TCNJ Magazine Fall 2020

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21 FALL 2020 that became available to students in the Fall 2020 semester (see sidebar). But because the minor isn't required, Williams says the college is still missing an opportunity to truly signal its values. Institutional change would be requiring students to take social justice courses as part of the school's curriculum. "How can you be a citizen and not understand your country's history around race?" she asks. Social justice as a requirement would adequately prepare students to be people who can change society for the better no matter the career paths they ultimately take. For Bryan Cook, president of the TCNJ Lambda Nu chapter of the Phi Mu Alpha fraternity and Buddy Fox, a Phi Mu Alpha brother, the need for inclusivity couldn't be more clear. It's why they moved to solidify the values of diversity and inclusivity in their bylaws and mission in 2019, by clearly stating the need to prioritize creating safe spaces for all voices and experi- ences. Floyd's death moved the fra- ternity to raise $1,500 for a memorial fund in his name. The fraternity has also made an effort to pass the mic to students of color in an effort to give them a platform in majority-white spaces where they've traditionally been overlooked. "This moment shows how all insti- tutions can rise to the occasion and be better. I don't want TCNJ to rest on its laurels," Williams says. "We can really be at the forefront of this. We could be a model." ■ Fabiola Cineas reports on race for Vox. Long time coming College bolsters commitment to social justice with new minor Calls to make The College of New Jersey an anti-racist institu- tion, from culture to curricula, have only grown in the wake of social jus- tice protests that have swept the world this year. The college's new social jus- tice minor — a collaboration between the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and African American Studies departments — signals the school's commitment to equality at its core. "My feeling about this moment is it is key for us to not lose steam," says Janet Gray, chair of WGSS. "This is how we keep social justice front and center in the long run." The minor, which is at full capaci- ty in its inaugural semester, didn't just grow out of today's popular move- ments. Instead, it was born out of the work of African American Studies over the past 50 years and a longstand- ing push to create an academic home for the Bonner Community Scholars Program. While the need-based scholarship helped students engage in service, it lacked an academic back- bone to bolster students' understand- ing of the foundations of the inequity. "They'd go into communities trying to be do-gooders but had no clue about systemic racism or class struc- ture, so that was counterproductive," says Gray. Students in the minor will take classes across the two departments, including The History of Race in America, The Sociology of Race in America, and Introduction to Social Justice. Gray sums up the mission of the minor as critical agency — "the ability to analyze the situations they are immersed in and to make change through coalition and solidarity. And locally, because that's where it counts." — Fabiola Cineas LAUREN H. ADAMS

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