Community Service Learning
Community service and social activism are key components to the field of Women’s Studies. WGSS 496: Community Service Learning in Women’s Issues is an advanced upper division seminar that is intended as a community practicum for Women’s Studies majors and minors as well as others interested in women’s issues in action. The course allows students the opportunity to put into practice the theories and knowledge they have gained as a result of studying women’s issues.
Students devote 40 hours of community service to their chosen agency throughout the semester. Their activities include running workshops, providing mentoring, promoting advocacy, fundraising, planning public events, researching archives, and developing program materials. In class, students engage in a number of reflective writing activities and plan a social change agent panel, which features their site supervisors and introduces the organizations to the CSULB campus community.
In the past few years, students have worked with the following community agencies:
- Girls, Incorporated of Orange County;
- Gay and Lesbian Center of Greater Long Beach;
- Long Beach Domestic Violence Court Resource Referral Program
Volunteers accompany domestic violence survivors to court
- Rosie the Riveter Preservation Program
This program is run through Long Beach Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske’s office and honors the women who worked at the Douglas airplane factpry during World War II.
- S.A.C.A. The Sexual Assault Crisis Agency
SACA provides a 24 hour rape hotline and crisis counseling.
- Long Beach BLAST Girl Power Program
Part of the Long Beach School District after-school learning outreach, this program was started lwith the girls at the Northpointe Housing Community who wanted an opportunity to meet with older girls to discuss sexual health and self-image issues.
- Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Immigration Unit ~ Torture Survivor’s Project
This program attends to the needs of immigrants who were victims of torture in their countries of origin. It involves both outreach and legal assistance to a diverse community of asylees and refugees.
- ELLAS (Embracing Latina Leadership Alliances)
ELLAS’ vision is to inspire and empower Latinas to broaden the perception of what they can pursue and achieve educationally and professionally. The program provides mentorship and leadership opportunities to foster education, cultural awareness, an expanded appreciation of the Arts, and community participation.
- Flossie Lewis Center ~ Alcohol and Drug Recovery Program
This Long Beach residential program serves single women and women with children.
- ADVANCE U.S. Veterans Initiative, Villages at Cabrillo
The Villages at Cabrillo is a unique residential community offering transitional housing for homeless veterans, families, and youth. Its ADVANCE Women’s program provides female veterans with various forms of assistance, including shelter, employment, social and health services, and sexual trauma counseling.
We offer special training for student peer facilitators in our lower division classes. This involves learning how to lead small group discussions on what sometimes turns out to be volitile material. This is done through WGSS 392:Feminist Pedagogy.
Here students develop active listening skills, learn how to read nonverbal communication, and practice creating a comfortable environment where students may explore and share the meaning of their experiences in a larger context while building increased understanding and respect for diversity. It provides invaluable experience in cooperative leadership and mentoring and allows those enrolled to work closely with a WGSS professor and with other student facilitators. This class is ideal for anyone interested in pursuing a career in teaching, psychology, or human resources.
Some of our facilitators claim it is ideal for anyone who wants to communicate, period!