Captivating Course Explores Children’s Rights, Urban Poverty, and Inequality

“Children’s Rights, Urban Poverty, and Inequality,” Alberto Minujin’s graduate course at The New School University’s International Affairs Program. The course delves into cultural and social barriers faced by children living in poverty and explores ways to encourage transformation through child voice and participation that leads to positive outcomes for community leaders, policymakers, and agents of change.

Here is a glimpse into the thought-provoking graduate course “Children’s Rights, Urban Poverty, and Inequality,” taught by New School Professor Alberto Minujin.  The course, recently offered in Spring 2023 and scheduled to take place again in Fall 2023, examines pressing issues faced by children, adolescents, and families living in poverty. The coursework helps shine a light on practical approaches that measure and reduce child poverty and inequality.

Read here about the insightful topics that top-performing graduate students in the course researched such as:

The course advocates transforming knowledge into action. Last semester, students developed a practical project centered around empowering and supporting disenfranchised adolescents in New York City. Working in small groups, they explored the inspiring work of A Chance in Life, a Staten Island non-profit dedicated to combating poverty and exclusion among adolescents.

Professor Minujin discussed his approach with A Chance in Life’s Executive Director, Christopher Dowling: “I try to keep things dynamic and engaging so my students are inspired. That’s my primary intention. I incorporate digital formats along with lectures and I pick top guest speakers whom I also enjoy learning from. Over the course of the semester, students showcase their understanding by working in teams to develop their own guided, child-centered case studies.”

Minujin addresses thought-provoking questions throughout the course, such as:

  • Why do millions of children and adolescents suffer from deprivation, poverty, abuse, despair, violence, voicelessness, and discrimination?
  • What are the root causes of extreme inequality and inequity?
  • How do disparities in class, gender, and race impact children from birth?
  • Why do vulnerable children and families face issues such as trafficking, child prostitution, and lack of essential services?
  • Have pre-pandemic inequalities worsened due to COVID-19? What are the long-lasting effects of the pandemic on children and adolescents, particularly those living in poverty?
  • How can these issues be effectively addressed globally, nationally, and locally?
  • How can children’s voice and participation be included in policy formation?

“I hope that students take the knowledge they gain during the course and leave feeling equipped to make a positive impact on their future careers, be they in the public, nonprofit, or private sector,” said Professor Minujin.

“Children’s Rights, Urban Poverty, and Inequality” is an integral part of the Development concentration and Governance & Rights concentration within the Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs.

To access Professor Alberto Minujin’s Spring Course Syllabus, click here

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