Social Justice Beyond the Classroom: Responding to the Marathon Bombing’s Islamophobic Aftermath

Abstract

Counseling psychology doctoral programs across the country are working to develop new approaches to bring social justice to
the curriculum. Boston College has done so, in part, through a course titled Counseling in Context. The three core emphases
are (a) ongoing self-examination of power and privilege, (b) applying traditional counseling skills to community-level problems,
and (c) building from a clear intellectual and values framework. Building on an ally development conceptual frame, we illustrate
how these principles were used to develop an intervention to combat Islamophobia on campus in the wake of the Boston Marathon
bombings. The Don’t Meet Hurt With Hate. Love Islam Campaign served to support Muslims and engage non-Muslims in ally behavior, engaging more than 400 students on campus and 10,000 people
virtually. In demonstrating how students can act with and for oppressed communities, we hope to provide a template for similar
actions on other campuses.

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