10 Ways to Study Racial Justice at NYU

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Learn about racial justice from anthropological, historical, ecological, and biological perspectives

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Education is one important way you can help dismantle racism. At NYU, you have the opportunity to incorporate the study of racial justice into your coursework no matter what you major in. The following is a sampling of courses across the University that will expand your knowledge of the history, politics, and cultures of individuals and communities of color. You’ll study with some of the world’s leading thinkers, broaden your understanding, and take your education with you as you help make our world a better place for everyone.

1. College of Arts and Science

Critical Indigenous Theory and Settler Colonialism

In this Asian/Pacific/American Studies course, you’ll explore how Native movements for decolonization offer culturally rich and historically meaningful alternatives to the current system. You’ll engage with topics like anti-Black racism, capitalism, climate change, and political ecology.

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2. Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Introduction to Food History

Learn about racial justice through the lens of food. This course covers the origins of agriculture, the phenomenon of famine, the coevolution of world cuisines and civilizations, and the international exchange and spread of foods and food technologies after 1492. What’s more, you’ll learn about issues of hunger and thirst and the effects of the global economy on food production, diets, and health.

3. Tisch School of the Arts

Reimagining the Music Industry: Black Power, Control, and Equity

What would a truly equitable music business look like for Black Americans? In this course through the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, you’ll hear directly from executives, entrepreneurs, and artists as you explore possibilities both inside and outside the business to create radical models that no longer disenfranchise Black people, diminish women, and center whiteness.

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4. Tandon School of Engineering

Bioethics Seminar

Undergrads may receive permission to take this graduate-level seminar that discusses ethical issues in bioengineering and molecular and cell biology. You’ll learn about intelligent design theory, genetic privacy and testing, human-embryonic-stem-cell research, social Darwinism and the concomitant rise of eugenics, and much more.

5. Silver School of Social Work

Diversity, Racism, Oppression, and Privilege

This course, required for all Social Work majors, expands your understanding of the meaning of race and racial justice (as well as ethnicity, class, gender, and culture). You’ll study how racism impacts people on personal, professional, institutional, and societal levels. Then, you’ll find out why it is important for all social workers to have ethnocultural training.

6. Gallatin School of Individual Study

The Mexican Muralists and Their Indigenous Influences, and the American Artists They Influence

How does race and racism determine the way we view art and the people who make it? In this course you’ll learn about the Aztecan and Mayan influences on Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and others. In addition, you’ll discover the way these muralists impacted North American painters such as Philip Guston, Robert Motherwell, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Jackson Pollock.

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7. Rory Meyers College of Nursing

Health and Society in a Global Context

Part of the Global Public Health and Nursing program, this course dives into the social, behavioral, and cultural factors that impact public health including race and ethnicity. You’ll examine public health issues and their solutions from both individual and structural perspectives.

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8. Stern School of Business

Professional Responsibility and Leadership

In this interdisciplinary course—the capstone for the Social Impact Core that all Stern students complete—you’ll learn about ethical dilemmas that can arise in business, build frameworks to think through ambiguous situations, and gain invaluable experience articulating your values and decisions.

9. NYU Abu Dhabi

Cultural Appropriation

What is culture? How can it be owned or stolen? How do practices of adopting or using culture subjugate marginalized communities? If you want answers to these questions, turn to this multifaceted racial justice course. You’ll engage with a wide range of disciplines, including cultural anthropology, art theory, music studies, and philosophy.

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10. NYU Shanghai

Representing Ethnicity in China and Beyond: A Comparative Study

Learn about the theories, practices, and representations of multiculturalism in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan from the 20th century onwards. In this course you’ll consider how ethnicity (minzu) and race (zhongzu) play a part in public discourse. Then you’ll reflect on the ways in which multiculturalism is an incomplete ideal.