Special Topics: Community-Academy Collaboration for Racial Justice

C & E Soc 375


The web address for this syllabus is:


Professor: Randy Stoecker
Office:  Agricultural Hall 340
Office Hours:  by appointment
Phone:  608-890-0764
E-mail: rstoecker@wisc.edu

Teaching Assistant: Greg Wilson
Agricultural Hall
Office Hours: **
E-mail: gdwilson2@wisc.edu

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30-4:00
Room 123 Noland
Summer 2019, June 18-August 8

I acknowledge and pay respects to the Ho-Chunk Nation, the First Peoples of the land and waters on which The University of Wisconsin-Madison operates.


The university administration is now mandating that faculty include certain content in their syllabi. Here is the content complying with that mandate:

OK, now on to the syllabus.


This course is devoted to understanding and impacting a community issue. In particular, we will focus on the challenges faced by nonprofit organizations led by people of color in Madison. The course will allow you to learn about how institutionalized racism impacts individuals but also organizations. It will also allow you to learn a variety of professional skills, such as project design and management, facilitation, teamwork, and problem-solving.

Facilitating a course that is designed to produce outcomes for both the community and the students is one of the most exciting things I do. It can be a bit unnerving at times, since the success of the entire project requires fitting so many pieces together in a tight timeline. But I have done it enough to know that it can work, and can have real impacts. So if you like learning by doing, are comfortable with unpredictability, and like to work in collaborative contexts, this course is for you.


My overall goal for this course is to support the efforts of nonprofits led by people of color in Madison to succeed in their goals of creating a more just community.  To accomplish that, we need to master a set of learning goals.

Do research: We will be engaging with a form of research called community-based research (CBR--it’s called lots of other things too), which will involve learning a variety of other skills.  Reading, written reflections, and in-class training will support this learning goal.

Think critically: There is amazingly little out there about nonprofits of color. But we will do some reading, written reflections, and in-class discussion to support this learning goal.

Communicate skillfully:  Since our task involves supporting nonprofits of color we will need to learn how to communicate our research process and results effectively for that broader community. In-class training, evaluation from peers, and evaluation from the nonprofits will support this learning goal. 

Experience and appreciate diversity: Nonprofits of color, we are already learning, operate differently from mainstream white-led nonprofits. Readings, listenings, in-class discussion, and interaction with UCAN members will support this learning goal. 

Manage projects:  Our specific form of CBR can also be called project-based research because we are supporting a community education project.  We will need to deliver a research project that supports the nonprofits’ goals.  Doing that will require effective teamwork, group-centered leadership, problem-solving, and other project-management skills.  Readings, written reflections, and in-class training will support this learning goal. 


The Good Society will not come from an exclusive and very powerful few people representing only one set of experiences. It will come from many voices representing many life experiences. Likewise, the best knowledge will come from many voices speaking and listening and combining their wisdoms. I will do everything in my power to create a classroom environment that welcomes and includes diverse perspectives, especially perspectives that have been historically silenced through one or another form of structural discrimination. I welcome the voices of people of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities; all sexual and gender identities; all body types; all spiritualities; all economic classes; all language backgrounds; all family types; all combinations of abilities and learning styles; all participation in international, national, and community service including activism and protest. And I encourage those who feel invisible in relation to these diversities to educate me so that I can welcome you as well. I cannot promise you a "safe" environment. In the current state and national political climates there are no "safe spaces," not even for me. I can only promise you that I will do my utmost to create a "brave space" where people can hopefully gradually feel powerful enough to speak from their experiences and contribute to knowledge diversity for all of us. I will also admit that I will do that imperfectly and welcome you to hold me accountable so that my deeds live up to my words.


People have diverse learning styles and come from diverse backgrounds.  So different people find different parts of each course challenging or engaging.  Please inform me if you have learning needs that don’t fit the course structure/process so I can adjust the course to meet those needs. You may also be able to receive support through the McBurney Center, http://www.mcburney.wisc.edu/.   The Multicultural Student Center, https://msc.wisc.edu/, the LGBT Campus Center, https://lgbt.wisc.edu/, and a variety  of student-led groups searchable at https://win.wisc.edu/.


