UCLA paying students to fight ‘whiteness,’ ‘patriarchy’
The University of California-Los Angeles is offering to pay students to serve as “Social Justice Advocates” who will “educate” their peers about “systems [of] oppression.”
The Social Justice Advocates program seeks students who want to help their classmates “navigate a world that operates on whiteness, patriarchy, and heteronormativity as the primary ideologies,” and comes with a quarterly stipend, the amount of which has yet to be determined.
“Social Justice Advocates will systems [of] oppression and how they intersect and build upon each other to maintain the status quo,” the description continues. “Most importantly individuals and the collective will be empowered through liberatory scholarship and practices and strengthening their emotional intelligence to create change within their spheres of influence.”
The application for the inaugural students asks aspiring Social Justice Advocates to explain their interest in social justice, list their preferred gender pronouns (such as “zi” and “hir”), and describe any experience they have in facilitating workshops on “social justice” issues.
Successful applicants will join the inaugural cohort of 8-10 Social Justice Advocates for the upcoming fall semester, during which time they are expected to commit three hours per week to their duties, which include weekly meetings and crafting presentations.
The program is funded through the Bruin Excellence & Student Transformation Grant Program (BEST), which receives funding from the university’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and from Gold Shield, Alumnae of UCLA.
Several workshops were preemptively created as part of a pilot program this year, including one addressing “Social Justice Myths,” which promises to discuss the “truths” behind topics such as “reverse racism, allyship, intersectionality, and LGBTQ rights” with the goal of “expanding the views of students and [promoting] empathy for marginalized communities through conversation.”
Another, called “All Aboard the Struggle Bus,” endeavors to teach students about the “unfathomable struggles” that minority students face “on a daily basis.”
A third workshop explores how people of color can “navigate desire and love” in a society “where ideals of beauty are based on Eurocentric standards,” asserting that “our most personal decisions hold political connotations whether we like it or not.”
Students who participated in the pilot program were ordered by their supervisor not to talk to Campus Reform, and to defer interview requests to the UCLA media department, which did not provide a response in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen
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