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Social Justice News

James, who was incarcerated in state prison for 33 years, is the subject of a student-produced video centered on The Francisco Homes, a Los Angeles charity that helps “ex-lifers” re-integrate into society following their release.

Class brings together writing, film and community engagement

May 23, 2016

OPEN ON BLACK CUT TO: INT. VEHICLE, VIEW THROUGH WINDSHIELD – DUSK. The vehicle heads north up a freeway onramp, passing under several bridges. The hum of the vehicle in motion is all we hear. The camera’s focus…

Prince performs an iconic set in pouring rain during half-time for Super Bowl XLI at Dolphin Stadium on February 4, 2007, in Miami. Photo by Anthony Correia.

Remembering Prince, virtuoso and provocateur

April 25, 2016

Dearly beloved We are gathered here today To get through this thing called life So begins Prince’s song “Let’s Go Crazy,” which opens the 1984 film Purple Rain. The movie, in which he starred as famed…

Poet Claudia Rankine is known for her commitment to social justice. Photo by John Lucas.

Claudia Rankine Joins English Department

July 6, 2015

USC Dornsife has recruited renowned American poet Claudia Rankine as Aerol Arnold Chair of English. She will teach a wide variety of literature and creative writing courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level starting…

Manuel Pastor (seated) is presented with a chair bearing the university seal. From left: Michael Quick, interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs; Patricia and Gerald Turpanjian, the chair’s donors; and Steve Kay, dean of USC Dornsife. Photos by Steve Cohn.

The People’s Academic

February 9, 2015

At a ceremony honoring his installation as the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change, Professor Manuel Pastor made three pledges for how he will serve the USC — and greater Los…

Singer-songwriter and musician Aloe Blacc ’01 aims to create positive social change, including working to eradicate food deserts. Photo by Reid Rolls.

The Man

November 4, 2014

Before he was global Top 40 sensation and socially conscious singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc, he was Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III, a linguistics and psychology major at USC Dornsife. Even then, Blacc was determined to use his…

USC senior Christine Burcelis and Resurrection Catholic School fifth graders Jesus Ajiz and Leslie Lopez learn about civic engagement during the Penny Harvest Academy. Photo by Gus Ruelas.

Penny Wise

April 16, 2014

One by one, the children named problems they wanted to solve in their neighborhoods — air pollution, litter, homelessness, gangs, violence, and drug and alcohol abuse. Then, the USC undergraduates sitting with them…

In her new book <em>Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora</em> (New York University Press), USC Dornsife’s Shana Redmond takes a critical look at black music's largely unexplored anthem genre and its contributions to social justice movements. Photo by Erica Christianson.

‘Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing’

January 6, 2014

It was a beautiful spring day in Johannesburg. The year was 1994. At the inauguration ceremony where Nelson Mandela took the oath of office as the first democratically elected black president of South Africa, the victorious…