We are facing a student mental health crisis not just at UW-Madison but in higher education institutions across the country. Sadly, our society still stigmatizes mental health as if it is somehow different from other forms of health. I reject that stigmatization. Diabetes and depression, just as examples, are both real health conditions, they both respond to treatment (and interestingly both can be at least partly treated with behavioral interventions as well as with medication), and they both can impact one’s quality of life. I urge you to get treatment for mental health conditions the same way I would urge you to get treatment for any other health condition. I was also trained in counseling long ago (though I am not licensed) and am always willing to have an initial conversation with you and support you in seeking treatment from licensed professionals. You can access information about UW mental health services at https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/mental-health/ .


When teachers realize they still have things to learn and students realize they have things to teach, and when everyone is in an atmosphere where both students and teachers are encouraged to learn and teach, everyone benefits.

My job is to create and maintain a learning atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable taking intellectual and interpersonal risks, and to help you do your part in maintaining that atmosphere.  I welcome critiques of ideas, especially my own.  In the end, the best learning comes from connecting through our differences, especially if we practice respect for each other as people while we question and criticize each other’s ideas. 


Please feel welcomed to consult with me or the Teaching Assistant whenever you have a question about course assignments, lectures, discussions, readings, or project activities. I will gladly discuss questions you have about the course material and our community project. Please also fee welcomed to consult with me whenever you find yourself interested in the issues raised in the course and you want to discuss further or get more information.


There may be times in this class when the phrase "course organization" will sound like an oxymoron. Project courses like this are somewhat like a line of dominoes--knock one down and the rest behind them also fall over. Thankfully, there aren't that many dominoes, and they are easy to set up again. The timeline of this project is not dependent on just you and me, but on the university bureaucracy and the community organization we will be working with. For the most part, then, our class meetings will focus on troubleshooting where we are in the process and planning our next steps. However, we will also be engaged in a variety of in-class training exercises. You will learn how to do research from start to finish in this class, and to connect it to real community work.


You should know that you have specific rights that include accommodations for religious observances, physician-documented illnesses, and disabilities.  You also have the right to appeal grading and disciplinary procedures that normally begin with contacting the chair of the department, Gary Green, gpgreen@wisc.edu or 608-262-2710.  If you do not feel comfortable contacting the chair you can contact the CALS Dean’s office at http://www.cals.wisc.edu/academics/.  Of course, my goal is to structure and facilitate the course in such a way that you feel comfortable contacting me about concerns you have.

You also have specific responsibilities that include things like avoiding plagiarism, not cheating on tests, and sometimes not collaborating.  Those issues will be complicated for us, since we may be using sources who wish to remain unidentified, we will not have tests, and we will be collaborating both with each other and with community members.  We will also be adding an academic integrity principle that isn't normally discussed in courses.  Because we are doing work that is responding to a request by a community organization, a crucial principle of academic integrity is for us to do our very best work on a very strict timeline.  This course must be a priority in your life, because other people will be counting on what you produce.  If you are experiencing distractions that are difficult to control, please talk with me.  I may be able to help or at least connect you with someone who can.

Another right/responsibility you have in this course is to collectively determine other rights/responsibilities and I will facilitate a process during our first class meeting for that purpose.


In general, the workload for this class is average. The challenge is that it can be quite uneven so you need to manage your time effectively.

You will see that the first few weeks are heavy with reading and activity. I have, for the most part, "front-loaded" the preparatory work of the course so we can move into the project as quickly as possible with the necessary preparation. The formal reading load reduces more and more the further we get into the semester.

It is also likely that we will reduce our in-class time to one meeting a week after we get through the first several weeks.  We will then shift to a mid-week check-in system where you will check-in by Thursday of each week on-line to note your progress and challenges in the project work. 


This class will be a group effort. The professor and TA will be project managers, trainers, and guides. Your job is to tell us what you need to learn to carry out the tasks of the project, what you need to have clarified to keep the project on track, and what skills you can bring to help troubleshoot when things go wrong.


