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Course Syllabus

Page history last edited by Romina Keshishyan 10 years, 11 months ago

Below you will find a brief course description along with some pertinent class information. Please see that attached .doc file for the complete Oakland Community Builders 97/197 syllabus. The entire syllabus is uploaded into the "Fall 2009 Syllabus" folder.


SW 97/197 section 7 Oakland Community Builders

(Sponsored by the Cal Corps Public Service Center)

4 Haviland Thursdays 5:30-7 pm 2 units, P/NP


Course Facilitators:                                                                                                         Faculty Sponsor:

Romina Keshishyan    rominak@berkeley.edu                                                                 Professor Jill Berrick, School of Social Welfare

Tahiya Sultan              tsultan@berkeley.edu


Office Hours:

Wednesdays 1-3 pm, 505 Eshleman



Students who have completed less than 60 units of undergraduate study must enroll in SW 97.  Students who have completed 60 or more units of undergraduate study must enroll in SW 197.


Course Description and Learning Objectives:

We will explore what it means to organize and build a community and what the different methods being used by various community organizers are.  Through course readings, lectures, films, class discussions, and interactions with the East Bay community, we will examine the history of community organizing in the United States, the different theories and approaches to effective grassroots organizing, and the skills and techniques used to empower people so they can win victories and improve their communities. 


As we talk about community and the importance of knowing community needs, we expect that students do not see themselves as disconnected from the community, but rather an important part of it, and we hope students are able to walk away with a deeper sense of connection to the East Bay community.


This curriculum combines academic work with experiential learning. In order to incorporate the knowledge gained in this course, each student will be placed in an internship with a community organizer currently working in the East Bay.  Students must complete 60 hours of internship work.  This learning experience will be group-oriented, meaning that student participation in class discussions is crucial.


This class asks you to analyze community organizing tactics and social issues rather than just read about them, offers you a chance to contribute to your local community, and lets you meet and interact with other students who share your interest in civic engagement.  At the end of the course, students will take with them a renewed sense of the power communities have to create the change they want to see in the world.  Students will also take with them tools and experiences that will be useful and applicable to their own community organizing projects.   

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