EPSY 203

Social Issues Group Dialogue Courses

Enrollment for EPSY 203 courses will begin closer to the start of the second eight-week classes. Full course listings, dates and times are not available until right before the second eight-week classes start each semester. The classes will be open enrollment and will not require an application. DiversityEd staff will keep track of everyone who is interested and will let students know as soon as the actual course list is available. To get on the interest list please send your name to Dr. Joycelyn Landrum-Brown.

EPSY 203 provides students with opportunities to converse on diversity and social justice topic areas. Each section uses a structured dialogue format to explore intergroup and intragroup differences and similarities within historical and contemporary contexts. Each section uses active learning exercises, in addition to weekly readings, reflective writing assignments, and topic-based dialogues. EPSY 203 may be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of 6 hours.

Course Topics

Below are topics that may be offered each semester. Please check the class schedule for the most up-to-date information on available sections.

  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Exploring Gender: Cisgender/Transgender Dialogue
  • Conservative/Liberal Dialogue
  • Exploring Religious Diversity
  • Exploring Social Class
  • Exploring Disabilities
  • Exploring Sexual Identity
  • Exploring Sexual Orientation
  • LGBQA/Heterosexual Dialogue
  • Being White in a Multicultural Society
  • U.S./International Relations: A Global Dialogue
  • Resisting Marginalization
  • Women of Color Dialogue
  • African/African American Dialogue: A Global Dialogue
  • Muslim/Christian Dialogue

EPSY 203 Course Descriptions

Race and Ethnicity

This course offers students an opportunity to dialogue around what race means on personal, social and institutional levels in the U.S. The focus of the class includes exploration of individual identity and group membership, issues of commonalities, differences, conflicts and ways of working together with and across racial differences. The course also considers how other aspects of identity such as gender, sexual orientation, social class, and religion intersect with racial identity.

Exploring Gender: Cisgender/Transgender Dialogue 

This course provides students with opportunities to use the dialogue model to converse about gender and social justice. The structured dialogue format will invite and encourage participants to share their own experiences and perspectives related to gender, as well as explore interpersonal, intergroup, and intragroup differences and similarities, with a focus on U.S. contexts. Specific topics will address complexity around gender identity, making meaning of cisgender and transgender identities, privileging and marginalizing of gender identities, and working together across gender identities.

Gender

The Gender Dialogue explores differences, similarities, and conflicts around gender identity. Students have the opportunity for personal exploration, to develop a better understanding of where the other group is coming from, and to examine various historical and current perspectives on gender.

Conservative/Liberal Political Orientation

This dialogue will offer students an opportunity to dialogue about the historical and current meaning of conservative and liberal identities. Students will get a chance to unpack the assumptions, agendas, and meanings associated with these concepts and explore the complexities often not addressed when these terms are used as labels.

Exploring Religious Diversity

This course offers students an opportunity to dialogue on issues related to religion. The focus of the class includes exploration of religious identity and group memberships, issues of commonalities, differences, conflicts and ways of working together with and across religious differences.

Exploring Social Class

This dialogue introduces students to the concept of social class and an exploration of the meaning of social class in the United States. Students have the opportunity for personal exploration to understand how different class statuses have impacted people in the United State. The similarities, differences, and conflicts arising from class status experiences will also be addressed.

Exploring Disability

This dialogue will offer students an opportunity to discuss what disability means on a personal, social and institutional level in the U.S. The focus will be on the various types of disabilities that individual’s experience, both visible and unseen, along with the type of accommodations available and utilized by individuals with disabilities. We will look at the interaction between people with and without disabilities and barriers to that interaction. Students will also discuss what disabilities have to do with diversity and explore whether (or not) people with disabilities share a culture that shapes their experiences.

Exploring Sexual Identity

This course offers students an opportunity to explore and examine the experiences and perspectives of those with various sexual identities and orientations through readings, multimedia, and dialogue. We will unpack the ideology of heteronormativity, and we will also learn about the concepts of asexuality and aromanticism as they relate to beliefs about the ideas of sexual attraction and romantic attraction, as we seek to understand the complexity of both queer and straight identities. We will address questions of how and where sexual and gender identities do and don't intersect. Through collaborative sense-making, students will build their understanding of what these identities mean for them and their relationships with others. Students will build an increased self-awareness in addition to an enhanced understanding of the impact of sexual identity in daily life.

