“If you’re willing to challenge your personal comfort, prioritize bravery over ideological safety, be humble with your learning & generous with your teaching, and push dogma, performance, & posturing to the side in favor of outcomes, action, & authenticity, this is the space you’ve been looking for. We’re thrilled to meet you.”
Social Justice, Minus Dogma is a continuation of the work I’ve been doing for the past few years confronting the social justice dogma. It was something about 15,000 readers of It’s Pronounced Metrosexual asked for, and 2,046 people signed up for before it launched.
It’s also a response to the difficulty of producing a podcast, Heretic, about this topic – specifically, the risk faced by anyone who would be a guest on that show.
With that in mind, the course is… “designed for anonymity & safety. Talking about topics like these, online or anywhere, is risky. To help mitigate that risk, I’ve designed this entire project with safety in mind. All learners will be anonymous to one another, with identities verified by me. There’s even a topic within the first module to help teach you how to navigate this space (and any online community) safely.” (from the “We Are Live” news post at sjmd.space)
About the SJMD Course
The course itself is 6 modules, meant to be completed over 6 weeks (minimum – learners are encouraged to go at their own pace).
Each module covers a different theme related to social justice dogma, with the first module focusing on “what it means to create real community.” The arc of the course follows a similar arc to what I went through, individually, as I began to encounter, explore, then confront the social justice dogma. It ends with a module about enacting “social justice, minus dogma.”
It’s participatory, with learners taking the lead on suggesting topics and course materials – from book chapters, to articles, videos, podcasts, TED talks, and more.
About the SJMD Community
The community is where most of the participation happens, powered by a custom install of Discourse. It’s a private, members-only forum, where all of the topics within the course can be discussed, as well as a platform for continued learning, challenge, and support.
Uncopyrighted & Open-Source
For this project, I wrote a lot of content and curriculum for the course. All of which is uncopyrighted, which has become the default mode for me.
But even more exciting, because the software I had licensed to power the course itself fell apart after an update (LearnDash, for the curious – and the update that broke everything was LearnDash 3.0, which I obviously do not recommend), I wrote my own app to power the course.
I programmed it with Go and Hugo, and open-sourced everything on GitHub (all unlicensed or MIT licensed), so you can use it to power your own course, if you want! For free!
This set back the release date of the course about a month, but in the end I’m really happy to not be using bloated, buggy, expensive software, and instead running it on something I wrote myself. It’s also WAY faster, which is going to make a huge difference for anyone taking the course on a slow internet connection.
Some of My Fav Stats
Calculated using a mix of methods (and generally underrepresented due to limitations), here's what Social Justice, Minus Dogma looks like by the numbers: