Social Justice Courses

The World Day of Social Justice occurs every year on February 20th. Its purpose is to draw attention to social justice issues like poverty, gender equality, unemployment, and human rights. Social justice is necessary to promote human development and dignity, ensuring a world where everyone is free and equal. To improve your understanding of social justice issues, here are six courses that explore things like feminism, employment, and how to change the world:

How to Change The World (Wesleyan University)

This beginner-level course covers a wide range of social justice issues such as the environment, healthcare, gender, education, poverty, and activism. Over six weeks, students will develop a firm grasp on some of the most pressing challenges in our world today. The course takes around 32 hours to complete. Modules include “Poverty and Development,” “Climate Change and Sustainability,” and “Disease and Global Health Care.” Deadlines are flexible. English or Spanish subtitles are available. The course includes videos, readings, and quizzes.

Love as a Force For Social Justice (Stanford University)

Another course designed for beginners, the goal is to introduce students to love and its different concepts as a force for social justice. Concepts of love include agape love, which is compassion/kindness, as well as biological, psychological, religious, and other perspectives of love. Through this course, students will develop personal strength and feel empowered to learn from each other. Topics include love in action, poetic expressions of love, non-violent communication, and so on. The course takes six weeks to complete. Deadlines are flexible.

Feminism and Social Justice (University of California Santa Cruz)

This course is an adaptation of a long-running course created by Distinguished Professor Bettina Aptheker. Students will learn a broad definition of feminism and take a closer look at three major events in feminism’s history. The 1951 Empire Zinc strike, the 1970s trial of Angela Davis, and the Me Too movement are covered. It’s a beginner level course that takes about 7 hours to complete. Anyone interested in women’s rights, gender equality, and feminism will benefit greatly from this course. Deadlines are flexible. English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish subtitles are available.

Social Work Practice: Advocating Social Justice and Change (University of Michigan)

This course can be taken on its own or as part of the Social Work: Practice, Policy, and Research MasterTrack Certificate Program. Students will learn about social workers and how they participate in social change by helping individuals, families, and communities. It’s a great course for anyone interested in pursuing social work as a career. They’ll learn about the history of social work, the different roles social workers play, themes that guide the practice, and challenges. These challenges are explored through a social justice perspective. Deadlines are flexible. The course takes 12 hours to complete over four weeks. English subtitles are available.

Writing for Social Justice (University of California Berkeley)

This course focuses on how writing about personal, political, and social issues can change the world and solve problems. Students will learn how to communicate what they care about by improving their writing. They’ll learn things like the power of personal journaling, writing letters to public officials, writing opinion articles, and creating a blog or podcast about issues they care about. The course includes reading examples. Students will also share writing with their peers. Areas of focus include choosing powerful vocabulary, how to persuade, how to rely on evidence instead of emotion, and how/where to publish work. The course is self-paced and takes four weeks with a 4-5 hours per week commitment. A verified certificate is available for a $50 fee. There’s a video transcript available in English.

Work and Employment for a Sustainable Future (SDG Academy)

Most social justice issues are interlocked with work and employment. Economically, the world is fragile and growth is uneven. There are still hundreds of millions of people without a job. In this course, students learn from experts from Harvard University, the International Labor Organization, and more. There’s a specific focus on SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. Topics include the state of global income and employment; employment barriers; and the future of work. This course is intended for policy professionals curious about the Sustainable Development Goals, advanced undergrads and graduated with an interest in economics and the SDGs, and development practitioners. There are seven modules. They take about 6 weeks to complete with a weekly commitment of 2-4 hours. It is self-paced. If you want a verified certificate, there’s a $49 fee.