by Haika Mrema
The University of Connecticut (UConn) will officially make its “Anti-Black Racism” (ABR) course mandatory for all undergraduate students as part of the core curriculum’s new social justice requirement.
Provost Anne D’Alleva announced on May 17 that the requirement will go into effect during the 2024-2025 academic year with a course that will be similar to the one-credit ABR elective that has been offered since 2021.
“An education at our university must provide many opportunities to confront the history and current reality of injustice and human rights abuses, and we expect our students to be leaders in creating a more just and equitable world. ABR and the curricular changes that are in development are a powerful point of departure from the status quo,” D’Alleva stated.
University Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz told Campus Reform that the course requirement was created by the University Senate, which approved the motion 36-25. “The Senate’s discussion includes different perspectives voiced by various members of that body, including faculty and students, so we would refer you to that discussion,” Reitz stated.
According to UConn’s website, the fall 2022 version of the course was designed to instruct students about “foundational concepts related to Black consciousness, Black resistance, Black resilience, and intersectional solidarity.”
Course objectives also included the ability to “[q]uestion the consequences of anti-Black racism in areas such as Black health and wellness; Black agency and resilience; and/or anti-Blackness in higher education.” Students were also informed on how to “[l]ocate valuable resources throughout the University of Connecticut that work to disrupt anti-Black racism for the collective good.”
Citing newly created classes like “Why the Jews? Confronting Antisemitism” and “Confronting Anti-Asian Racism,” D’Alleva also noted that the ABR course has served as a template to “help us as a community to strive for a more equitable and inclusive university and broader society.”
On May 1, UConn’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion endorsed the ABR class requirement, referring to the mandate as “an important starting point for addressing barriers to success on our campus and in our society, especially given the spate of anti-Black racism that was made apparent by the murder of George Floyd in 2020 and that persists in current efforts to ban Critical Race Theory.”
“Making the anti-Black racism course a requirement for every Husky undergraduate is not the final step, but it is the necessary next step in improving the living and learning experiences at UConn, and in enhancing the value of a UConn education,” the office suggested.
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Haika Mrema is a Texas correspondent for Campus Reform. She is currently attending Baylor University and pursuing a Marketing degree. Additionally, Haika serves as the Vice President for her Network of Enlightened Women chapter and writes occasional op-ed’s for her school newspaper: The Baylor Lariat.
Photo “University of Connecticut” by University of Connecticut.