrolled in the class will spend the year learning about the Black Lives Matter movement and working on a research project.

“The Black Lives Matter movement and the issues surrounding it have tentacles that reach out into many other contemporary concerns: race, gender, history, culture, politics and protest,” Dr. Romagnolo said. “These are all things we will be exploring during the year.”

During the fall semester, the class will spend time researching and learning about the subject matter. The students will spend their spring semester putting the research together individually.

“To learn about a contemporary topic and work on a year-long research project is an experience that will help students develop critical thinking, critical reading, and critical writing skills,” Dr. Romagnolo said. “I’m hoping that students will come away with a substantial and relevant research project that they can highlight in job interviews, internships, or writing samples for graduate school.”

Students in the class are also encouraged to share thoughts and have open communication among the group.

“I did not expect myself to be so open as I am in the class,” said English major Tyler Miller '19. “I also didn’t expect to be learning quite as much from everyone else in the class.”

The Black Lives Matter class will provide students with a broader understanding of Black liberation that led to the current movement.


- Chelsea Moyer for La Vie