All readings are available electronically, though some will require that you be logged onto the UW network or the UW library, and some may be available through the online library reserve system. I take every effort to post links that will work from on and off campus.  When you are off campus, you will likely need to login to access some of the readings. 

There will be both required and recommended readings. Please print out the readings or bring your tablet/laptop to class with an electronic version.


This course is supported online, on the new Canvas system. This is the site we will use to manage online discussions, upload project research information, etc.  It will be a basic workspace.  It may take a little getting used to. Please let me know if you are unfamiliar with it and I will be happy to give you a tour.


Because this project is being designed collaboratively, it is impossible to say for sure right now exactly what we will be doing. Once we finalize it, the course calendar below will show the tasks that need to be accomplished as they become clear and I will continually update it.

    "Guided Reflections" (This will occur in three parts. 40 points total)

    1. Part 1, weeks 1-3: You should submit a reflection before class on each Tuesday and Thursday (3 points per reflection, 15 points total; -1 point for each day late). The evaluation criteria for reflections for these three weeks will be that you use at least one specific part of each reading or chapter (just note the author and the page number or a quote) as a jumping off point for your reflections and that you write at least 250 words and try to limit yourself to 500 words. We will evaluate how accurately you present the portions of the readings you use, but we will not grade your own thoughts about those readings. You can reflect on each reading separately, or in combination or comparison.

    2. Part 2, weeks 4-8: You should submit a reflection before class each Tuesday only (4 points per reflection, 20 points total, -1 point for each day late). Once we begin working on the project, your reflections will be based on your experiences in class and in the project work. For these later reflections we are looking for both a summary of your experiences and a critical reflection that can help us understand how well the project is going in general and for you personally. The purpose is to help you become conscious of what you are learning and to help us learn what we need to help clarify. Think again in terms of 250 to 500 words.

    3. Part 3, due by August 11: You should submit a final reflection considering the entire course process, reflecting on what you learned along the way, both expected and unexpected (5 points total, no credit for late). We will not grade you on what you learned, but only for completion of the assignment. This is more to assess the success of the course than you.

      Submit your reflections to the Canvas discussion module (you should also be able to access the discussion board via the assignment module) and verify that your submission succeeded. Please take care to submit to the correct discussion folder. And feel welcomed to comment on other students’ reflections.


    In Weeks 4-8 you should submit a “check-in” by the end of Friday (2 points per check-in, 10 points total; -1 point for each day late). This is just a brief sentence or two saying what you have done on the project since Tuesday (note that you need to have done something to get credit). The purpose of this is to dissuade you from saving up project work for the last minute and doing it poorly. Your final check-in will just be letting me know if there is anything you still need to complete. Upload to the appropriate discussion section on Canvas and verify that your post succeeded.

    Project Participation (47 points total). 

This will be the bulk of your grade and we will co-design the actual project work. As we meet with community members we will develop a more specific project plan and we will then collaboratively divide up the labor and assign points to it.  We will also collectively hold each other accountable for completing the necessary tasks on time and at a level of quality acceptable to our community partner.

    Human Subjects Research Protection Training

    Complete human subjects research protection training, https://my.gradsch.wisc.edu/citi/index.php, choose the UW Social and Behavioral course.  (7 points).  If you've already done this within the last three years, good for you—just upload your completion certificate using the assignment module on Canvas.  If not, complete it and upload your completion certificate by beginning of class on July 2 (-1 point for each day late). IF YOU DO NOT COMPLETE THIS REQUIREMENT YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY IN-PERSON DATA COLLECTION OR ANALYSIS AND THUS WILL RECIEVE NO CREDIT FOR PROJECT PARTICIPATION.


    There is not an attendance requirement, but if you miss a class you will miss the opportunity to engage in project work, since groups will establish project assignments in class.  It will therefore be up to you to catch up, communicate with the rest of us, and find out what you need to do in the project to protect your grade.

