So You Want to Change the World? Learn to Serve, Serve to Learn

Maurice Elias (Psychology)

Many young people today have a desire to make positive change in the world, yet are deeply suspicious of conventional politics. Some are cynical and comment from the sidelines; others perform service activities aimed at helping communities in what they perceive as a direct, meaningful way. Is this a “band-aid” approach, or an alternate form of politics? This seminar will examine the concept of service-politics, the intersection of direct service and civic engagement through established democratic mechanisms, and the role of an engaged university in preparing students for civic life. We are going to understand the psychology of change, leadership, and service by looking at research and theory and our own experiences and those of loved ones and others, all through the lens of the unique political moment in which we are living.