Black out Tuesday free online courses
Black out Tuesday free online courses Today, June 2, 2020 is following the lead of two black woman in music who created an initiative called: #TheShowMustBePaused
  This was created
“in observance of the long-standing racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard”,
under the assertion that they:
“will not continue to conduct business as usual without regard for black lives”.
These two ladies: Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang have installed a day that individuals and celebrities can be a part of, not by vanity alone, but with a commitment that Blackout Tuesday will be:
“a day to pause the music to show unity against racial injustice and discrimination”.
The founders have declared that they are in it “for the long haul” and seek to move forward “with a plan of action to be announced”.   Columbia Records contribution on twitter was to remind us all that:
“This is not a day off… instead this is a day to reflect and figure out ways to move forward in solidarity”.  
So rather than simply post a black image with the hashtags #BlackoutTuesday and #TheShowMustBePaused across our social media channels, (noting that we were quickly advised to avoid the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter given the black graphics, of which there were 13.4 million contributed to instagram alone [as of 16.22 (GMT)], were clouding the reach of other important messages), we decided to use some of our time of pause today to curate a listicle blog post outlining some of the free online courses that any individual, with a digital device, connectivity and skill can undertake to increase their learning for the benefit of all.   Whilst we believe that we should all seek first to understand please do note that the free online courses that we signpost to can in themselves be discriminatory. This is especially pertinent at a time of Covid19 and also given that our work with Good Things Foundation for #DevicesDotNow by FutureDotNow highlights that too many in society in the UK and indeed around the world are excluded from the very privilege of having ownership of, or access to, a digital device and/or the required connectivity and/or the skill to make the most of the thousands of free learning opportunities available online.   We hope the below list sourced from the signposts on to free online learning providers Edx (online provider of over 1,700 free learning opportunities) and OpenLearn (which provides access to over 1,000 learning opportunities) inspires someone to go today and get learning:

America’s Poverty and Inequality Course by Stanford Online (via

About this course

It’s a special moment in U.S. history in which income inequality has reached unprecedented levels, poverty remains extreme, and racial and gender inequalities are intransigent. Why is there so much inequality and poverty? How might they be reduced? Find out from the country’s top scholars in “America’s course” on poverty and inequality.
  • Length: 9 Weeks
  • Effort: 2–4 hours per week
  • Enrolling: June 2, 2020

Unconscious Bias: From Awareness to Action by Catalyst (via

About this course

Unconscious bias—everyone has it. But that doesn’t make us bad; it makes us human. While we cannot completely rid ourselves of unconscious bias, we can learn how to recognize it and lessen its impact in the workplace. These are skills that everyone can learn.
  • Length: 3 Weeks
  • Effort: 1–2 hours per week
  • Enrolling: June 2, 2020

Human Rights Defenders by Amnesty International (via

About this course

Human rights defenders are people who have the courage to stand up against injustice. In this online course, you will follow their stories, learn how they mitigate risks and explore the creative ways they use to speak up. You will find out what drives them to take action, witness what defenders can achieve and discover how you can use your voice to defend your rights and those of others.
  • Length: 4 Weeks
  • Effort: 4–5 hours per week
  • Enrolling: June 2, 2020

Justice by Harvard (via

This introduction to moral and political philosophy is one of the most popular courses taught at Harvard College.

About this course

Taught by lauded Harvard professor Michael Sandel, Justice explores critical analysis of classical and contemporary theories of justice, including discussion of present-day applications. Topics include affirmative action, income distribution, same-sex marriage, the role of markets, debates about rights (human rights and property rights), arguments for and against equality, dilemmas of loyalty in public and private life. The course invites learners to subject their own views on these controversies to critical examination. The principal readings for the course are texts by Aristotle, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and John Rawls. Other assigned readings include writings by contemporary philosophers, court cases, and articles about political controversies that raise philosophical questions.
  • Length: 12 Weeks
  • Effort: 3–6 hours per week
  • Enrolling: June 10, 2020

Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Challenging Poverty, Vulnerability and Social Exclusion by SDG Academy (via

With complex legal protections and varying societal norms, how do we ensure rights for all?
  • Length: 11 Weeks
  • Effort: 2–4 hours per week
  • Enrolling: June 2, 2020

Introduction to Ethics: Moral Problems and the Good Life by MIT (via

A rigorous introduction to ethics. We’ll think about well-being, objectivity, key historical figures and approaches, what we owe to others, and more.

About this course

This course has two goals. The first goal is to introduce you to key questions in ethics.
  • What makes your life go better or worse for you?
  • Can ethics be objective?
  • What are the main historical approaches in ethics?
  • What do you owe to others?
The second goal is to get you thinking rigorously about ethical questions yourself. This will help you develop your critical reasoning and argumentative skills more generally.
  • Length: 10 Weeks
  • Effort: 5–7 hours per week
  • Enrolling: June 10, 2020

HOPE: Human Odyssey to Political Existentialism by Princeton in association with Tel Aviv University (via

What sets us apart, and brings us together, as humans? How can we live up to our humanity? Join us as we explore not only “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” but “death, freedom, and the pursuit of meaning.”

