Through an analysis of ethnographic and historical texts, policy reports, academic studies, and popular media pieces, this course will help students explore and discuss the hidden factors that have formed and sustain inequities in American cities. By studying the roots and contemporary manifestations of policy decisions and practices such as discriminatory housing, predatory lending, unbanking, and deindustrialization, and contextualizing the vast (and growing) wealth gaps in America and the critical importance of intergenerational wealth, this course will shed new light on how our current economic reality has been shaped. At the same time, the course will also introduce comparative approaches to understanding personal finance. Students will assess their own present and future financial decisions alongside the broader policies and histories that have framed their choices.
As an ABCS course, students will participate in The Economic Justice Partnership’s Fall workshops, building community with area high school students through financial empowerment workshops. Students will also generate a policy analysis and/or program proposal as part of their final project that addresses an inequity theme studied in the course.