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Structural Injustice

Events of 2020 have brought national awareness to the importance of recognizing, naming and describing structural injustice and taking concrete action to dismantle it and to work for structural and social justice. How do we understand and work for social justice when we face systemic/structural injustices–whether those injustices are racism, capitalism, colonialism, misogyny or other "isms"? This class responds directly to that question.

What is Structural Injustice?

The Structural Injustice course will provide you with a deep understanding of what structural injustice actually means and how it manifests in specific contexts. The class explores systemic injustices including race, gender and socioeconomic inequality in the contexts of education, housing, workplace structure and processes of democracy, such as voting.

Sign up today to dig into the challenging issues that arise as changing demographics intersect with law and politics from a systems perspective. Current demographic shifts include changes in the racial and ethnic makeup of the United States as well as the aging of the baby-boom generation, continuing urbanization, growing economic inequality, evolving family patterns and residential self-sorting of citizens. The course examines demographic trends; explores legal, political, and ethical issues related to these trends; and examines policy options and social changes to bring about more just and effective systems. When you take this course, you’ll be able to identify and build skills to work toward equity in your professional and personal life.

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Course Details

Audience: Anyone interested in effecting change within their organization or the community at large.
Method: Online
Duration: 7 weeks
Cost: $2,781
Graduate application: Not required
Credits: 3 credits

This Course is Offered on the Following Dates

Details will be posted soon. Sign up to be notified when registration opens.

Course Objectives

By the completion of the course, students will:

  • Develop motivation and capacity to connect through personal stories across human difference
  • Become aware of how various academic disciplines address diverse human identities
  • Understand systemic and structural social and institutional/legal contexts of current demographic changes
  • Critically apply interdisciplinary paradigms and perspectives to social conflicts involving demographic change
  • Become familiar with and practice concrete strategies for individuals working as change agents for social justice
  • Describe connections between demographics, disciplinary perspectives and personal experience
  • Analyze a current example of social injustice related to demographics through various disciplinary lenses
  • Connect understanding of diverse human identities and systems and structures of justice and injustice to personal experience

What to Expect

This online course is asynchronous, except for two Zoom sessions in weeks 2 and 7. During this 7-week course, you’ll explore the issue of structural injustice by reading five required books (which you’ll need to get on your own; see below) as well as additional materials made available through the Creighton library. Each week, participants will contribute to an online discussion forum and complete assignments that correspond with the week’s materials.

Course Credit

This is one of the elective courses within the Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, and it’s worth 3 credits. The course can be taken independently as a professional development course or as part of the degree program. Please note that students are limited to earning a maximum of nine graduate credits before applying for admission into a degree or certificate program. If you are below the nine-credit limit and are not yet seeking a certificate or degree, you’re free to take this course without applying to the graduate school.

Creighton University will issue a 1098-T by January 31 for all learners enrolled in courses for credit. As part of that process, you may be asked to provide your Social Security number.

Required Materials

  • Ignatia Broker, Night Flying Woman: An Ojibway Narrative (1983) – ISBN: 978-0873511674
  • Beverly Daniel Tatum, “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” And Other Conversations About Race (revised ed. 2017) – ISBN 978-0465060689
  • Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (3rd ed. 2017) ISBN: 978-1479802760
  • Matthew Desmond, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016) ISBN: 978-0553447453
  • Joan Williams, Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What To Do About It (2000) ISBN: 978-0195147148

This online course is taught by Palma Strand, JD, LLM. Strand is Professor of Law and Director of Creighton University’s 2040 Initiative in the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (NCR) Program, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. In her teaching and research, Strand focuses on “issues that arise at the juncture of legal structures, cutting-edge conflict engagement and governance processes, and important current equity issues, especially those that related to race and gender.” See her full biography.

Should you need to withdraw or cancel your registration for this class, please refer to the University Policy on cancellations and refunds.


If you have questions about the course, we’re happy to help. We can also provide assistance with group registration or work with you to develop a customized course for a team.