ETHS 309

Race and Public Policy

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective December 18, 2009 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

This course will examine public policy and its impact on historically and politically disenfranchised communities of color in America, by first understanding public policy as an emerging practice that when juxtaposed with historically emergent notions of "race" in America, offers us a more complete vista of what public policy means (both explicitly and implicitly), an how that policy comes to function (both in the private and public realms of human socioeconomic activity.)

Learning outcomes


  • Accurately discuss the history of public policy within the context of United States and racial formation.
  • Anticipate and analyze current policy-making trends and their impacts on racialized communities within the United States.
  • Describe how public policy practices affect communities of color by examining statistical data in local and national arenas of political discourse.
  • Explain the dialectical effects of race, racial-thinking and racialization on the development and implementation of public policy.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Goal 9: Ethical and Civic Responsibility

  • Examine, articulate, and apply their own ethical views.
  • Understand and apply core concepts (e.g. politics, rights and obligations, justice, liberty) to specific issues.
  • Analyze and reflect on the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and scientific issues.
  • Recognize the diversity of political motivations and interests of others.
  • Identify ways to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.