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5 free courses on activism and social movements

Activism and Citizen Journalism through Media

Activism and Citizen Journalism through Media is an online humanities course offered by the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. The course lasts for four weeks and will require roughly two to three hours of study time per week to watch the included lecture videos and complete supplemental assignments and readings. During the class, students will receive a step-by-step guide to using the media to promote news stories that further the causes of social justice and raise awareness about important issues. The course can be beneficial for students, journalists, nonprofit workers, non-governmental organization practitioners, community organizers and activists.

ART of the MOOC: Activism and Social Movements

ART of the MOOC: Activism and Social Movements is an art and design course offered by Duke University in the United States. Lasting for seven weeks, the class provides a series of video lectures and includes supplemental readings. Students will complete three modules in all. They include Introduction to Activism and Social Movements; Activism and Social Movements; Aesthetics, Art History, and Cultural Institutions and Embodied Knowledge. For each module, students will be required to take a quiz, complete a short project and participate in a peer review. Students who receive passing grades on all assignments will successfully complete the course.

Human Rights Activism, Advocacy and Change

Human Rights Activism, Advocacy and Change is a free online human rights course offered by Curtin University in Australia. The class is a part of the Micro Masters program in human rights offered by the university but can also be taken as a standalone course. During the 12-week class, students will learn about a variety of topics, including Social movements and power; Women’s rights and activism: unity and difference; Mahatma Gandhi: satyagraha, satya and ahimsa; Women and nonviolence movements; Saul Alinsky: citizen participation and organisation; Frantz Fanon and decolonisation; Queer(y)ing human rights activism; Indigenous protest and activism; Disability rights and activism and Refugee rights and activism.

Politics, Art and Resistance

Politics, Art and Resistance is a free online sociology course offered by the University of Kent in the United Kingdom. The class lasts for four weeks and will require roughly four hours of study time per week. Through the course, students will have an opportunity to explore the links between art, politics and activism. Students will learn about the socially engaged practices of artists and how art movements have inspired cultures over time. In addition, the course discusses art manifestos and teaches students how to create their own. Finally, the class uncovers how creative practices intersect with social and political issues.

How to Change the World

How to Change the World is an online course offered by Wesleyan University in the United States. Individuals who are interested in poverty, the environment, technology, health care, gender and education can benefit from this course that centers on activism. The class lasts for six weeks and involves three to five hours of study time per week. Modules in the course include What are Social Goods? From the Commons to Moral Revolutions; Poverty and Development; Climate Change and Sustainability; Disease and Global Health Care; Women, Education and Social Change; and Looking Back, Looking Forward. Each module includes online videos and supplemental readings.

About the author

Human Rights Careers

Human Rights Careers (HRC) aims to help human rights students, recent graduates and young professionals to pursue a career in the highly competitive field of human rights.