Civic and Community Engagement Classes: Fall 2021 - Spring 2022

If you’re interested in learning more about the Charlottesville community; forming close working relationships with your professors and peers, and addressing complex social issues, then a Civic and Community Engagement (CCE) course may be right for you. 
These courses challenge students to integrate their classroom learning with in-person community engagement work, creating an academic experience that is unique for every student. 

The CCE courses listed below are two semesters long, allowing students to develop relationships with community stakeholders and complete substantive community-engaged work. 

Music and Sound as Community Engagement: Amplified Justice

Fall 2021: MUSI  2559/3559 | TuTh 9:30AM - 10:45AM
Spring 2022: MUSI 2559/3559 | Schedule TBA

Taught by: Bonnie Gordon and Nomi Dave

What does justice sound like? What are the voices and narratives that are often left out of formal, disciplinary proceedings? How do individuals and collectives tell stories in sound? How can music play a role in telling histories for a more just future? How are justice claims sounded outside of the legal system and in everyday life, through stories, political actions, and art? Social media, mainstream news, and television show us how legal proceedings often silence stories. On the other hand, artists and activists amplify voices to incite change. This year long class digs into the dissonance between these voices and ways of hearing through principles and practices of community engagement. Students and faculty will work with community partners to think intentionally of the role of creative practice in redressing inequity. Students will collectively and individually explore a range of research and methods that connect music and sound to community engagement. The class is connected to the new Sound Justice Lab and the Equity Center and is part of the Civic and Community Engagement program.


Hands-On Public History: Slavery & Reconstruction

Fall 2021: AMST 3221 | Tu 3:30PM - 6:00PM
Spring 2022: AMST 3221 | Schedule TBA

Taught by: Lisa Goff

"Public history" is history that is delivered to a non-academic audience, often at historic sites, museums, archives, and on digital platforms. Some films, podcasts, fiction, and poetry might also be considered public history. This course will use all of those formats to investigate how the history of slavery in central Virginia is presented to the public. We will critique how historic sites in the Charlottesville area, including the university, interpret this history, and identify the political and social impacts of these interpretations. Field trips to local and regional historic sites will be a key (and hopefully enjoyable) component of this class. We'll visit Montpelier and Monticello, for example, as well as Richmond, where we'll see Kehinde Wiley's powerful new statue, Rumors of War. But critique is not the only, or even the most important goal of our class. Students will collaborate with local community groups, WTJU, and Scholar's Lab to produce podcasts and digital maps that fill in some of the gaps in the public history of slavery and its legacies in Charlottesville and surrounding counties--contributing, in some small way, to a more just and comprehensive public history. PLEASE NOTE: Class participation will play a very large role in student assessment, as will the final project and all the assignments leading up to it. Several (2-3) field trips will be scheduled on weekends; these are all mandatory. Dates will be announced at the first class meeting. meeting.

Spanish Grammar and Composition II Writing for Social Justice and Change

Fall 2021: SPAN  3020-001 | TuTh 11:00AM - 12:30 PM

Taught by: Esther Poveda Moreno

Have you ever wondered what kinds of change could you enact with more proficient Spanish writing skills? In this section of SPAN 3020, you will have the opportunity to grapple with advanced grammatical and writing skills while you read and discuss selected works by representative Latin American authors that have used writing as a tool for social justice and change, and by participating in a community engagement project. In this course, in addition to completing 15-18 hours of volunteer work with a local organization in the fields of immigration and education, health, or social work, you will deliberately use advanced grammatical forms to construct meaning and will produce texts in which grammar and meaning interact to lead to effective writing in Spanish.

Cultural Conversations- Sí se puede: Community Engagement in Spanish Speaking Charlottesville

Spring 2022: SPAN 3030 | Schedule TBA

Taught by: Esther Poveda Moreno

This Spanish conversation course is the second part of a course sequence with a civic and community engagement component. In SPAN 3030, students will continue the community work that they initiate in fall 2021 with the UVA Equity Center and Madison House AHS (Albemarle High School) Tutoring Program. They will also engage with materials (documentaries, films, podcasts, graphic novels, testimonials, articles and short stories) on selected education projects and movements in Argentina, Colombia, México, Spain, and the USA. As part of the course, students will also have the opportunity to converse with guest speakers. Through their community work, their engagement with course materials, and the conversations with the guest speakers, students will reflect on the importance of education as one of the foundations to build more fair, inclusive and equitable societies, and how this is manifested in the local and broader Spanish speaking world.

Both courses will be conducted in Spanish, and the civic & community engagement projects will allow students to use their Spanish with the Charlottesville community. Please note that, as part of the UVA Civic & Community Engagement Program, this is a two-semester course; therefore, students are required to take both courses in the sequence articulated above.

For any questions or further information please contact Prof. Esther Poveda Moreno at

Introductory Swahili I

Fall 2021: SWAH 1010-001 | MoWeFr 10:00AM - 10:50 AM
Fall 2021: SWAH 1010-002 | MoWeFr 11:00AM - 11:50 AM
Spring 2022: SWAH 1020-001 | Schedule TBA
Spring 2022: SWAH 1020-002 | Schedule TBA

Taught by: Anne Rotich

Introductory Swahili language course is designed to help students learn Swahili language and cultures for basic conversations with native speakers. Students will learn how to greet others, introduce themselves, and talk about a variety of topics of common interest. Students will also have an opportunity to explore, experience, and engage in some civic work in the Charlottesville Swahili immigrant community. Part of the course activities will include engagement opportunities where students will share their culture and experiences with Swahili native speakers in Charlottesville while they discuss and address some of the Swahili speakers' interests. Students will also plan, design and carry out collaborative activities with the community.