    A professional skill for completing the work in this course:  If your strategy for succeeding in school has been about doing things at the last minute, you have learned a bad habit. You will find me relatively unsympathetic for requests for extensions if you use such a strategy.  Especially for the reflections, you will do better work if you do them early rather than waiting a whole week.  Additionally, completing assignments early helps avoid the problems created by mini-disasters.

    Incomplete Policy: Because your work in this course will not just impact you, but will affect community groups, you will need to work on their schedule, not yours. Thus there is no provision for incompletes in this course. The due dates are all strict and final. If you find yourself in a situation where you are not able to complete the coursework on the schedule set, please contact me as soon as the situation arises.

    Final grades calculation—it’s a simple points system, not a percentage:

A = >92

A/B = 88-92

B = 83-87

B/C = 78-82

C = 70-77

D = 60-69

F = <60


**Remember to print out the readings or bring your tablet/laptop to class with an electronic version as we may be discussing them.

**I will add readings as the semester progresses.  You can always find the most up-to-date list on the web version of the syllabus.

Week 1, Class 1, June 18: Introduction to the Course: Nonprofits of Color


~Upload reflection by beginning of class.

~Begin Human Subjects Research training at https://my.gradsch.wisc.edu/citi/index.php and upload completion certificate to Canvas by July 2.


Melissa E.Wooten. 2006. Race and strategic organization. Strategiv Organization Vol 4(2): 191–199. https://journals.sagepub.com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/doi/pdf/10.1177/1476127006064068">

Victor Ray. 2019. A Theory of Racialized Organizations. American Sociological Review. https://journals.sagepub.com/ezproxy.wisc.edu/doi/pdf/10.1177/0003122418822335

Brown, A. (2015). The State of Diversity in the Nonprofit Sector. Retrieved from Community Wealth Partners Website: http://communitywealth.com/the-state-of-diversity-in-the-nonprofit-sector/


Battalia Winston (2017). The State of Diversity in Nonprofit and Foundation Leadership. Retrieved from Battalia Winston Website: http://www.battaliawinston.com/

Schwartz, R., Weinberg, J., Hagenbuch, D., and Scott, A. (2008). The Voice of Nonprofit Talent: Perceptions of Diversity in the Workplace. Retrived from Commongood Career Website: http://commongoodcareers.org

Thomas-Breitfeld, S. and Kunreuther, F. (2017). Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap. Retrived from Building Movement Website: http://racetolead.org/race-to-lead/

Week 1, Class 2, June 20: The Nonprofit Industrial Complex


~Upload reflection by the beginning of class

~Continue Human Subjects Research training at https://my.gradsch.wisc.edu/citi/index.php  and upload completion certificate to Canvas by July 2.


Incite! Women of Color Against Violence. 2007. The Revolution Will Not Be Funded. Excerpt at https://canvas.wisc.edu/courses/150483/files?preview=8533022

Maile Arvin. 2016. Sovereignty Will Not Be Funded: “Good” Indigenous Citizenship in Hawai‘i’s Nonprofit-Industrial Complex. S & F Online. http://sfonline.barnard.edu/navigating-neoliberalism-in-the-academy-nonprofits-and-beyond/maile-arvin-sovereignty-will-not-be-funded-good-indigenous-citizenship-in-hawaiis-nonprofit-industrial-complex/0/

Jennifer Ceema Samimi. 2010. Funding America’s Nonprofits: The Nonprofit Industrial Complex’s Hold on Social Justice. Columbia Social Workers Review. https://cswr.columbia.edu/article/funding-americas-nonprofits-the-nonprofit-industrial-complexs-hold-on-social-justice/


Edgar Villanueva. 2018. Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Medicine to Heal Divides and Restore Balance. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Joan Minieri and Paul Getsos. 2007. Resource B: Raising Money for Organizing, in Tools for Radical Democracy

Prentice Zinn. 2012. Strategic Philanthropy: Who Wins and Who Loses? Nonprofit Quarterly. https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2012/09/07/strategic-philanthropy-who-wins-and-loses/.

