Racial Justice (Minor)

Criminology Department

Maria Mouratidis, Psy.D., Chair
Amy Grau, Ph.D.

Degrees offered



Main Campus



The criminology department, in a bold effort to advance and fortify our commitment to working for racial justice and to fulfilling our mission to educate women and men as leaders to transform the world, offers a minor of study in racial justice that any student, of any major, may choose to complete to enhance their ways understanding of the complex problem of structural racism and to formulate their own response toward dismantling structural racism through their chosen career path. Students completing this minor will explore the concepts of racism and racial justice through lenses of a range of disciplines (including criminology, philosophy, political science, psychology, religious studies, and sociology) is consistent with the liberal arts foundation of criminology.

CRM-310 Criminal Justice System
PHL-324 Critical Philosophy of Race
POL-344 Civil Liberties, Civil Rights
PSY-2XX Racial Trauma
RST-345  Justice and Peace
SOC-209 Race, Class, and Gender


CRM-310 The Criminal Justice System

Examines the American criminal justice system. Introduces students to the workings of police, courts and corrections in American society, and how each functions as a mechanism of social control. Explores local, state and federal agencies as individual components of the comprehensive and interrelated system of justice. Prerequisites: CRM-101; PSY-210 or CRM-360. [3 credits]

PHL-324 Critical Philosophy of Race

Examines the concept of race and the phenomenon of racism. Differentiates between individual racism and institutional racism, with a strong focus on the latter. Topics addressed may include: The concept of race as both constructed and real, the politics of racialized identity, epistemologies of ignorance, the persistence of racial inequality, reparations, and the intersection of race with gender, class and sexuality. The corseis heavily interdisciplinary, drawing from history, sociology, gender studies, comparative literature, African-American studies, and Hispanic/Latino studies. Prerequisite: 200-level philosophy course. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level course. [ 3 credits ]

POL-344 Civil Liberties, Civil Rights

Introduces students to the study of civil liberties as protected by the Constitution of the United States, with a primary focus on those rights incorporated into the Bill of Rights, especially the freedoms of speech, press, association, and religion. Also addresses the rights to privacy, franchise and citizenship, due process, equal protection against race, gender, and other discrimination, and the rights of those accused or crimes and the death penalty. Confronts contemporary civil liberties issues in a post 9/11 world and the global war on terror by touching on such matters as interrogation and torture, killing and assassination, detention and trial. Provides a deeper understanding of two central questions: how the Constitution protects us from each other, and how the Constitution protects us from our government. Fulfills general education requirement in social science. [ 3 credits ]

RST-345 Justice and Peace

Analyzes contemporary issues of justice and peace, including classism, racism, sexism and violence. Topics such as world hunger, terrorism and heterosexism will be considered from personal, communal and global perspectives within the context of theological and moral teachings of various religious traditions. Prerequisites: RST-105 or RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies, values and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]

SOC-209 Race, Class, and Gender

Explores the intersecting systems of inequality, race, ethnicity, social class and gender. Examines the construction of identity categorizations and links them to our current experiences and conceptions of self. Covers the nature of privilege and its reproduction in social institutions such as the workplace, education, and the criminal justice system. Fulfills general education requirements in social science and cross-cultural studies. Prerequisite: SOC-101 or permission of instructor. [3 credits]