Prescott College adds on-campus Master’s program

By Mike Scott

Prescott College is adding a Social Justice and Human Rights on-campus Master’s program scheduled for its first semester in the fall of 2012. According to Mary Poole, one of the Prescott College faculty members working on the initiative, this program is designed to “ … help students learn directly about how to do effective social justice work from the people doing that work, through experience.”

In the Prescott College community, there is a demand for rigorous, creative approaches to human rights issues that are currently being mishandled or ignored. The new MA program will allow students to engage both intellectually and experientially with the world’s most urgent matters in social justice today.

Though the details are pending approval, the new MA program is designed to emphasize analytical and critical thinking, particularly through fieldwork. The participants of this program will deal with global ethical issues, such as the Kony 2012 campaign.

Currently dominating social media networks, the Kony 2012 campaign is calling for the indictment of Joseph Kony, the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a militant group based in central Africa. Poole cites this recent miscommunication between Ugandan citizens and the Invisible Children organization as an example of international mishandlings of political ethics. In a recent article in “The Atlantic,” Teju Cole calls this the “white savior industrial complex.” In the seething article, Cole says, “what Africa needs more pressingly than Kony’s indictment is more equitable civil society, more robust democracy, and a fairer system of justice.”

Programs like these separate Prescott College from other institutions of higher education. With an emphasis on immersion, experiential learning, and critical thinking, the Master’s Program in Social Justice and Human Rights will afford participants a more rounded, big picture look at the world.

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