Equity and Social Justice Emphasis

Are you passionate about making a difference in your community? Do you seek a deeper understanding of current issues and trends in our society? If the answer is yes, the Equity and Social Justice (ESJ) Emphasis can provide you with the knowledge to be a leading driver of change.

The Equity and Social Justice Emphasis (ESJ) offers students a unique opportunity to study the social, economic, cultural, and political forces that have shaped historic and contemporary experiences of our diverse communities. Students engage in an interdisciplinary examination of various dimensions of human diversity – including race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, religion, and more – with a focus on social justice and change.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this emphasis will be able to:

  • Identify historical and contemporary issues based on social location/identities, including a primary focus on race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, ability and age;
  • Critically analyze power structures, oppression, and privilege;
  • Create strategies and tools for empowerment, transformation, and social justice;
  • Work and communicate effectively with peers and diverse perspectives to build solidarity within and outside the class.

AA-DTA with Emphasis in Equity and Social Justice (pdf)

Undergraduate Majors

Students who choose an A.A. or A.S. with an ESJ emphasis can transfer to four-year schools to major in a variety of related disciplines, including:

  • Ethnic Studies
  • Cultural or Media Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Disability Studies
  • Sexuality/Queer Studies
  • Law/Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Migration Studies
  • And many others

(Note: Although the ESJ Emphasis does not serve as a formal transfer path to any university, some courses may meet prerequisites to enter related major or minor programs.)


For more information, contact
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Division

Enrollment Information

The ESJ Emphasis, part of Seattle Central’s College Transfer program, is a way to focus your Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) Transfer degree on equity- and social justice-related courses. You can then transfer to a four-year college or university to earn a bachelor’s degree.

There is no need for any additional action on your part. After you complete the required number of ESJ courses, the emphasis will appear as a notation on your transcript. See an advisor for more information, including an up-to-date list of classes that qualify to complete this emphasis.

Eligible courses

  • AME 102 Indigenous People and the US
  • AME 150/HIST 150 Multicultural US History
  • AME 151 Societies and Cultures of the United States
  • AME 200 Leadership and Social Change
  • AME 201 Diversity and Social Justice
  • ANTH 106 American Mosaic
  • ANTH 275 Medical Anthropology
  • ART 254 Pacific Northwest Art History
  • ART 255 East Asian Art History
  • ASL 120 Introduction to Deaf Studies
  • CMST 205 Multicultural Communication
  • ENGL 115 LGBT Literature
  • ENGL 265 Literature in Society
  • ENGL 266 Decolonizing Literature
  • HIST 131 Asian-American History
  • HIST 281 Queer and Trans History
  • HIST/WMN 140 American Women’s History
  • HIST 145 Women, Race and Class
  • HIST 269 History of the Holocaust
  • HUM 105 Intercultural Communication
  • HUM 210 Introduction to LGBTQ Studies
  • POLS 170 Minority Politics in America
  • PSYC 250 Psychology of African Americans
  • PSYC/WMN 257 Psychology of Gender
  • SOC 106 Sociology of Asian Americans
  • SOC 150 Race and Ethnic Relations in the United States
  • SOC& 201 Social Problems
  • SOC 220 Sex Roles and Society
  • SOC 240 Sociology of Education
  • WMN 200 Introduction to Gender Studies


Serve on the front lines in efforts to create a more equitable society, in career paths such as:

  • Child advocacy
  • Health advocacy
  • Education
  • Community Organizing
  • Human rights
  • Disability rights
  • Environmental justice
  • Human services
  • Law and criminal justice
  • Healthcare
  • Business

A variety of organizations value employees with this education:

  • Nonprofit and government sectors
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • International organizations
  • Think tanks
  • Religious institutions
  • Law firms (and law schools)