Department website: https://www.uwplatt.edu/department/social-and-environmental-justice
Program Coordinator: Chris Underwood
Office: 257 Gardner Hall
About the Social and Environmental Justice Program and Minor
UW-Platteville students can earn either a Minor or Certificate in Social and Environmental Justice.
The Social and Environmental Justice Program is grounded in the conviction that in a world plagued by conflict, war, and manifold forms of degradation, both human and environmental, “true peace,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it, “is not merely the absence of tension – it is the presence of justice.”
Justice, however, is not present where there is a disregard or contempt for human rights. For that reason the Social and Environmental Justice Program fully endorses the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948. In addition, because of the indivisible link between humans and the environment, the program is committed not only to respecting and promoting basic human rights, but also to affirming and actualizing environmental imperatives.
The Social and Environmental Justice Program aims at developing students who are aware of our world’s major challenges – e.g., poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, war, slavery, and all forms of human and environmental degradation – and who are committed to addressing these threats to the common good in the most constructive ways possible.
Who Should Study Social and Environmental Justice?
Open to students from any major or concentration, the Social and Environmental Justice Minor is designed specifically for students who take seriously the idea that an educated person is one who embodies a sensitivity to the social, ecological, and moral challenges of our time, and who through structured study and practical field work act to make a constructive difference in our world.
What to Expect
Using courses that fulfill general education requirements in various disciplines, the program focuses on developing the idea and practice of social and environmental justice. Classroom study is followed by an off-campus field experience with an organization or partner involved in on-the-ground social and environmental justice development and/or relief in a location either within the United States or another country.
Field experiences include, but are not limited to, projects in agriculture, community development, education, engineering, health care, job training, reforestation, habitat restoration, and small business development. The field experience involves supervised study and service related to specific development or relief projects and enables students to learn not only about the communities in which they are immersed, but also about the kinds of development that are appropriate within particular cultural contexts.
SEJ 2230 Introduction to Social and Environmental Justice 3 Credits
Introduction to major issues related to social and environmental justice through an interdisciplinary examination of historical, cultural, social, political, economic, and environmental issues dominating our planet.
Typically Offered: Fall
SEJ 4660 Cooperative Field Experience 3-6 Credits
The student is expected to engage in a project in an off-campus setting that significantly involves the practice of social and/or environmental justice. The nature of the assignment, type of experience, number of credits and evaluation procedures are to be stipulated in a statement of agreement (learning contract) between the student and the SEJ Program.
Components: Field Studies
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: SEJ 2230 and junior standing or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring
SEJ 4940 Capstone Seminar 2-3 Credits
Upon returning from their off-campus field experience, students will engage in an evaluation of their field experience and an integration of that experience with their prior course work.
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: SEJ 4660 and junior standing or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring