Originally defined as "American Minority Perspectives" and later broadened and reimagined, the latest iteration of this course designation — "Race, Power and Privilege" — was the result of a 2016 report produced by the Task Force on Diversity in the Curriculum.
The College Curriculum Council (CCC) supported the Task Force’s proposed curricular program, but initially voted to change the name to “DIAP Courses: Race, Gender, and Inequality” (in use from 2018-2021) to gesture toward the larger University-wide Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP). In 2021, a CCC working group revisited the Task Force's recommendations to assess progress and to examine how to best support student learning about racism, racial inequities and systems of power and privilege. Reflecting on the increasing, and increasingly public, racist violence and other national events of recent years, the 2021 working group determined that it was necessary to return to the 2016 Task Force's original intent by adopting a narrower and more explicit curricular program, "Race, Power and Privilege."
In their content and their objectives, Race, Power and Privilege (RPP) courses examine issues of structural inequality, racial formations and/or disparities and systems of power within a complex, pluralistic world.
RPP courses may investigate:
- the ways different forms of power and privilege construct racial and identity formations in the U.S. and/or globally; the cultural, political and intellectual responses to this racialization;
- how categories of race and ethnicity are produced intersectionally in relation to other hierarchical structures of difference including gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, ability, citizenship status and geography;
- the structures, institutions, practices and attitudes that enable, maintain or mitigate domestic and/or global disparities in health, income, education outcomes, media representations, etc.; and/or
- the ways in which disciplinary structures of knowledge have been embedded in such historical formations as racism and colonialism.