CSIJ 200: Introduction to Race and Racism in the United States

CSIJ 200 was developed by a group of over 30 faculty, undergraduate and graduate students from numerous disciplines, and community volunteers. It was formally launched in the Spring 2022 semester. Learn more about the Committee on Racial Equity.

CSIJ 200 is housed in the Department of African American Studies and fulfills the racial literacy requirement as a part of the foundations of VCU’s general education curriculum.

Each course in the Racial Literacy Requirement of General Education curriculum needs to address all the following criteria through a lens of analysis and application specific to the United States:

  1. The social construction of race and racism, along with their origin, evolution, and maintenance
    (i.e., political, social, and cultural invention).
  2. Key theoretical concepts about race and racism.
  3. The operation of interdependent types and levels of racism (i.e., individual, interpersonal,
    intergroup, institutional, structural, and systemic).
  4. The historical and current structures of racialized power and privilege, including whiteness.
  5. Social institutions, policies, and practices that contribute to and enable racism.
  6. Approaches and strategies to disrupt and dismantle systemic racism as well as ways to engender
    and institutionalize equitable alternatives.

CSIJ 200. Introduction to Race and Racism in the United States. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours (delivered online, face-to-face or hybrid). 3 credits. Interrogates four key areas of inquiry: origins, ideology, maintenance and resistance to race and racism in the U.S., and applies an intersectional lens to examine how race interlocks with other systems of power. Reflecting the diverse faculty and students who co-created it, this course will draw from a variety of scholarly disciplines spanning the humanities and the social, natural and applied sciences to explore these issues and to help students understand how racism operates in the U.S. Graded as pass/fail.

The VCU Bulletin is the official source for academic course and program information.

Learn more about CSIJ 200