ABC’s Social Justice, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership Initiative (ABC-SEAL) is a new, unique program designed to attract, educate, and develop the next generation of indigenous, community-based, equity-informed community leaders using a curriculum continuum linking undergraduate coursework, secondary school enrichments and civic education for youth in and/or from proximate low-income neighborhoods.

Detailed Program Description

Scholars define anchors as “institutions that consciously and strategically apply their long-term, place-based economic power, in combination with their human and intellectual resources, to better the welfare of the community in which they reside.” As an anchor for social justice scholarship and praxis, ABC will develop, implement, and evaluate a year-long, tri-level curriculum equipping students as agents of reconciliation and growth.

Level One—undergraduate studies (SEAL Scholars)

Undergraduate students may apply for ten SEAL Scholars slots for the 2019-2020 academic year. These will study Conflict Management (existing) in Fall 2019, followed by Principles of Restorative Practice and Reconciliation (to be developed) in Spring 2020. SEAL scholars, working with Faculty Fellows, will design Level Two and Level Three learning communities, described below.

Level two—secondary school student outreach.

In Spring 2020, invited junior and senior high school students will participate in extended symposia on designated justice, equity, advocacy and leadership themes. Plenary sessions will be led by ABC SEAL Faculty Fellows, and breakout sessions will be led by SEAL Scholars. Participating high school students will be able to identify and apply basic equity lens analytical tools to systemic inequities they learn to identify in their own environment. Expected outcomes include increased youth fascination with SEAL work, and increased interest in attending college.

Level Three—civic education.

ABC expands its civil rights education tradition by providing community workshops free of charge to respond to unfolding issues of public justice. Each semester, SEAL teams (faculty and students) will extends this model by offering specific public education on emergent SEAL topics affecting low income youth and ripe for conflict management or restorative practice intervention.

SEAL is the first step towards building an equity-based, justice-centered integrated learning curriculum that fosters cradle-to-community leadership success for children raised in this community. By leveraging historic assets of this institution, social assets of this community, and civic assets of this city, the ABC SEAL model gives youth access to systems of power and levers of agency that they can see and touch and relate to.