1. Title Page: Name, course, title for portfolio
2. Table of Contents:
3. Exercise One: In an essay respond to the following prompt1
Review copies of your local newspaper from the past 90 days. Based on the front page or local
section, what issues are important for your community (e.g., crime, job layoffs, transportation,
pollution)? Examine how the issue is defined and by whom. Is input from community leaders
and neighborhood groups being included? Why or why not? Do these include the six elements
of a social problem? Be sure you define your concepts and cite your sources.
4. Exercise Two:
Choose an image and explain how it represents a social problem and apply at least one
theoretical perspective to the image. This can be your own photo, an image you find online, a
meme, you can draw something, get creative. Be sure you define a social problem and outline
the basic premises of the theory you choose. For example, how would a conflict theorist
approach the social problem represented in your image?
5. Exercise Three:
Watch this clip:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM
Read these facts: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/02/07/6-facts-abouteconomic-inequality-in-the-u-s/
Run a cost of living calculator for your city. Compare it to a bigger city near you.
What is the living wage needed for your family? What is the national minimum wage?
What are the causes of homelessness (course readings). What are ways we can combat
(adapted from Leon-Guerrero’s teaching exercises)
Final Portfolio Instructions: The portfolio is the final project of the class, and is worth 200
points. This portfolio should be typed, 12 point Times New Roman or similar font, and
should be formatted using whatever discipline you prefer (APA, ASA, MLA-I don’t care whichjust be sure to cite). Please use proper in-text and bibliographic citations. Do not pass off the
ideas of others as your own. At a minimum you should include information (appropriately
cited) from each course reading in the textbook. You will find each exercise is an
application of one of our course readings, therefore you should use concepts, terms and
examples from the course readings. Your portfolio will be between 15 and 23 pages long and
must have all the elements listed below to be eligible for the full credit. The portfolio is due
4/27 9/29. If you would like to get feedback, you are welcome to turn in exercises as listed on the
syllabus. I will read over what you have written (as much as my schedule permits-I make NO
promises to give feedback on items turned in early, but will make every attempt to do so).
You must turn all exercises in on d2l in ONE document with clearly labeled exercises.
These items should be included:
1. Now, look through a few of the Forbes top companies in the U.S. Flip through the
leadership and note what you notice about the gender/sex/race/ethnicity/educational
background of the leadership.
2. Do these leadership boards reflect the general population? Using terms from the
readings, explain why the leadership might look the way it does.
3. Using reading 10, explain a few ways we can work to change the composition of
4. What is privilege? How do you see it operate in these companies?
6. Exercise Four: The exercise instructions are found below (a few pages down).
TRIGGER WARNING-This activity involves domestic abuse.
Economic Abuse activity: complete the steps on the WHY DOESN’T She Leave Activity.
7. Exercise Five: A reflection on privilege:
Read each sheet of privileges (Found below). Record the number you acquire from each list.
Imagine you collect a paperclip for each answer you respond yes to, then make them into a
piece of wearable art (like a necklace or bracelet). Answer these questions:
a. What was it like to focus on privilege? Was it a new experience? Comfortable?Enlightening?
How did it feel? Explain your responses.
b. Why is it important for us to be aware of this aspect of our identities/experiences? Why don’t
we (have to) attend to it on a regular basis?
c. What does it mean for us to have multiple, intersecting identities-where we experience some
privileges AND some oppressions? What insight can this give us in connecting with others? What
identities (systems of privilege) were not represented here today? What would you add? If we
had them how would that affect your “bling”?
d. If I asked you to turn your number (how many privileges you have) into something wearable.
What would it mean for you to wear this noticeably for the rest of the day?What messages could
others take from your “bling”? How noticeable, to us and others, are our privileges on a daily
basis? Can we, and how do we hide (deny, justify, ignore) our privilege on a daily basis?
e. What does the collective privilege present here (all our ‘bling’) mean for us as individual
leaders? On our campus? In our community?
