Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

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    BCC class scrutenizes U.S. social movements

    Are you looking for a class with a social conscience? Have you wondered how you can make a difference in today’s complex society? 
    The class is Sociology 6: Comparative Social Movements Since the 1960s, which will be taught by Mark Swiencicki for the second time this spring semester at BCC.
    Swiencicki is an instructor with real-world experience. As a political activist in New York City for 13 years he worked on such issues as squatters’ rights and anti-gentrification. He was part of the Black Liberation Movement and the December 12th Coalition. 
    Swiencicki also worked for Freedom Now, which defended more than 100 U.S. political prisoners, and “prisoners of war,” both groups trying to change the status quo. Some of his work can be seen on YouTube, such as a film he shot in Cuba in the early 1990s titled “Assata Shakur and William Morales Speak: Political Prisoners in the United States.” 
    Swiencicki has taught various sociology classes in the Peralta District since 2002. He also conducts instructor training sessions and speaks at many Peralta events as well as sitting on the Faculty Senate and other committees. He has studied abroad, and he earned his doctorate of philosophy in sociology from the University of Connecticut. 
    The sociology class will include movements from the past as well as those happening today. According to Swiencicki, many movements grew out of the movements in the 1960s, which is why the course starts there. 
    Some of the movements that will be studied are: Students for a Democratic Society, the Black Panther Party, the Women’s Movement, the Gay and Lesbian Movement, the New American Right, and the Occupy Movement. 
    The course will answer questions about how movements form, what their strengths and weaknesses are, what strategies they use, why some movements decline, what factors affect their success, as well as try to predict what future movements will look like. This class will not only be a good place to look at and compare movements but also learn how to organize movements and what strategies will be effective to bring about change in issues that are important right now. The course aims to provide invaluable information for anyone trying to form a group to affect change.
    Although Swiencicki is passionate about what he teaches, he separates his role as an activist from his role as an instructor. He explains that he does use his real work experience when it is relevant, but he includes a wide variety of movements and analyzes them rather than judging the goals they were trying to accomplish. Swiencicki wants to make sure that everyone feels welcome in his class and that no one is scared away because they do not share any certain ideology. 
    Sociology 6, course number (20762): Comparative Social Movements Since the 1960s will be offered during the Spring 2016 semester at Berkeley City College. It will meet from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. A copy of the syllabus for the most recent time the class was taught is available at http://www.berkeleycitycollege.edu/wp/msiencicki. If anyone has any questions about this course they can contact the instructor through email at msWiencicki(at)peralta.edu or by phone at (510) 981–2916.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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