Social Justice & Activism RAP Fall 2014

This popular program is designed for students who want to be involved in social justice issues academically and/or personally.

When you join this RAP you will...

  • Learn about crucial social justice issues facing the world today and explore ways to address these issues in your own life.
  • Share your living-and-learning experience with others who appreciate critical analysis and wish to create positive social change.
  • Engage with seminar leaders to discuss and identify ways to pursue your academic and/or career goals.


"This RAP is a great opportunity for students to meet others who want to make a better world" -- Professor Arlene Avakian

If you want to explore themes of social change from multiple perspectives, and their relevance to current issues at UMass Amherst and in the world at-large, this RAP is an excellent choice!

Join a community of peers who share your interests and who recognize the increasingly important need to address social justice issues in our complex world.

Specific Course Information

Introduction to Radical Social Theory (STPEC 190A)

In this course you will delve into the history of social thought in the Western World. Students will explore the connection between cultural processes and power implemented by the West and the implications for the non-Western world on a global scale.

By debunking the negative connotations connected with "Radical", STPEC 190A reveals through primary sources and classical theorists the real meaning of radical, "at the root". 

Weekly themes include intriguing titles such as:

  • "Workers of the World Unite"
  • "Love and Executions"
  • "Black Self-determination and Self Defense"
  • "Poetry and Revolution" to name a few.

Students will not only be exposed to great thinkers like Bell Hooks, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Angela Y. Davis, Malcolm X, Anibal Quijano, and Jean Jacques Rousseau, but will engage in discussion, critique, and conversation with these authors.

STPEC 190A gives students the global historical foundation to understand the radical theory surrounding social inequalities, whilst proposing transformative solutions to reach justice and change in our own society.  

RAP Seminar:

This 1-credit seminar will introduce you to programs and opportunities for leadership at UMass Amherst. The seminar also provides a supportive environment for personal reflection and critical thinking on local and global issues.

The seminar will place social justice issues in both current and historical contexts. There will be opportunities for group projects and lively, meaningful discussions.


Be sure to visit the How to Join page on this website to learn about the process and important timelines you must follow to become a member of this fantastic program!


It's easier to pick classes-to do your homework with an environment of peers who have the same interests. We all got together to study for the Women's Studies final and it was amazing."

-Widlynn Louis 


Fall 2014

ALL students  in the Social Justice & Activism RAP will enroll in the following classes taught in the residential area:

"RAP Seminar"- UNIV 190R
1 credit


"Introduction to Social Theory" - STPEC 190A, 4 credits


"College Writing" - English 112 (Gen Ed CW), 3 credits, a limited number of sections will be offered in the residential area both fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters.

Spring 2015 

  • No required RAP classes.
  • Small sections of Gen Ed classes will be offered in each residence area.


Students will live in Gorman Hall in Central area of campus.

Pamela R. Marsh-Williams, Ph.D.
Assistant Provost & Dean

This website is part of Undergraduate Advising & Learning Communities. We provide undergraduate students a variety of opportunities and services designed to facilitate the best academic experience possible. 609 Goodell Building, UMass Amherst.

UA&LC Units: Undergraduate Advising, Residential Academic Programs, Domestic Exchange Programs, Five College Interchange