Section Description Provided by Instructor
NOTE - This course does not satisfy the Professional Responsibility requirement.
This is the continuation of the year long Diversity and Innovation seminar begun in the fall. It is only open to students enrolled in the year long seminar and research practicum, which explores ways to advance social change systemically, and to understand lawyers' potential as participants in institutional redesign. Its explicit focus is on exploring higher education's' role in addressing a wide range of "wicked problems," such as racial and gender inequality, higher education access and success, K-12 education, mass incarceration, undocumented immigration, and community disinvestment. The course offers students the opportunity to develop knowledge and capabilities that are crucial to be effective in advancing social change in a wide variety of contexts, such as facilitation, problem framing, using multi-disciplinary knowledge, conducting institutional analysis, mapping, collaboration, information gathering and analysis, and multi-media presentation. The course also examines the role of innovative lawyers in participating in this kind of systems change. Its approach is now used by seminar alumni to address a variety of complex problems that cannot be addressed solely through litigation.
The first semester is focused on exploring frameworks and strategies for advancing change beyond the context of litigation, and then in the spring semester, the students conduct primary research in the field as part of their own projects. Many of the project sites are affiliated with Columbia's Center for Institutional and Social Change, which Professor Sturm directs.
Examples of student projects from this year include:
* Undocumented Students in Higher Education: This project explores the role of higher education institutions in facilitating the entry and advancement of undocumented students in universities. It also describes and analyzes the role of undocumented student leadership at these institutions: what it is, how it forms, and how it succeeds.
* Linking Diversity and Public Problem Solving at Syracuse University: This project examines a initiative named "Scholarship in Action" undertaken at Syracuse University to fully engage underrepresented communities, both through increasing diversity and inclusion within the school, and deepening the university's collaboration with communities aimed at improving K-12 education, revitalizing cultural institutions, and rebuilding local communities. This project explores how specific changes, and which type, have become "hard wired" or part of the school?s DNA, in order to offer concrete strategies for organizational culture transformation to others. It also maps the collaborative relationships between the university and community, and the existing and potential impact of those collaborations on systems change.
* Building Pathways from Criminal Justice to College for Formerly Incarcerated Students: This project examines the strategies put into practice by College Initiative, an organization working to enable people formerly involved in the criminal justice system to enter and succeed in college. It also explores how building collective efficacy through participation in a Reentry Education Network enables changes in policy and practice that broaden the scope and impact of CI's interventions.
*The Roles of Innovative Lawyers: This project identifies the roles that lawyers play in advancing systems change, interviews lawyers involved in advancing social change through systemic approaches, and develops a podcast to share the insights of these innovators with the public.
A course overview and tentative syllabus is available on the class website, at http://seminar.groundshift.org. You are also encouraged to speak with students who took the seminar this past year. Their contact information can be obtained by emailing Professor Sturm.
Seminar Selection: Admission to the seminar is by permission of the instructor. Interested students should email Professor Sturm (firstname.lastname@example.org) a cv and a paragraph describing: (1) the reasons they want to take the seminar, (2) any relevant background, coursework or experience, (3) possible areas of research interest, and (4) questions about the seminar. They should also include contact information and times they are available for an in-person or telephone interview with Professor Sturm. Students who apply before June 15 will receive preference. If space remains, Professor Sturm will consider applications for the seminar throughout the summer. Students are encouraged to consult current seminar participants about their experience.
Seminar Assessment: Students may receive major or minor writing credit for their work in the seminar. Students will be evaluated based on their seminar participation, their reflection papers and research memos prepared over the course of the semester, their data gathering and analysis, and their final project.
T 6:15p - 9:05p
Method of Evaluation
J.D. Writing Credit
Minor (automatic), Major (only upon consultation)
Diversity and Innovation, Fall 2011
Year-long seminar. Instructor's permission required, based on submission of resume, email to Professor Sturm, and phone or in-person interview. Only students enrolled in the full year seminar will be permitted to enroll in the spring semester.