Diversity & Social Justice

For decoration only - image of a USA flag in shades of brown and beige with fists in a power sign instead of stars


"Everyone should take these courses!  Understanding how structural forms of oppression and exclusion, like racism, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, ageism, adultism, classism, anti-Semitism, anti-Arabism and Islamophobia affect our lives - personally and politically - gives us more options and more power to change our world."

- quote from a student


About the Certificate

Develop individual skills and study collective strategies to support community uplift

Human Rights & Justice    |    Equity& Equality    |    Intercultural Communication
Community Power
    |    Political Movements    |    Strategies for Change
Current Issues
    |    Historical Contexts    |    Solidarity
Personal Growth
    |    Societal Transformation

Diversity & Social Justice Certificate Program: IDST 80:A,C,D,E,&G. Enroll Now!

The Diversity and Social Justice Certificate program leads students through a series of consciousness raising courses that analyze specific forms of social oppression and evaluate social justice interventions in the United States. Addressing individual, institutional and sociocultural elements of diversity and social justice, the certificate provides thorough diversity training for City College of San Francisco faculty, staff and students. It also serves professional development needs for employers, community based organizations and social and government agencies.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of this certificate, students will be able to:

  • Describe and analyze systems of oppression and privilege related to social identity or status.
  • Assess biases and stereotypes in relation to diversity and social justice.
  • Examine individual and collective ways of take action in response to oppression.
  • Explain the intersectionality of distinct forms of social oppression.


Diversity Collaborative Graduations Spring 2017

  • IDST/LALS/LBCS/LGBT/WMST Graduation Celebration

    Please join several CCSF Diversity Departments in celebration of our certificate completers, scholarship recipients, and degree completers, along with the family and friends and faculty who support them!

    DATE:  Thursday, May 23, 2019
    TIME: 5:00PM-8:00PM
    PLACE: Wellness 301

    Critical Middle East Studies
    Critical Pacific Island Studies
    Design Collaborative
    Diversity and Social Justice
    Latin American and Latino Studies
    Labor and Community Studies
    Lesbian Gay Bi and Trans Studies
    Project Survive
    Sexual Health Educator
    Trauma Prevention and Recovery
    Women's Studies
    and the AA-T degrees in Social Justice

  • Refreshments served ! Bring family and friends!

Diversity and Social Justice Studies Certificate recipient's graduation speech


    "When Professor Muller, Interdisciplinary Studies Department Chair, invited me to speak at this graduation ceremony, I was thrilled and very deeply honored. Thank you, Professor Muller, for trusting me and giving me an opportunity to speak.

    When I was sitting down thinking about what I should speak, my daughter was besides me in the crib dropping things over and over. She was at her object permanence stage where she is learning that things will not go missing even when she just dropped them. I have to pick it up and give it back to her every time she dropped because that will help her with her confidence. It is very tiresome. But it will help her learn.

    I wonder if I have ever been at object permanence stage in my political and social activism field where I am not sure if peace is still possible when I face difficult circumstances over and over again and feel stuck in the movement.

    I've come from Burma where political situation is unrest. I've experienced the circumstances where my colleagues were on hunger strike dying and some were beaten up so badly by the police to the point they had to be hospitalized in intensive care for asking educational reform in Burma. When I was struggling with my school, work and health here, I've tried to organize the protest here to voice for them. When I received a news that a rare lawyer, U Ko Ni, who supported democratic movement and tried to amend the constitution, was assassinated point blank at the airport while he was holding his grandson in his arms. I witnessed the crime video file here across the ocean. When a close friend of my colleagues, Ko Par Gyi, was brutally murdered for his journalism work and when her wife and kids uncovering his remaining body was in the news, my tears rolled down when my colleague, his close friend, laughed it off with sadness. That is what my older generation activists do sometimes to laugh it off so that they can cope and move on for the remaining journey of dismantling dictatorship.

    Impunity still exist for those cases. Some people repeatedly say that there is no hope for freedom in Burma -- civil war, poverty, lack of rules of law, communal violence and failed state. Damage is so big that Burma is not fixable. Yes, I have those hopeless moments as many social justice warriors and educators have experienced. The deeper we enter to the field of diversity work and social justice work, the more we are likely to experience that phrase.

    I am deeply honored to be here because my professors of the interdisciplinary studies are like loving parents restoring my confidence again and again and giving me a chance to learn that peace is still there and peace is possible no matter how difficult the situation can be. My professors and my fellow diversity studies students are my allies who assure me that we can stand firmly and speak up in the face of injustice and oppression. They have shown me. This is how you do this. This is how you take care of yourself. This is how you sustain. This is how you fight back. Most importantly, this is how you hope. To hope is fundamental to resist. To be able to hope is to be able to resist.

    In my Transphobia class, Professor Breana Hansen, came in, introduced themselves and said this was not the only gender identity they hold. Hearing that liberated me. How long have I been in gender confinement and how long have I stayed without even realizing to question social construction of my own gender role forgetting my freedom. Too long! Professor Jennifer Shockey's compassionate response to kids about gender issues has become my model to deal with complex issue. That class changed my life.

    I was walking fast to be in Dr. Palaita's racism class because I was already warned that he did not like tardiness. When I walked in, sweet music of indigenous Oceania was playing. We have music in our class! How cool and how revolutionary is that? That is before we went into deep discussion of racism, discrimination, slavery and "terrorism" across time and across borders. Don't we need music or self-care to digest all in?

    I am very humble and grateful to be here because interdisciplinary studies restore hope for me again and again. Sitting in Anti-Arabism/Anti-Semitism class, talking about Israel and Palestine conflict, I witnessed professor Penny Rosenwasser, Jewish professor, and Professor Roni Abusaad, an Arab professor, were co-teaching such heavy subject with such active love and such hopefulness. Right then, I know peace can be restored that way. Education is one of the key answers. It was more than class experience. It was spiritual experience for me.

    These are just some of many examples how important interdisciplinary studies is for me.

    I feel very privileged to receive this social justice education in such holistic way from my professors whose wisdom and hearts are so enormous and their social activism works are so persistence and tireless. They are my role models and living examples. 

    This graduation is not any other graduation. This is diversity departments' graduation where our professors with ancestry wisdom, Metta or loving kindness, intellects and masteries graduate all of us, not just graduates, but activists and warriors of peace. 

    What comes after object permanence stage for babies like my daughter are wonderful unfolding steps of human beings? After graduation, we also need to keep growing and stepping up one after another -- a faith, a hope, a knowledge that the object is not gone forever. Peace is not vanished forever. It is here in us and in our community. We can have confidence in our own abilities, knowing we came from a supportive community, we begin to carry on our own "objects" and "objectives" as we move forward.

    Let's continue hoping that peace is possible. If we don't, who will? Thank you."