LMU students marching in support of Black Lives Matter

BCLA Classes for Anti-Black Racism and Racial Justice

In support of student efforts to learn more about institutionalized racism, the courses below focus substantively on racial justice, as well as carry Core credit and/or articulate to liberal arts majors and minors. The Bellarmine Forum, Transformative Justice Where We Stand, offers courses for 2020/21 that will also engage students in a movement regarding the U.S. criminal justice system, the prison industrial complex, and racial and ethnic disparities. Included in the Bellarmine Forum are guest speakers, the Justice on Trial Film Festival, and community engaged learning opportunities. Please visit the LMU Bulletin for the most up-to-date course information. 

  • Course Description: An introductory course designed to give an overview of African American Studies in order to familiarize the student with the history, culture, aspirations, and contemporary issues of the African American experience.

    University Core fulfilled: Foundations: Studies in American Diversity.

  • Course Description: A study of the Black Aesthetic as expressed in cultural productions such as music, dance, theatre, film, television, painting, sculpture, and literature along with the intersection of the cultural politics of race in American society.

    University Core fulfilled: Foundations: Studies in American Diversity.

  • Course Description:An introduction to the application and interpretation of statistical analysis to produce knowledge about race and ethnicity with a special emphasis on African Americans.

    University Core fulfilled: Foundations: Quantitative Reasoning.

  • Course Description: An examination of the history and practices of the African American church and the role it has played in the development of African American identity, culture, and social activism.

  • Course Description:This course traces the development of family theory, meanings, representation, and formation from the period of slavery up to recent times. The course engages long-standing and current debates about black families in the research scholarship across disciplines and in the society at large.

    University Core fulfilled: Flag: Engaged Learning.

  • Course Description: A survey of the effects of long-standing discrimination and deprivation upon family structure, occupational patterns, health and educational conditions, motivation, and personal as well as group identity. An analysis of the Black power concept and its influence upon the growing community control of the ghetto.

    University Core fulfilled: Flag: Engaged Learning.

  • Course Description: The aim of this course is to provide an interdisciplinary examination of the complex array of African American life with emphasis upon political and social thought since Reconstruction. These phenomena will be explored and critiqued as the foundation for various survival mechanisms and strategies employed by African Americans over the last 150 years.  This will be done via close readings of classic and contemporary texts, and viewing of media and art that provide their own methodological windows into the dynamics of African American thought, cultural production and social issues.

  • Course Description: A study of the artist Prince— from his record deal with Warner Brothers Records as a teenager to his status as one of the best-selling musical artists of all time. This course will examine the prolific, controversial, eclectic, and unprecedented career of Prince as he cultivated his iconic subversive image, consistently defying the norms of both the music industry and society.

  • Course Description: In light of our current political and social national environment, the course will explore our theme that America is undergoing Reconstruction 2.0. Over the course of the semester we will interrogate expressions of white supremacy over the last 100 -150 years. What social, political, cultural and religious connections can be drawn between the Reconstruction era and these post-Obama years?

    Students will be able to recognize how AA social thought has been articulated by various leaders historically and contemporaneously.

    Students will learn about African American intellectual, social, cultural and religious leaders such as Washington, Dubois, Locke, Wells, Baldwin, King, Baker, and Rustin in conversation with West, hooks, Barber, and others.

  • Course Description: This course will explore the ways in which the American legal system has contributed to the shaping of race and gender in American culture.

  • Course Description: This course examines the issues of sex, race, and violence and their implications for the individual, the family, and the community. Emphasis is placed on the role of socialization and the myths that impact societal attitudes about sex and violence. Students have an opportunity to identify and to explore factors that influence the manifestation of physical violence (including dating violence, child abuse, and domestic violence), and sexual violence (including date rape, stranger rape, and marital rape) across the dimensions of race, ethnicity, and gender.

  • Course Description: Humorous and humorless American literature by White and Black authors on White and Black American identities, interracial relationships and passing for a race other than one's own from the 19th century through the 20th century. Conversations not normally had will be encouraged in class to discern fictions and truths of the laughable and consequential precepts and practices about race and color as they intersect with gender, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity and creed in American stories and dramas. Respected authors, such as Twain, Faulkner, O'Neill, Hughes, Morrison, Larsen and Smith will be covered. Histories and critical commentary, such as Pieterse's White on Black, and Roediger's Black on White will be consulted. Anecdotes by Americans of color other than Black also will be included to diagram and diagnose the sanity and insanity of Americans being identified or identifying themselves on the vectors of race and color.

  • Course Description: A social and cultural history of North America from the pre-Columbian period to the American Revolution with a focus on the roots of American race relations. The course will address the impact of competing cultures as they developed and collided during 200 years of conflict.

    University Core fulfilled: Foundations: Studies in American Diversity.

