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    Morehouse College and Coursera Announce Courses to Promote Understanding of Social Justice and Contemporary Issues

    February 17, 2021

    ATLANTA— Morehouse College, the nation’s only HBCU dedicated to developing and educating men, announced a partnership with Coursera, a global online learning platform, to create courses for audiences eager to gain highly relevant knowledge cultivated at Morehouse, including courses with particular emphasis on social justice or other contemporary issues.  The first course, Activism in Sports and Culture, is taught by Chris Webber, guest lecturer and five-time NBA All-Star. The course explores how protests by notable athletes, coaches, and media personalities have shifted public opinion on inequality and furthered civil rights. As has been the case throughout American history, activism by Black athletes served as a prelude to much of the social unrest of 2020 related to racial injustice.

    “The division in our country can only be healed if we have the courage to have honest conversations about inequity in our society and the responsibility we each have to understand its roots and find solutions,” said Dr. David A. Thomas, president of Morehouse. “Sports has often been among the earliest and most visible arenas in which to raise awareness about racial challenges. This moment calls for us to hear each other, learn from each other, and uncover the truths which will allow for us to move forward as an informed society. Morehouse is uniquely positioned to serve as the center point for one of the most consequential conversations of our time.”

    Morehouse courses available on Coursera will allow people around the world to learn from faculty members with expertise and perspectives unique in the world.  The courses will explore highly relevant issues of our time, using Morehouse’s history of thought leadership in areas such as social justice as the foundation upon which to address contemporary challenges.

    “Morehouse has been a pillar in our society, the Black community, and social justice movements. There is no better partner to launch this course and no better time than Black History Month. Launching on Coursera allows millions of learners from all walks of life to take this course,” said Webber. “I want those who enroll to be inspired and informed after hearing from the people who have made the greatest sacrifices to influence public conversations.”

    Later this year, Morehouse also plans to release a Sports Analytics Specialization among other courses exploring a diverse range of leadership and social justice topics.

    More information can be found at

    Jose Mallabo
    (404) 435-9245 (cell)

    About Morehouse College

    Morehouse College is the only historically Black college dedicated to educating men. Founded in 1867, Morehouse is a private, liberal arts institution and the nation's top producer of Black men who go on to receive doctorates. The College is the top producer of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs and was named to the list of U.S. institutions that produced the most Fulbright Scholars in 2019-2020. As the epicenter for thought leadership on civil rights, Morehouse is committed to helping the nation address the inequities caused by institutional racism, which has created social and economic disparities for people of African descent. Prominent Morehouse alumni include: Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton "Spike" Lee, Academy Award-winning American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta; Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services; Bakari Sellers, attorney and CNN political analyst; Randall Woodfin, elected as the youngest mayor of Birmingham in 120 years; and U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s first Black U.S. senator from Georgia. For more information, visit:

    About Coursera

    Coursera was founded by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng with a vision of providing life-transforming learning experiences to anyone, anywhere. It is now a leading online learning platform for higher education, where 77 million learners from around the world come to learn skills of the future.


    What are we announcing?
    • We are announcing a partnership with Coursera to distribute online educational content on their platform. The first course will be Activism in Sports, taught by Chris Webber. To learn more about our partnership, read the announcement letter from Morehouse President David A. Thomas.
    Who is the instructor?
    • Chris Webber is a TNT sports journalist and commentator and five-time NBA All-Star who will serve as a Morehouse College guest lecturer to facilitate this course. Webber was also NBA Rookie of the Year and a number one draft pick. During his 15-year NBA career, he played for the Golden State Warriors, Washington Bullets/ Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, and Detroit Pistons, though he spent most of his career with the Sacramento Kings, who retired his jersey. His teams made it to the playoffs 10 times. Before the NBA, he led the University of Michigan basketball team in 1992 and 1993 as one of the "Fab Five" in the incoming class of 1991. He is also a former National High School Basketball Player of the Year. He is also a philanthropist and founded the Timeout Foundation in 1993 to provide positive educational and recreational opportunities to youth. Among other honors for his community contributions, he was presented with the NBA Community Assist Award and the Wish Maker of the Year in 2003, awarded by the Sacramento Chapter of the Make a Wish Foundation.  
    Who is eligible to take Activism in Sports?
    • Activism in Sports is an open admissions program. Anyone can take the course and earn a certificate. 
    Why are we partnering with Coursera?
    • Coursera is a leading online learning platform for higher education, where 77 million learners from around the world come to learn essential skills. More than 200 of the world's top universities and industry educators partner with Coursera to offer courses, Specializations, certificates, and degree programs. By partnering with Coursera, Morehouse has instant access to students using their educational marketplace to find courses, and Morehouse has access to their technology, in-site marketing, and other competitive competencies unique to Coursera. 
    When will the course be available?
    • Students can register and take the course immediately. The course is asynchronous.
    What is the cost of the course?
    • Anyone can take (audit) the course for free. For $49, students can take assessments and earn a certificate. This is in line with Coursera's standard business model.
    What will it be like to be an online student?
    • This course is asynchronous, and students will generally work at their own pace.

