The University of Pittsburgh will begin requiring its first-year students to take a course on anti-Black racism following letters and petitions urging the university to take action, the Tribune Review reported.
Provost Ann E. Cudd wrote in a letter to students that the course, titled “Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology and Resistance” will be required for all first-year students at the institute’s Pittsburgh and Bradford campuses, who will be automatically enrolled in the class for the fall term, according to the Tribune.
The course is reportedly free and counts for one academic credit as part of the university’s anti-racism initiative. It’s unclear how the class is considered free, and the university did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication. The University of Pittsburgh is also a state-related university, meaning it receives taxpayer funding.
The course draws inspiration from the “anti-racist organizing” following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others in recent months. “It also seeks to examine the development, spread, and articulations of anti-Black racism in the United States and around the world. The course will grapple with three key areas of inquiry: the roots, ideology, and resistance to anti-Black racism,” a course description says.
It will also “highlight the theme of resistance, paying close attention to the range of political strategies and tactics Black activists and their allies have employed in their effort to obtain a more just and equal society here and internationally.”
Students are expected to be able to identify “current structures of power, privilege and inequality” and articulate personal beliefs and opinions about race, so that they may leave the course with an introduction to “Black radical tradition” and “resistance to Anti-Black racism.”
Many other universities will begin requiring students to take ethnic studies courses following the protests and riots that have emerged across the country since May following the death of George Floyd. Students at California State University (CSU) will be required to take an ethnic studies course to graduate beginning in the 2021-2022 academic year per a law signed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in August. The law will cost an estimated $16 million and applies to all of CSU’s 23 campuses. (RELATED: New Law In California Requires College Students Take Ethnic Studies Course To Graduate)
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Monday requiring all 430,000 California State University undergraduates to take ethnic studies, a notable rebuke to the university’s governing board, which had passed its own, much broader requirement last monthhttps://t.co/OoZu8UT2Ep
— KTLA (@KTLA) August 18, 2020
Similarly, graduate schools have also taken steps to gauge students’ beliefs on the police shootings of people like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The University of Minnesota Medical School application includes an optional question that asks students to share their “lessons learned” about “systemic racism” in the wake of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks’s deaths.
A university spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the question is on the application to provide insight into the applicant’s “sociocultural humility,” but that an answer or non-answer will not result in acceptance or rejection.