Power, Privilege, and Perspectives: Examining Dynamics of Community Service in Los Angeles

Description: Seminar, one hour. Service is often presented as an eternally good activity, one that connects students to their communities, instills values of social responsibility, and produces individuals who are more tolerant and culturally aware. However, service can also reinforce systems of oppression and exploit marginalized groups for social benefit. Discussion with students involved with service work, with focus on social justice. Reflection on roles as volunteers and advocates and the privilege and power we are accorded as members of higher education. Underlying structure of community service, systematized inequities service work attempts to address, and how service work can perpetuate those inequities. Ways we can change current systems, including altering perspectives, challenging top down approaches, and redefining what it means to be an ally. P/NP grading. Facilitated by Celest Romano, with Kathy O'Byrne as faculty mentor.

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