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Justice and Civil Society Course Information

The Jepson School’s Justice and Civil Society course explores the meaning and practice of justice in contemporary society and gives students an opportunity to apply what they have learned. Students read about and debate theories of justice, study poverty and other socio-economic problems, and then serve populations in need by volunteering in nonprofit organizations throughout Greater Richmond.  *Some sections of Justice may be required to complete a City of Richmond police ride-along or a court observation.

For the community component of this class, you will:

  1. Register to serve with an approved Justice community partner, attend an orientation, and, if needed, request university transportation using the transportation link in SpidersEngage. When registering for your events, please do so for ALL the dates you will be going duing the semester.  Do NOT register to volunteer on dates BEFORE your orientation (Please see where this applies), nor after classes have ended for the semester, unless you are truly committing to those days. Also, IF you are NOT going to be on campus during spring break and will not be able to volunteer, do not register to volunteer on those days either- spring break dates 3/6/2020-3/16/2020.  
  2. Complete a service log, specifying the total number of service hours you completed at your designated community partner site.  You hours must be verified/signed by a community partner administrator. 
  3. Submit a background check form for City of Richmond Police Department and choose a date for your police ride-along. *Only Dr. Marilie Coetsee's class is required to do a police ride-along.
  4. If you cannot, or do not want to do the police ride-along, you may be able to do a court observation or a UR Police campus ride-along. Please contact Linda Trent at for additional information.
  5. Toward the end of the semester you are required to complete an on-line evaluation of your service site.  A link will be sent to you toward the end of the semester.

Dr. Marilie Coetsee_LDST 210 Sections 1 and 2

A combined total of 28 hours are service are required. Excluding the police ride-along, firearm simulation, and SNAP challenge, a total of 20 service hours at your community partner site are required for this class.

  • 20 hours of service are to be completed at an approved community partner site.
  • 8 additional hours will be completed on the Police Ride Along (4 hrs) and the firearm simulation (4 hrs).
  • SNAP challenge.

Dr. Thad Williamson_ LDST 210 Sections 3 and 4

A combined total of 30 community service hours are required for this class. 

  • 20 hours of service are to be completed at an approved community partner site.
  • 10 additional hours, attending either *approved university or community event relevant to class, or you may serve an additional 10 hours at your already designated community partner. (*This includes all Jepson Forum events, One Book events, MLK Celebration event, and official public meetings in the City of Richmond, as well as, any official university lecture or events broadly related to the aims of the class. Please ask Dr. Williamson about any upcoming events.)

Approved partners for ALL sections (1, 2, 3, and 4)

  • Peter Paul Development Centers (Chimborazo, Fairfield Court, George Mason, and Coleman [central] Center)
  • RVA Future Centers (Huguenot, John Marshall, and Thomas Jefferson)
  • Higher Achievement (Binford, Boushall and Henderson)
  • YouthLife (Delmont, Highland Park/Northminster, and Southwood)
  • Second Baptist
  • VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assitance Program) Several Locations
  • LULAC - Dr. Williamson's sections only.

*IMPORTANT* Shuttle service is NOT available to all the community partners listed above and may require you to seek alternative transportation. 

**Travel time is not considered part of your volunteer service hours.

***Bonner Scholars: you are allowed to use your existing Bonner site IF IT IS ALSO a Justice site; however, you may need to complete different work to fulfill Justice hours versus what you typically do as a Bonner.  Please obtain permission from your professor or Dr. Williamson before choosing your Bonner site.

Faculty members approach the class in different ways. Course syllabi are posted each semester. You will be able to view previous semesters' syllabi. 

Dr. Marilie Coetsee and Dr. Thad Williamson are teaching LDST 210 during spring 2020.