National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2020, 21(2):39–42


© Copyright 2020 by the National Collegiate Honors Council


Many colleges profess a deep commitment to teaching the values of social justice by simply following laws and then using compliance as evidence of building inclusive community. This essay considers practical outcomes for the authentic and compassionate teaching of social justice issues by presenting two (2018 and 2019) seven-week honors offerings that examine minimally stipulated laws and the ways they are enacted by encouraging students to engage in contemporary and historical discourses on the subject. Challenging honors educators to reexamine legal philosophies, historical precedence, and their role in the academy, the author argues for the moral obligation of honors to lead institutions through paradigmatic shifts in teaching social justice and activism. A description of curriculum is presented.