Kevin Harrison evaluates diversity in Black Lives Matter class


Photo courtesy of Wichita State

When coming to college, a lot of the classes are to be expected: algebra, biology and English. However, some classes dive deeper into specific issues, such as the Black Lives Matter course.

Kevin Harrison teaches the course at Wichita State. In the class, his main focus is to foster active citizenship, personal growth, improve writing skills and encourage a diverse perspective. 

Harrison created this class to deconstruct stereotypes and give students the power to become critical thinkers who will understand the value of different perspectives and diversity. 

“This is in a nutshell why both the course and the statement ‘Black Lives Matter’ are powerful,” Harrison said. “The statement gives a voice to a population whose pain and oppression, along with its brilliance and ingenuity are often overlooked, overshadowed and disregarded.” 

In the 16-week-course, he focuses on the perspective of his students and a textbook equally, so many things change each course. However, some things do stay the same semester-to-semester, such as covering widespread issues. Constants include the Civil Rights Movement and Brown vs. BOE as well as events specific to Wichita, like the Dockum Sit-in. 

For this semester’s class, there are three main projects Harrison is focusing on; a service learning project, a place-as-text assignment and an ePortfolio. Each project is incredibly in-depth and each puts its own spin on reflecting diversity. 

For the service learning project, Harrison is partnering with the Wichita Art Museum on November 10.

“We will be hosting an event called ‘Diversity Education Expo’ from five to seven p.m. at the museum where each group will present to an audience their project, its significance and their [call to action for] the audience,” Harrison said. 

Each project keeps a central focus on the main goal of the class, which is open to both honors and non-honors students.

“In our class, we discuss, explore, and examine all the subject matter that recent headlines label taboo,” he said.