8. Exercise Six:
A. Answer these questions prior to viewing the film:
1. How would you define race? What does it mean to you?
2. How many races do you think there are? What are they? How do you decide which race
someone belongs to?
3. Look around the room or around your community. Who do you think is likely to be most
similar to you, biologically or genetically? Why?
4. Where do your ideas about race come from? What are the sources of your information?
B. Watch Race: The Power of an Illusion
You can find it under MGA library-streaming videos-Films On Demand-search for the title, you
will likely need to be signed in to access it. If you have internet that is not reliable you may need
to set up an appointment with the library to view it.
C. Answer these post viewing questions AFTER you have watched the film:
1. Reconsider your answers to the “Before Viewing” questions. Did the film change or
challenge any of your assumptions?
2. Did anything in the film(s) surprise you? Why?
3. Review the “Ten Things Everyone Should Know about Race” handout. Do you
understand each of the items? Which things in the list challenge your responses to the
TEN THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT RACE
Our eyes tell us that people look different. No one has trouble distinguishing a Czech from a
Chinese. But what do those differences mean? Are they biological? Has race always been with
us? How does race affect people today?
There’s less – and more – to race than meets the eye:
1. Race is a modern idea. Ancient societies, like the Greeks, did not divide people according to
physical distinctions, but according to religion, status, class, even language. The English
language didn’t even have the word ‘race’ until it turns up in 1508 in a poem by William Dunbar
referring to a line of kings.
2. Race has no genetic basis. Not one characteristic, trait or even gene distinguishes all the
members of one so-called race from all the members of another so-called race.
3. Human subspecies don’t exist. Unlike many animals, modern humans simply haven’t been
around long enough or isolated enough to evolve into separate subspecies or races. Despite
surface appearances, we are one of the most similar of all species.
4. Skin color really is only skin deep. Most traits are inherited independently from one another.
The genes influencing skin color have nothing to do with the genes influencing hair form, eye
shape, blood type, musical talent, athletic ability or forms of intelligence. Knowing someone’s
skin color doesn’t necessarily tell you anything else about him or her.
5. Most variation is within, not between, “races.” Of the small amount of total human
variation, 85% exists within any local population, be they Italians, Kurds, Koreans or Cherokees.
About 94% can be found within any continent. That means two random Koreans may be as
genetically different as a Korean and an Italian.
6. Slavery predates race. Throughout much of human history, societies have enslaved others,
often as a result of conquest or war, even debt, but not because of physical characteristics or a
belief in natural inferiority. Due to a unique set of historical circumstances, ours was the first
slave system where all the slaves shared similar physical characteristics.
7. Race and freedom evolved together. The U.S. was founded on the radical new principle that
“All men are created equal.” But our early economy was based largely on slavery. How could
this anomaly be rationalized? The new idea of race helped explain why some people could be
denied the rights and freedoms that others took for granted.
8. Race justified social inequalities as natural. As the race idea evolved, white superiority
became “common sense” in America. It justified not only slavery but also the extermination of
Indians, exclusion of Asian immigrants, and the taking of Mexican lands by a nation that
professed a belief in democracy. Racial practices were institutionalized within American
government, laws, and society.
9. Race isn’t biological, but racism is still real. Race is a powerful social idea that gives people
different access to opportunities and resources. Our government and social institutions have
created advantages that disproportionately channel wealth, power, and resources to white
people. This affects everyone, whether we are aware of it or not.
10. Colorblindness will not end racism. Pretending race doesn’t exist is not the same as
creating equality. Race is more than stereotypes and individual prejudice. To combat racism, we
need to identify and remedy social policies and institutional practices that advantage some
groups at the expense of others.
9. Exercise Seven:
Read Dr. King’s letter from Birmingham Jail:
This link allows you to listen to his reading of it or read the document.
Next: read/listen to some of the stories from the woolworth counter sit-ins.
Now, examine a news source’s coverage of the Black Lives Matter protests.
What are the similarities and differences?
10. Exercise Eight:
Write an overall reflection about what you have learned this semester.
Describe one way you plan to make positive social change in your community.
11. Reference List