JUNE 19, 2020 — Over the past month the Black Lives Matter movement has spread across the U.S. and the world following the death of George Floyd, sparking conversations about social justice and the need for change.

A new class, Black Lives Matter: Race Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality, will dive into the importance of the movement and its historical and sociocultural contexts when it starts in the fall semester.

Led by Karla Broadus, a lecturer in the College of Education and Human Development, the course will be part of the African American Studies program in the Department of Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

“It’s going to be a multicultural, multidisciplinary course that’s going to examine equality and social justice issues in academia and society,” said Broadus, who is director of the African American Studies program.


“I hope students can go out and deal with the social justice issues and maybe be better employers or employees when they leave this institution.”

A Black Lives Matter class was previously offered in 2017 in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, but with the everything occurring in today’s society, Broadus said she felt it was important to have a resurgence of the course within the African American Studies program.

In this new course students will have the opportunity to explore the principles of the Black Lives Matter movement while learning about restorative justice, sexuality, intergenerational engagement and sexuality.

“We’re going to talk about black women, the civil rights movement, black villages, queer affirmation and the connection between brown and black communities,” Broadus said. “It’s very important that we talk about black lives and everything that’s involved because a lot of our students don’t understand the academic, cultural and sexual connections to the topic.”

The Black Lives Matter movement was founded in 2013 following the acquittal in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a Florida youth.

“They felt his death wasn’t handled appropriately by the police. They also wanted to eradicate what they felt was white supremacy, and they wanted local power to take over a little bit more,” Broadus said. “They felt that they needed to speak up because our society was not being very nice toward the LGBTQ community or people with disabilities. So they decided to start a liberation movement.”

When it comes to developing the curriculum for Black Lives Matter, Broadus said it won’t be a difficult task.

“I’m going to utilize all of the faculty within REGSS and speakers in the community,” she said. “Many of the topics that we’re going to cover are things that we already specialize in and teach in our courses. There’s a wealth new of materials to use. There are books now out there for K–12, even on the Black Lives Matter movement. If you asked about this two or three years ago, they weren’t there.”

 Learn more about the African American Studies program at UTSA.

Broadus added that she hopes this new class will build a foundation for the students who decide to participate.

“I hope students can go out and deal with the social justice issues and maybe be better employers or employees when they leave this institution,” Broadus said. “Be better parents and better neighbors. I always tell students that history repeats itself whether we like it or not. It might have a few additional twists to it, but history repeats itself. You can’t improve something if you don’t know where you came from.”

The newly announced class already has a list of students interested in it, Broadus said.

“This class is something we needed,” she said, “because I haven’t even had a chance to get the new flier for the class, and there are already students who’ve signed up for it. I think there are almost 30 students in the class.”