for more information.
In the Inequality in America: Policy, Community, and the Politics of Empowerment program students actively delve into major challenges of our time: poverty, inequality and social change. The program pursues three major framing questions utilizing a number of relevant and contested theories to frame the discussion throughout the semester. The questions are: What are some of the root causes of increasing levels of economic, political, social inequality and insecurity and how does this impact all social classes and groups in the United States? How are economic, political, and social inequality reproduced? How do we create more opportunity for all Americans squeezed by economic, political, and social inequality and what are some concrete social change tools for making these changes? To understand these questions the program looks at the economy, housing systems, education, welfare, government policies, urban sprawl, regional race and class segregation, and institutional discrimination. Connecting these issues is at the core of the program. Instead of just learning about these problems, students explore solutions and become engaged in organizations committed to social transformation. Students have direct conversations and work with practitioners in government, the private sector, nonprofit social change organizations, academia, labor unions, schools, and other community institutions that in one way or another claim to be addressing some aspect of economic, political, and social inequality and poverty.
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota is increasingly diverse and in some areas still has a strong and vibrant economy, yet many people are not sharing in this vitality. As in most large urban regions there is a growing gap between the rich and poor, increasing geographic and social segregation and polarization between these groups. Forty-five percent of the children in the “core” of the Twin Cities live at or below the poverty line, and an educational gap between racial groups worries many policymakers, parents, educators and students. Through critical thinking set into action, HECUA students analyze policy, lobby elected officials and engage communities. This program focuses on learning the basics of organizing in communities and workplaces, persuading others to become critically engaged, and learning to act as an effective advocate for issues and people. Building these skills is valuable for social change.
For students in need of housing, space is available at a residential hall at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. The cost is $1,400 per academic term. For information, including student eligibility, deadlines, and the application itself, visit HECUA's Housing Program.