Introduction to Peer Mentoring, Leadership, and Community Building

ICS 2AIn this two-unit course we will: 1) explore how our understandings of our identities, cultures, and languages have shaped and been shaped by our educational experiences; and 2) explore how to build solidarity and community through peer mentorship.

We will consider how educational systems perpetuate societal inequalities as well as approaches to decolonizing education that challenge these systems. One of our primary lenses will be language: What does it mean to speak the “right” way? We will look at the historical role of language, particularly Spanish, as a tool of colonization and we will examine how language ideologies currently operate in conjunction with other factors such as classism and racism to marginalize and to exclude people.

We will consider what it means to be a peer mentor and reflect on leadership models that contribute to community-building, specifically in the context of De Anza College. This course has an S-designation and it will require 12 hours of civic engagement in the form of mentoring in a De Anza classroom. This mentoring, in addition to the course content, will provide the basis for future mentoring opportunities on De Anza campus through the LEAD program.

Class will consist of large and small group discussions of readings with opportunities to explore your own linguistic identities and educational experiences. If you have any questions about the course or would like additional information please contact Kimberly Vinall at

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