Exploring Sexual Orientation 

This course offers all students an experience to explore and examine the range of sexual orientations through readings and dialogue. Through readings, dialogue, and class activities, students will build their understanding of what sexual orientation means for them and their relationships with others.  Students will build an increased self-awareness in addition to an increased awareness and understanding of the impact of sexual orientation in daily life.

LGBQA / Heterosexual Dialogue

This course offers all students an experience to explore and examine the experiences and perspectives of those who are part of the LGBQA and Heterosexual communities through readings, multimedia, and dialogue. This dialogue is distinguished from the Exploring Sexual Orientation dialogue, in that we acknowledge that, while those who identify as Trans have a sexual orientation, the Trans identity falls more in line with a discussion of gender. If you are wanting to discuss Transgender issues and concerns, please enroll in the Exploring Gender (Cis & Trans) dialogue. With collaborative sense-making, students will build their understanding of what these identities mean for them and their relationships with others. Students will build an increased self-awareness in addition to an enhanced understanding of the impact of sexual orientation in daily life.

Being White in a Multicultural Society

This dialogue course will introduce students to the different aspects of the white experience by exploring the histories, social contexts, ethnic and class backgrounds, and ideas that have shaped white people in the United States. Students will have the opportunity to explore their own heritage, what it means to be white - particularly in a multicultural society - and how social justice issues like privilege, discrimination, cultural identities, race pride and racism fit in with being white. This course will explore whiteness as a social, cultural and political, economic construct that goes beyond skin color, racial classification, and ethnic identity. In addition, this course will explore the societal mechanisms that institutionalize whiteness as social capital as well as the benefits and costs of white privilege. This course is open to students from all racial classifications.

U.S./International Relations: A Global Dialogue

This course offers a dialogue experience where students from the United State and other countries will be able to expand and enrich participants' understanding of themselves and others. Students will have an opportunity to explore the concepts of globalization, nationality, multiculturalism in a global context, what it means to be "American" or "international," and what it means to live in a "Global Village." One of the main objectives of the course is to disrupt discrete ideas of "us" vs. "them." Participants are encouraged to adopt a structural approach to global inequalities, focusing on how global events affect us on the individual, local, national, and international levels. At the end of the course, participants will be asked to integrate various views discussed during the course and present reflective pieces on what it means to members of a "Global Village."

Resisting Marginalization

This dialogue course provides students with opportunities to learn practical skills for those interested in promoting fairness within groups and organizations.  Topics include analyses of power, systems, and marginalization practices.

Women of Color Dialogue

This dialogue will focus on the issues and concerns of Women of Color (e.g. Asian American, Latinas, African American and American Indian) within the US context.

African / African American Dialogue: A Global Dialogue

This dialogue course is designed to create an experience where students engage one another and examine issues surrounding African/ African-American relations. In our quest for a deeper understanding of African/African-American relationships, race and the traditions of culture become central. What relationships, behaviors, and customs remain in central among people of African descent? How are they maintained, regulated, and policed? In this class, we examine many forms of Black, African, and African-American identity. Through our collective dialogue, students will gain a deeper understanding of how people are continually shifting, transgressing and redefining their social identity by reconstructing nationality, race, ethnicity, personal identity, and society which confront them in an age of globalization.

Muslim / Christian Dialogue

This dialogue course is designed to create an experience where students engage one another and examine some of the differences and similarities in the basic beliefs and faith traditions of Islam and Christianity. We will explore domestic and international issues surrounding Muslim / Christian relations, (with more of a focus on domestic US concerns) including but not limited to historical and current issues related to religious extremism, fundamentalism, and terrorism. Through our collective dialogue, we will seek a deeper understanding of the issues, conflicts, differences/similarities and ways to enhance perspective-taking for conflict resolution toward improved intergroup relations.