December 11, 2019
American taxpayers spend billions of dollars to fund a growing number of mandatory social justice courses, degrees and certificates as well as events at public universities nationwide, according to a study that documents the financial burden of a robust leftist movement in academia. Conducted by a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to academic research, the analysis dissects the curriculum requirements of 60 colleges and universities across the country to show a distinct—and costly—trend towards cramming social justice down the collective throats of all students, regardless of their major. In fact, some public institutions of higher learning have even incorporated social justice into math, offering classes such as “Algebra and Statistics for Social Justice” and “Mathematics and Social Justice.”
Many universities have transformed their curriculum to include social justice in undergraduate and general education requirements, assuring that every student is exposed to radical leftwing ideals before obtaining a degree in any field. Examples of courses at public universities that fulfill the mandatory social justice requirement include; “Queer Arabs in the U.S.,” “Power, Racism and Africana Liberation,” “Hip Hop Workshop,” and “Grassroots Organizing for Change in Communities of Color.” Other colleges offer special graduate degrees in “Social Justice and Human Rights” (Arizona State University) and “Social Justice Counseling” (University of Florida) as well as minors in “Community Change Studies,” (City College of New York), “Gender, Health and Healthcare Equity,” (University of Iowa) and “Sustainability and Environmental Justice in African and African Diaspora Communities” (California State University Northridge).
“In the last twenty years a body of ‘social justice educators’ has come to power in American higher education,” the report states. The in-depth study, which also considers private colleges, was conducted by the group’s research director, David Randall, who has multiple graduate degrees including a Master of Arts from an Ivy League university. “These professors and administrators are transforming higher education into advocacy for progressive politics,” the report continues. Here is how they are doing it: “Social justice advocates have inserted requirements that students take courses in areas such as diversity, experiential learning, and social justice, and also erected a system of multiple requirements and double-counted courses that steer students to take social justice courses to fulfill other general education requirements.” In other words, they are offering students incentives to enroll in the courses they might otherwise not take.
Writing programs have been especially impacted by the social justice movement, which affects every student since typically all freshmen must take English regardless of their major. Boise State University’s writing center identifies its mission as “increasing critical awareness of privilege” and City College of New York offers freshman composition that includes “Rhetoric and Social Justice in Writing Resistance.” At the University of Washington, Tacoma the English program aims to dismantle “white privilege, which includes white language privilege.” Some public universities have even created entire social justice programs that cover every possible “injustice.” George Mason University’s Social Justice and Human Rights program examines a “wide variety of oppressions such as racism, sexism, heterosexism, anti-immigrant oppression, ableism, economic injustice, animal exploitation, environmental injustice, as well as related denials of human rights, such as human trafficking, settler colonialism, mass incarceration, use of sweatshop and child labor, unequal access to education, and voter disenfranchisement.” Indiana University offers a counseling minor that focuses on becoming “more attentive to multicultural and social justice issues that impact the lives of others.”
These special courses and programs come with a hefty price tag. Using a formula based one public school’s requirement that every student take two social justice courses, researchers came up with a minimum annual cost of $10 billion for the nation’s more than 4,000 colleges and universities. The figure is based on Arizona State University’s mandatory two-course social justice curriculum at the discounted $4,212 for state residents. The figure is multiplied by the 2.2 million students nationwide who immediately enroll in college following high school graduation, the author writes. “If all social justice requirements nationwide are the same as Arizona State University’s, a cautious estimate for the minimum cost is $10 billion,” according to the report. Additionally, the government subsidizes many of the social justice programs through federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), which spent north of a million dollars to train two dozen social justice math teachers in Philadelphia.