La Salle unveils new Black studies minor

July 11, 2022

The academic program includes interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary courses to educate students about the histories and experiences of Black people. 

La Salle University is introducing a Black Studies minor beginning in the Fall 2022 semester.

Open to all La Salle undergraduates, the minor will utilize interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to focus on the histories and experiences of people of African descent. The six-course minor can complement any major, as it broadens and deepens knowledge of the Americas, said the program’s director Luisa Ossa, Ph.D., a professor of Spanish at La Salle.

The minor allows students to select from a variety of topics including literature, Spanish, education, history, philosophy, religion, and sociology, and equips them with the tools to help address systemic racism and social inequities.

Prominent issues will be explored within the Black Studies minor, including systemic racism, social justice, health and wellness, education, intersectionality, cultural contributions, and anti-racist frameworks and scholarship, as related to members of the Black diaspora in the Americas.

Ossa said the program’s inception came to be when the University saw a need to fill a curriculum gap and move its academic offerings toward something that was more representative of the diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus community.

Working with various University members, Ossa created a curriculum with a cohesive thread. Utilizing her specialty in Latin American Black studies, the minor focuses on the Americas and Black people being active agents in their life, as opposed to a deficit model which is rooted in white supremacy.

“We’re thinking of people as people and how they’ve been active participants in history and society,” Ossa explained.

Ossa said this new minor is an opportunity for all La Salle students, as it creates a more inclusive academic offering that allows them to gain greater global and interpersonal perspectives.

“I think it’s important that students have the opportunity to be able to get a more complete worldview, which also enhances your interpersonal interactions and makes you a more informed citizen,” Ossa said.

—Meg Ryan