U of O to offer new course on the Black Lives Matter movement

The University of Oregon is adding a new course to the curriculum for winter term. It's called "Black Lives Matter and American Democracy."

Posted: Oct 22, 2017 6:08 AM
Updated: Oct 22, 2017 6:08 AM

EUGENE, Ore -- The University of Oregon is adding a new course to the curriculum for winter term. It's called "Black Lives Matter and American Democracy." 

This class is what the university is calling an "experimental course." 

The course is being introduced by a new professor at the University of Oregon, Dr. Debra Thompson.

Dr. Thompson was hired this year as part of the UO's initiative to make the campus more diverse.

This initiative comes after large protests by students over the past couple of years regarding the lack of diversity in not just the student body, but also the faculty.

Dr. Thompson said this class is important because this issue is not just a hot topic right now, but has been prevalent throughout U.S. history.

"The focus on Black Lives Matter is just one way that grassroots organizations have tried to create substantial change in the breadth of American democracy," Dr. Thompson said. "There are lots of other ways too, but this is one of the ways that's been quite important in recent years."

On campus, U of O students seem to think the addition of this course is a good idea.

"Minorities are really underrepresented here, so I feel like taking a course such as this would be really beneficial to the black community," Jasmine Jackson said.

"It's like a hot topic or an important issue in America and having a class to kind of contextualize it and a formal way to teach people what's going on is really cool," said Carol Cress. 

"Potentially help a lot of students become aware of certain issues they may not face or deal with on a day to day basis personally, but that a lot of other students and especially here on campus have to deal with," Dylan Morton. 

Dr. Thompson said this class will focus on educating students on the democratic system and how our country is still working towards full democratic participation in politics, the competition between political parties, and the guarantees of civil and political liberties for all people.

Essentially, it will scrutinize our democratic system through the context of the black lives matter movement.

Dr. Thompson is hoping the class will be well-received by students and faculty at the U of O, and to fill all 60 seats come winter term. 

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