Fall 2020 is the first time that UConn students will have the chance to learn about the roots of racism in our country.
The nine-week course is designed to teach students about the foundational and systemic racism in the country that affects communities of color.
Widespread protest and racial tension are some of the reasons the university decided to develop an anti-racism course for students.
"The students understood that there was a COVID19 class being offered to students but wanted the university to offer a course about the systemic issues facing communities of color," said Dr. Shardé M. Davis, an assistant professor at UConn. "The students told the president that 'we've been experiencing another pandemic since many of us have been alive' and the president actually listened."
Those enrolled in the class are introduced to the areas where systemic and anti-Black racism is rooted within the country including education, the criminal justice system and voting.
"We did our due diligence to try and at least touch upon some really critical topics that we think are germane to anti-Black racism broadly," said Dr. Shardé. "We've also taken this time to highlight the various resources on campus, centers, and institutes, put on webinars and colloquialisms, and various other events."
Black faculty members have taken it upon themselves to offer their expertise in their respective fields to students. The course has a variety of modules including songs, TED talks and recorded lectures.
"It's a good opportunity for people to break down those barriers and really expand the perspective and really learn and allow them to be open," said Mekhi Amos, President of the Black Student Association on campus. "We realize this is a great first step but we want to see more African American professors and more people in school offices that look like us and can relate to our experiences."
Undergraduate students have already started the free online course. Graduate students, along with faculty and staff, will be able to enroll in the course on Sept. 28.