Master of Arts in Social Justice
and Human Rights
Learning for Action
In this difficult time for social justice, people are seeking social change, greater justice, and increased protection of human rights. To help individuals become more effective change agents, BGSP offers the Master’s program in Social Justice and Human Rights. Directed by professor and human rights activist Dr. Stephen Soldz, the program features coursework and experiential learning on social and cultural analysis and effective change strategies. In addition, it fosters a deeper understanding of the individual, group, and organizational dynamic processes that can advance or impede effective change. The program features an interdisciplinary faculty of scholar/activists with backgrounds in sociology, law, public health, psychology, psychoanalysis, and the humanities.
The M.A. in Social Justice and Human Rights prepares graduates to be effective change agents in social justice or human rights organizations, including the nonprofit, government, and policy realms as well as in grass-roots organizations and movements.
We are currently not accepting applications into the M.A. program in Social Justice and Human Rights at this time, as we are working on developing a shorter program with a similar mission. If you wish to sign up for more information, we will keep you informed about updates to this program.
You will learn to:
- Understand the fundamental principles of social justice and human rights
- Analyze social structures and their influence on individuals, groups, and communities
- Practice social change and human rights advocacy ethically
- Strategize and lead social change efforts
- Produce and analyze research for social change
- Understand important individual and group psychodynamics, helping you to:
- Understand how the unconscious influences social behavior
- Strengthen social change initiatives by recognizing unacknowledged conflicts
- Deal with group and organizational dynamics to facilitate change
- Communicate using new, transformative strategies
Most importantly, you will learn skills for working knowledgeably, cooperatively, and critically with others about the social issues that concern you, in the interest of social action.
- Participate in small inter-disciplinary seminars
- Engage in two semesters of research methods for social justice to provide skills important to employers, including needs assessment, program evaluation, and research analysis
- Attend invited lectures by distinguished scholars and activists to complement classroom learning
- Participate in and study the dynamics of an experiential group, in order to learn to understand and manage group dynamics
- Join a one-year internship in an organization promoting social justice or human rights, to gain hands-on experience in social change and organizational dynamics
- Produce a final master’s project: a work sample to bring to your next job, such as a research paper, a proposal for a pilot program, a grant proposal, or an advocacy project such as an educational video or documentary film
In Year Two, you and your peers will join the year-long Integrative Seminar to pull together the content and process learning taking place throughout the program.
- This program provides you with additional skills for:
- Recognizing and managing group dynamics
- Comprehending and dealing with resistance to change
- You’ll engage in an experiential group each semester and take a didactic class in group dynamics to integrate listening and intervention skills for social practitioners
- You’ll have the opportunity to integrate social change and psychodynamic thought in various content areas, such as peace studies, trauma, racial oppression, and gender
- An integrative seminar helps pull the practical and theoretical work together
- Social change efforts and psychoanalysis share fundamental values and tools, including:
- The furtherance of human freedom for individuals, communities and societies
- A commitment to the seeking of truth
- Talk, listening, and thoughtful reflection as a way of creating a capacity for constructive action
- By supplementing traditional social change efforts with psychodynamic learning, this program helps practitioners translate these values into change efforts, and develop needed tools to address obstacles to successful advocacy and activism
BGSP offers the Pioneer Scholarship for Social Justice for incoming students.
- Award amounts are up to 50% of course tuition
- Scholarship s are renewable for up to three additional semesters (2 years total)
- Look for details on our Financial Aid page
- A recent college graduate seeking a career that furthers social change?
- Already working in social change, but seeking more knowledge and skills?
- Looking for a career change that promotes your values?
- Looking for ways to resolve resistances to social justice?
If so, this program might be just what you are looking for. Contact us for more information.
MEET THE PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Stephen Soldz, Ph.D.
The program is led by Stephen Soldz, Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert and media resource on these subjects for CNN, NPR, the New York Times and Washington Post and a variety of international media outlets.