A recent Carnegie Corporation report writes about the task of the university to prepare students to live lives of responsible leadership, thoughtful citizenship and productive work:
To prepare all students for effective participation in today’s society we need a contemporary curriculum bridging the arts and sciences and the professional disciplines, connecting the past to the future and theory to experience, providing the basis for conversation across cultural differences and professional specialization, and developing the capacity for critical inquiry and understanding (Carnegie Corporation 2000).
Responding to this call, a group of UCD faculty in the social sciences and humanities have developed the “Social Justice” signature area: a minor with associated scholarly events. Social Justice’s interdisciplinary theme empowers students to acquire the intellectual tools and moral commitment to participate effectively and responsibly in the world.
Engaging topics such as democracy, education, consumerism, media, race, class, and gender, students acquire the intellectual tools to investigate, and the practical knowledge to affect, how these systems, practices, and identities actually interact in our dynamic world. In the classroom and in service to the community, students thereby gain the ability to face 21st century challenges with intelligence and moral courage.