  • Course Description: Projections shows that the United States is quickly becoming a minority-majority nation. U.S. Census data suggests that by 2044, over half of the population will be non-white. Given these projections, it is important that we understand how different racial groups interact with one another socially and politically. Academic research often focuses on white-minority relations, yet given future demographics, it is of growing importance to understand intra-minority relations. This course will focus primarily on Black-Latinx relations, while offering comparisons to their Asian and White counterparts. We will begin by focusing on the important issues and topics that Black and Latinx groups encountering the US. After grounding the groups in their individual contexts, we will take various political issues to determine how Blacks and Latinx groups work together (or against each other). This course will also ground those arguments around theories of threat, contact, and group positioning, among others. At the end of the course, students will have a nuanced perspective on race-relations that is not easily explained by notions of complete solidarity or discrimination, but rather a complicated relationship that is operationalized through state actors and white supremacy.

  • Course Description: An examination of the interaction between ethnic and racial minorities and the majority group in the light of current sociological theories of social conflict and social change.

    University Core fulfilled: Flag: Oral Skills.


  • Course Description: This course will introduce students to the meaning and significance of spiritual practice in its distinctively Christian expressions and expressions associated with other traditions. The focus of the course is on “lived religion”–the embodied, eclectic and often improvisational character of spiritual experience, both collective and individual. It also seeks to understand the critical role of practice in shaping spiritual meaning and identity.

    University Core fulfilled: Foundations: Theological Inquiry.

  • Course Description: An introduction to critical thinking skills about concepts such as gender, race, class, and sexuality, how these intersect in lives of women of color together with women’s strategies of surviving, resisting, and overcoming barriers.

    University Core fulfilled: Foundations: Studies in American Diversity.

  • Course Description: The Core experience begins with a First Year Seminar (FYS) that introduces students to the spirit of academic excellence and intellectual rigor at LMU. Aimed at improving students’ written and oral communication skills, the FYS invites students to engage critically and reflectively with scholarly discourse in a variety of formats: written, oral, and visual. The topic for each section of FYS is chosen and developed by its instructor within one of seven broad themes including 1) Faith and Reason, 2) Ethics and Justice, 3) Virtue and Justice, 4) Culture, Art, and Society, 5) Power and Privilege, 6) Globalization, and 7) Science, Nature, and Society.

  • Course Description: A seminar examining the theory and practice of punishment in the form of detention and incarceration, and how these contribute to defining contemporary understandings of individual agency and of the modern democratic state. 

    This course is part of the 2020-21 Bellarmine Forum, Transformative Justice Where We Stand.

  • Course Description: This course explores resilience in communities with high rates of poverty.  The course is designed to address on both the psychological factors and community assets that support people toward developing strengths and resilience.  Topics in the course will include understanding the often-negative consequences of poverty on educational, social and behavioral outcomes.  For the Fall 2020 semesters there will be a special focus on the impact of criminal (in)justice system on communities and how people respond to form stronger policies and communities.  This is an Engaged Learning course and students should expect to engage with a community organization or school on a weekly basis.   

    There are main learning objectives of the course:  

    1. Understand the challenges of young people facing poverty, particularly urban poverty in Los Angeles.  
    2. Comprehending psychological resilience and how it manifests in youth 
    3. Understand the components that comprise community resilience 
    4. Ability to apply components of psychological and community resilience to Los Angeles urban community contexts in ways that promote positive change.   

    This course is part of the 2020-21 Bellarmine Forum, Transformative Justice Where We Stand.

  • Course Description: The community psychology course introduces students to the rigorous academic discipline of community psychology, the theoretical approach to community-based interventions and its emphasis on research and action. Students will gain an understanding of the role, functions, and responsibilities of a community psychologist working with and within community organizations. The course stresses student engagement in transformative action, allowing them to integrate practical experience with community psychology research and theory.

    Open to Psychology majors and minors only.

    Junior or senior standing required.

    Prerequisites: Grade of C (2.0) or higher in PSYC 1000PSYC 2001PSYC 2002, and PSYC 2003.

    This course is part of the 2020-21 Bellarmine Forum, Transformative Justice Where We Stand.

  • Course Description: Engaging theological, philosophical, and legal thinkers, this course will explore the many theoretical and practical difficulties which arise in attempting to reconcile an effective and just system of social punishment with the virtue of mercy.

    University Core fulfilled: Integrations: Ethics and Justice; Flags: Information Literacy, Oral Skills.

    This course is part of the 2020-21 Bellarmine Forum, Transformative Justice Where We Stand.

  • Course Description: This course examines cultural constructions of crime and punishment. Although the course focuses primarily on the U.S. criminal justice system, we will attend to the prison industrial complex’s global reach. Consequently, the course gives students the opportunity to examine one of the most pressing social issues of our time. We will focus our study of cultural constructions of crime and punishment in three different rhetorical cultures: public discourse, prisoners’ discourse, and prison activism discourse. These three arenas map onto the three units of the course: 1) Crime and Punishment in the Cultural Imagination; 2) Crime and Punishment in the Prisoners’ Imagination, and 3) From Criminal Justice to Transformative Justice.

    Junior or senior standing required.

    Majors only.

    Prerequisites: CMST 1600CMST 1700CMST 2800, and either CMST 2400 or CMST 2500.

    University Core fulfilled: Integrations: Interdisciplinary Connections.

    This course is part of the 2020-21 Bellarmine Forum, Transformative Justice Where We Stand.