New College’s Equity Studies is more than 20 years old! However, it remains young, dynamic and robust. To renew the curriculum and build even a stronger program, we are exited to announce a new name for the program: Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity (CSES). CSES questions the dominant conceptualization of equity and provides frameworks on theories of transformative social change rooted in political activism and formations of solidarity. The program encourages students to apply theory in action through organizing and practicing solidarity in making a more just world.
Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity is an interdisciplinary program that explores how social relations and practices of power and privilege are (re)produced locally and transnationally. In CSES, we question the dominant conceptualization of equity by the state, educational programs, the non-profit sectors and community organizations as individualized and de-historicized social differences.
CSES is a hub of critical disability studies teaching and learning. The program provides students with theoretical and practical tools to study social, political, economic and historical injustices. CSES takes a unique approach to undergraduate education that values student experiential learning and community knowledge. The learning goal of CSES is to provide frameworks on theories of transformative social change rooted in political activism and formations of solidarity. The program encourages students to apply theory in action through organizing and practicing solidarity in making a more just world and creates a dynamic learning environment that extends far beyond the university walls. With a vibrant student body, dynamic faculty members, connection with a wide range of community partners and a bold curriculum, CSES at New College is a leader in studies of social justice, settler colonialism, race, gender, sexuality, disability, land/water and sustainability, activism, solidarity and the art of resistance, and global food equity and security.
Part of the process of the name change was a robust dialogue with program students. Most were excited and supportive of the change. They suggested that the new program name is more reflective of the work that the faculty and staff are doing–not simply learning and thinking about equity but putting into practice how to enact changes in society that are transformative through various actions that require solidarity.