Claire Reinelt. 1994. Fostering Empowerment, Building Community: The Challenge for State-Funded Feminist Organizations. Human Relations. Volume: 47 issue: 6, page(s): 685-705. https://doi-org.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/10.1177/001872679404700606

Prentice Zinn. 2017. Exploring the Tensions Between Nonprofits and Foundations About Evaluation. AEA365. https://aea365.org/blog/exploring-the-tensions-between-nonprofits-and-foundations-about-evaluation-by-prentice-zinn/

Anand Giridharadas. 2018. When the Market is Our Only Language. On Being. https://onbeing.org/programs/anand-giridharadas-when-the-market-is-our-only-language-nov2018/

United Steel Workers. 2019. Historian Panelist Calls Out Billionaires For Not Addressing the Obvious. https://m.usw.org/blog/2019/historian-panelist-calls-out-davos-for-not-addressing-the-obvious

What alternative models of development and philanthropy do we need to build local agency and power? Based on discussions at a convening in Johannesburg, South AfricaonJune22, 2018. http://www.psjp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Convening-report-Alternative-models-of-development-and-philanthropy.pdf James F. Capraro. 2004. Community Organizng + Community Development = Community Transformation. Journal of Urban Affairs, Volume 26, Number 2, pages 151–161.

Simpson, C.R. (2016). Competition for foundation patronage and the differential effects of prestige on the grant market success of social movement organizations. Social Networks, 46, 29-43.

Week 2, Class 1, June 25: Project Methods


~Upload reflection by the beginning of class

~Continue Human Subjects Research training at https://my.gradsch.wisc.edu/citi/index.php  and upload completion certificate to Canvas by July 2.

Read (these readings might change depending on what the project becomes):

Randy Stoecker. 2007. The Research Practices and Needs of Non-Profit Organizations in an Urban Center. The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp. 97-117. https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/jssw/vol34/iss4/6/

Lehn M. Benjamin, Amy Voida & Chris Bopp (2017): Policy fields, data systems, and the performance of nonprofit human service organizations, Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governancehttps://canvas.wisc.edu/courses/150483/files?preview=8620776

Greg Wilson. 2019. Initial Summary Report on Black-led Nonprofits in Madison, WIhttps://canvas.wisc.edu/courses/150483/files?preview=8684093


Stoecker, Randy. 2013. Research Methods for Community Change. Chapters 1-3. Available on Canvas at https://canvas.wisc.edu/files/5515394/download?download_frd=1 

Stoecker, Randy.  2012. "CBR and the Two Forms of Social Change." Journal of Rural Social Sciences. 27:83-98. http://journalofruralsocialsciences.org/pages/Articles/JRSS%202012%2027/2/JRSS%202012%2027%202%2083-98.pdf

Randy Stoecker and Mary Beckman, 2009, Making Higher Education Civic Engagement Matter in the Community.  Campus Compact.  http://www.compact.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/engagementproof-1.pdf

Randy Stoecker and Elizabeth Tryon. 2009. The Unheard Voices:  Community Organizations and Service Learning. Temple University Press.  See chapter 1 at  http://www.temple.edu/tempress/titles/2023_reg.html

Ward, K., & Wolf-Wendel, L. Community-centered service learning. The American Behavioral Scientist, (2000).43(5), 767-780 http://abs.sagepub.com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/cgi/reprint/43/5/767

Pamela Rao et al.  2004.  Student Participation in Community-Based Participatory Research to Improve Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Health. Journal of Environmental Education.  http://www.fachc.org/pdf/Student%20Participation%20in%20Community%20Research%20to%20Improve%20MSFW%20Health.pdf

Nadinne I. Cruz and Dwight E. Giles, Jr.  Where’s the Community in Service-Learning Research?  Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning 2000 (special issue)

Week 2, Class 2, June 27: Professional skills


~Upload reflection by beginning of class.

~Coontinue Human Subjects Research training at https://my.gradsch.wisc.edu/citi/index.php  and upload completion certificate by July 2.