      Students will explore subject matter, including the following:
      • How have athletes' struggles against injustice changed the face of America and kicked off a reckoning within modern-day sports?
      • How does context inform the shape and outcome of protests?
      • What is it about sports that provides space — or doesn't — for political statements?
      • Why do some of us expect athletes to be activists when others would rather they "shut up and dribble"?
    • As part of the course, students will watch Webbers' interviews with iconic activists, including John Carlos and Jemele Hill, as they wrestle with the meanings and outcomes of their activism. They will also read and watch primary source documents about acts of protest and academic and journalistic work that reckons with the legacies of those acts.
    What topics are covered in the course?
    • The course is broken down into four modules.
      • The Icons: The history of activism and sports stretches to the beginnings of athletics in America, but perhaps the most iconic moment of protest was at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. In this module, you'll learn about the men who took a stand there, the historical context of the act, and how their country and the world responded.
      • The Reluctant Protester: Not all acts of protest are committed by people who consider themselves activists. In this module, you'll learn about NBA Hall of Fame honoree Spencer Haywood. At 19, he was the youngest American to win a gold medal at the 1968 Olympics. At 21, he brought a lawsuit against the NBA that would forever change the game.
      • The Commentator: What role do journalists play in activism? Is it better to use an existing platform or to build their own? In this module, you'll witness the evolution of Jemele Hill from ESPN personality to outspoken activist.
      • The Organizer: This module spans the career of Dr. Harry Edwards. As a sociologist and academic, Dr. Edwards created the field of sports sociology. As an activist, he has supported and counseled athletes in their acts of protest, from the Olympic Project for Human Rights to Colin Kaepernick's protest of the National Anthem.
    How does this fit into Morehouse's online strategy?
    • As part of the "Morehouse Beyond Borders" plank of the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan, Morehouse is extending the reach of its educational programming beyond its primary campus and making content available digitally. Offerings are designed to serve specific audience segments as we share knowledge beyond the new adults who participate in the flagship on-campus undergraduate experience and engage in intellectual exploration with broader cadres of students as well as the general population. Our 2U announcement earlier this month previewed educational programming that will allow men with adult life experience and prior college credits to obtain their undergraduate degree from Morehouse online. The Coursera course is available to anyone and features content particularly relevant to the Black male experience, as Black men make up a disproportionate share of professional athletes.

      Initial degree offerings through 2U are within the business management degree area, and other offerings, including fully online degree programs, will be announced at a later date. An additional Coursera course is expected to be available later this year— Sports Analytics, taught by Dr. Kinnis Gosha (Specialization).
    How can I learn more about the Morehouse Online program? 
    Why is Morehouse launching online programs?
    • Our strategic decision to embrace live and asynchronous high-quality online education positions us as a leader in the future of higher education, expands our global impact, and strengthens our long-term financial stability.

      We believe that truth and shared knowledge equips societies to authentically address inequities and global challenges. By sharing our singular expertise with wider audiences, we can broaden the perspectives of people who can affect change as innovators and problem-solvers. At the same time, we can grow the number of educated and informed students we empower and inspire to move into positions of leadership, influence, and decision-making, including men of color.
    Why did Morehouse go with Coursera for certificates but 2U for degree completion programs?
    • Being on multiple platforms gives us the ability to create custom experiences for students seeking unique experiences, whether it's to complete a degree over several semesters or to complete a single course over several hours. 2U's platform for degree completion is ideal for leveraging the Morehouse brand and experience. At the same time, the more open platform that Coursera deploys is ideal for the kinds of massively open online courses we're offering.

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    What technology will students use? 
    • Students can access the course through Coursera's online platform, which provides a user-friendly interface where students can access coursework, recorded classroom sessions, and experiences that allow for faculty feedback, student support services, and more.
    Are there internet and technology requirements? 
    • Yes. There are important hardware, software, and connectivity requirements that allow you to take full advantage of the online learning environment. 
    Will the online program be accessible for students requiring accommodations?
    • Coursera's platform is built its learning platform to meet accessibility standards. 
    How is student privacy secured online? 
    • Coursera takes care to protect students' online privacy when on the learning platform and in the digital classroom, including enhanced security measures and compliance with strict legal guidelines around sharing student data and information. 
    Is financial aid available?
    • Yes, Coursera provides financial aid to learners who cannot afford the fee.

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