Original artwork by Carol Chan
Systems of Injustice Inside and Out:
Doing the Work to Understand and Challenge These Systems
Instructor: Shengxiao "Sole" Yu
Date: Every Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 7-August 6, 2020
Duration: 60 minute sessions, 5 Weeks, 10 sessions | First session on July 7 will be 90 minutes
Start Time: 1pm PT | 4pm ET
Location: Online - link will be shared after registration
Cost: $350, team discounts available, need-based scholarships available. Register to apply
Deadline to register: July 6 at 5pm PT
Deadline to apply for scholarships: June 28 at 11:59pm PT
This course is comprised of three units:
Unit 1: Understanding Systems of Injustice
We will first dive deep to understand a few pervasive systems of injustice, including racism, capitalism, colonialism, eurocentrism, and others.
Unit 2: How Systems of Injustice Intersect
In this unit, we will learn about intersectionality, that is, how these systems of injustice intersect and reinforce each other at both the systemic and individual levels.
Unit 3: How Systems of Injustice Dynamically Change Over Time
Finally, we will explore the dynamic changes and challenges to these systems of injustice, including how they are maintained over time, how they evolve over time, how social change movements have sought to dismantle them, and why many of these movements have failed.
At the time of this writing, over 370,000 people have died from COVID-19 worldwide, and over 100,000 in the United States. Among them, Black and Brown communities are disproportionally affected, with Black people dying at six times the rate of white people in some areas. Inside jails, prisons, and ICE detention centers, inhumane conditions have created hot spots for viral transmission. Since February, over 2,000 incidents of hate crimes against Asian American have been reported. In 2020 alone, many Black lives have been claimed at the hands of state-sponsored violence, among them, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
Many people have protested, petitioned elected officials, donated money, and more. Many are seeking educational resources to challenge and change their own understanding of the world.
This is one such resource: a 5-week online course* about systems of injustice.
We live in social spaces governed by systems of shared ideas and organizational structures that shape our way of life. Among these systems are some that cause harm to many of us, such as racism, sexism, colonialism, homophobia, and more. These systems of injustice affect our quality of life, influence access to opportunities, and, most importantly, they actually govern our innermost thoughts. That is, they live within each of us such that we all, sometimes unwittingly, help sustain them. This means that in order to break down these systems of injustice and to bring about social change, we must each do the inner work necessary to understand and challenge the influence of these systems within ourselves. We must first educate ourselves in order to educate others.
Doing this inner work is difficult. Doing this work is not for the faint of heart. Doing this work requires you to hold yourself accountable, to dig deep, deeper than where you have been before. If you commit to doing this work, you will not only expand your knowledge and understanding of the world, you will also expand your self-knowledge and your capacity for empathy for others. Once you see and know how systems of injustice work, you cannot unsee or unknow them. You will forever be both gifted and burdened with the knowledge and understanding of how systems of injustice give power to some while oppressing others. You will bear ongoing responsibility to examine our society critically and to shift power actively in order to dismantle these systems.
If you are ready to do this work together, this 10-week course is for you.
This course is designed with educators in mind, including our school teachers and administrators, but more broadly, all of us. Each one of us has an educator role to play, and when we challenge and change our own understanding of the world, we also change what happens around our dinner tables, at our social gatherings, in our workplaces, and in our communities.
To enroll in the course, please register here.
Not able to take the 10-week course at this time? Here are other opportunities:
On June 20, we will offer a free 90-minute introductory workshop to systems of injustice, to learn more and register, please visit this page.
For additional resources, Shengxiao will be curating free social justice educational resources on her instagram page.
To be notified about future social justice learning opportunities, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.
*This course was developed independently of the particular current events, but is especially relevant in light of them.
Shengxiao Yu, whose nickname is Sole, is an advocate and social justice educator. She has worked with a variety of groups to tailor social justice education curricula, including community organizers, nonprofit professionals, educators, and beyond. Informed and inspired by the work of indigenous activists, grassroots community leaders, and all the intersectional movement ancestors who have come before her, Sole’s work is grounded in an historical understanding of social injustices at the systemic level, and believes that true, lasting social change will only come from actions that dismantle systems of injustice and work toward collective liberation. Sole is a first generation (technically generation 1.5) Chinese American and currently lives in Los Angeles.