Campus Reform | George Mason University plans to require new 'racial justice' course for 'all students'

George Mason University plans to require new 'racial justice' course for 'all students'

George Mason University has created a class on 'racial justice.'

The course is projected to be required for all students in the coming years.

George Mason University has recently announced a new course on racial justice that will be offered during the fall semester. The three-credit elective will fulfill two Mason Core requirements in social and behavioral science and global understanding.

“Foundations for Building a Just Society” was created using recommendations from a previous pilot program established in 2019. The course was created by an interdisciplinary team including associate provost of undergraduate education Bethany Usher and associate professor of psychology Lauren Cattaneo

The course will explore questions such as "can we walk in the world without bias?” and “how do we work toward social justice?” 

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According to the university’s press statement released on July 9, the effort to create the course was "intensified" by the "Black Lives Matter movement and the increased attention around the murder of George Floyd."

The press statement says that the course is projected to eventually be a required course for "all students."

“Once implemented, this course will be part of a greater educational plan that allows Mason to be a national exemplar of inclusive excellence,” said Bethany Usher, associate provost of undergraduate education. 

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Sarah Osman, a junior at George Mason who participated in the initial pilot program, said the course “gave her a greater understanding of what implicit biases she carries.” She went on to say, “we live in a world where the color of one’s skin determines every opportunity they receive and whether or not they will live to see tomorrow.” 

In July 2020, in response to the death of George Floyd, The Black Lives Matter movement, and pressure from students, the President of George Mason University, Dr. Gregory Washington, established the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) Task Force to “create an inclusive and equitable campus environment.”

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Five professors will teach the course with options for online or in-person instruction.

Campus Reform reached out to George Mason University for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ameliascarponi