Learning Across Difference: Understanding the Roots of Anti-Blackness, Whiteness and Racial Bias in the United States, A Course for International Students

Learning across difference logo

USF prides itself on being one of the most racially and culturally diverse campuses in the United States. One critical aspect of that diversity is the 1,300 international students from over 90 countries we welcome to campus each year. Many international students, particularly undergraduates, come to the U.S. with an incomplete understanding of the history of race and racism in the U.S. and with different theoretical frameworks of race and identity from their own cultures; many are not aware, for instance, of the Black Lives Matter movement. As a result, they encounter concepts of race and identity in the US that are confusing or disorienting, and may lack the tools and resources to grapple with race and identity in the U.S. context and in the context of an American college campus. 

For this project, ISSS (International Student and Scholar Services) created the "Learning Across Difference" course for international students. The course focused on disrupting racial bias and anti-Blackness, increasing awareness of institutional, structural, and systemic inequity through race, and applying this information to increase understanding.

Learning Across Difference integrates education of the whole person; students learn knowledge, skills, and dispositions that help them in their scholarly and professional endeavors as well as in how they understand and respond to social injustice in their everyday lives.  Students engage in social analysis and determine their own paths for analyzing and addressing issues through a praxis of research and action. 

Winter/Spring 2022

  • Run course and connect students with opportunities for ongoing enrichment, and possibly peer leadership roles, through Cultural Centers and ADEI.

Fall 2021

  • Promote courses to international students through comprehensive outreach.

Spring 2021

  • Develop course curriculum in collaboration with consultants and identify faculty to teach.