Community Tool Box.  2014.  Developing Facilitation Skills.  http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/leadership/group-facilitation/facilitation-skills/main


Page, Diana, and Donelan, Joseph G. 2003. Team-Building Tools for Students. Journal of Education for Business. Vol. 78 Issue 3, p125. Download from Canvas at https://canvas.wisc.edu/files/5753157/download?download_frd=1

Project planning and tracking

Mochal, Tom. 2009. 10 best practices for successful project management. TechRepublic. July 23. http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-best-practices-for-successful-project-management/

Problem solving

ITS.  2005-2018.  Read What Are Problems?, The Stages of Problem-Solving, The Skills of Problem Solving, Why People Fail to Solve Problems Effectively, Barriers to Finding the Best Solution, and Overcoming the Blocks to Problem Solving

Group-Centered Leadership (read one of the following)

Chris Crass. 2008.  Organizing Lessons from Civil Rights Leader Ella Baker http://www.anarkismo.net/article/7645  

Colin Ward.  1966.  Anarchism as a Theory of Organization. http://www.panarchy.org/ward/organization.1966.html  

Mary Wandia.  2011. Challenging Structural Inequalities: The Vision of Feminist Transformative Leadership. BUWA! – A Journal on African Women’s Experiences. Download from Canvas https://canvas.wisc.edu/files/5753174/download?download_frd=1a> 


Week 3, Class 1, July 2: Anti-Racism Training


~Upload treflection by beginning of class

~Complete Human Subjects Research training at https://my.gradsch.wisc.edu/citi/index.php  and upload completion certificate by beginning of class.


ANNE PEDERSEN, IAIN WALKER, & MIKE WISE. ‘‘Talk does not cook rice’’: Beyond anti-racism rhetoric to strategies for social action. Australian Psychologist, March 2005; 40(1): 20 – 30 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/doi/pdf/10.1080/0005006051233131729

Alastair bonnet. Anti-racism and the critique of ‘white’ identities. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 22(1):97-110 · January 1996. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alastair_Bonnett/publication/238398509_Anti-racism_and_the_critique_of_%27white%27_identities/links/59398fc445851532061d90f8/Anti-racism-and-the-critique-of-white-identities.pdf

Beverly Daniel Tatum. Talking about Race, Learning about Racism: The Application of Racial Identity Development Theory in the Classroom. Harvard Educational Review Vol. 62 No. 1 Spring 1992 http://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/Talking%20about%20Racetatum.pdf

Two workshops we will do in class:

Personal Privilege Profile http://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/PERSONAL_PRIVILEGE_PROFILE.pdf

DISMANTLING ANTI-BLACK BIAS IN DEMOCRATIC WORKPLACES:A TOOLKIT http://aorta.coop/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/anti-black-bias-packet-print-1.pdf

Recommended Resources:

Racial Equity Tools https://www.racialequitytools.org/home

anti-oppressive resource and training alliance http://aorta.coop/

July 4—No Class

Week 4:      TBA


~Upload to Canvas, by beginning of class, a guided reflection on successes, challenges, and questions you have about the project and your own learning in the class during this past week.

~Continue project work

~Complete midweek check-in by end of the day Friday.


Week 5: TBA (Randy will be gone—Greg will lead)


~Upload to Canvas, by beginning of class, guided reflection on successes, challenges, and questions you have about the project and your own learning in the class during this past week.

~Continue project work

~Complete midweek check-in by end of the day Friday.


Week 6:  TBA


~Upload to Canvas, by beginning of class, guided reflection on successes, challenges, and questions you have about the project and your own learning in the class during this past week. <

~Continue project work

~Complete midweek check-in by end of the day Friday.


Week 7:      TBA


~Upload to Canvas, by beginning of class, guided reflection on successes, challenges, and questions you have about the project and your own learning in the class during this past week.

~Continue project work

~Complete midweek check-in by end of the day Friday.


Week 8:    TBA


~Upload to Canvas, by beginning of class, guided reflection on successes, challenges, and questions you have about the project and your own learning in the class during this past week.

~Continue project work

~Complete midweek check-in by end of the day Friday.