About this course

In this course, we look for answers to seemingly unsolvable queries: Why breathe? Why breed? Why bleed? What justifies continuing, creating, and killing lives? Seeking answers to these thorny questions, Princeton University and Tel Aviv University have joined hands to create a unique online course that delves into the depths of the human condition and its politics. Human Odyssey to Political Existentialism (HOPE) is a journey into the human condition and its politics, turning to existentialism for guidance. The course explores, on both individual and political levels, the following themes: Human / nature, identity & authenticity, freedom, reflection, happiness, death & dread, meaning, morality & ethics, truth & trust, God & religion, alienation & love, and finally—hope.”
  • Length:
    10 Weeks
  • Effort:
    3–5 hours per week
  • Enrolling: June 2, 2020

Storytelling for Social Change by University of Michigan (via

Use stories to deliver messages that affect people. Learn how to craft a story that develops empathy and delivers impact.

About this course

How can storytelling promote social change? This course develops skills for using stories to deliver messages that affect audiences and shape attitudes for social change. Learn how building empathy and developing characters can offer multiple perspectives on complex problems. Social change happens when listeners or viewers identify with messages delivered through a protagonist they identify with. Theatre artists and professional storytellers offer expertise about how to craft a story that develops empathy and delivers impact. You will watch video interviews with storytelling experts, view performances, and write your own story for social change. See how stories told from diverse perspectives contribute to understanding new perspectives about pertinent world issues. Learn how effective storytelling can be your tool for change. This course is for anyone who wants to effectively tell an impactful story.
  • Length: 5 Weeks
  • Effort: 1–3 hours per week
  • Enrolling: June 2, 2020

Writing for Social Justice by Berkeley University of California (via

Learn to harness the power of writing to bring about about personal, social, and political changes that matter.

About this course

Can writing change your world? Writing with power about personal, social, and political issues can change minds, introduce solutions to old problems, and help you become a more engaged participant in public life. Everyone has issues that matter deeply to them, whether they are:
  • Personal–such as defining the goals and ideas that are important you,
  • Local–such as the governance of the public library or enactment of local laws and propositions,
  • National–including critical political and social issues being decided on a larger scale, or
  • Global–challenges facing the planet from perspectives of social and ecological change.
In Writing for Social Justice, you will learn the importance of word choices in writing for different genres in order to reach your audience. Specifically, you will learn to:
  • keep a personal journal to help you identify issues and ideas that matter in your world
  • write letters to public officials that will capture attention without being dogmatic or offensive
  • craft opinion articles that take opposing positions into account, while using critical thinking and effective strategies for successfully arguing logically for your own ideas
  • optionally, develop and maintain a blog or podcast of your writing in order to reach a wider audience
There will be short example readings included in the course, which will serve as models of different persuasive genres. You will also share your writing with other students in the course, getting and offering feedback on assignments.
  • Length: 4 Weeks
  • Effort: 4–5 hours per week

Race, ethnicity and crime by Open University (via OpenLearn)

About this course

This free course, Race, ethnicity and crime, briefly examines the relationships between race and ethnicity, and crime, criminalisation and criminal justice. It considers the relationship between crime and cultural difference; the notion of ‘criminalisation’ and how its processes affect individuals and their opportunities; and the lived consequences of racialisation. Specifically, you will examine the ways in which these criminalisations which lead to the over-policing, over-incarceration and under-protection of particular populations lie at the heart of critical criminological arguments.
  • Length: 1 Hour Study
  • Level: Level 3 Advanced

How would you respond to social discrimination? by Open University (via OpenLearn)

About this course

New innovations like ‘360 degree videos’ allow us to not just be passive observers of a scene but look around and interact with characters as if we were really there! These engaging experiences can help us build a greater connection with and empathy for all sorts of different people and places. Virtual Inclusion is an interactive feature that offers you the chance to experience a ‘day in the life’ of three different young people facing discrimination and learn how you can promote social inclusion in your own life!

Take it further:

If you are an educator or indeed home educator at this time of Covid19 you can download a Digital Toolkit for using this virtual inclusion resource in the classroom!

Blog created by Founder – Trainer Christine Watson on 2 June 2020 and inspired by Black Out Tuesday. Should you start learning more about this area as a result of this blog please do think about sharing your learning plan and learning journey on your social media or offering to guest blog for us in order to inspire the learning of others who may wish to follow in your learning footsteps or start on their own personal learning journey.
A journey of 1,000 miles begins with one single step
Information, links and research based on ‘keyword’ searches and by trawling related ‘subject’ headings correct as of 2 June 2020.
This is not an exhaustive list and we trust that there are many more learning opportunities available both now with more to be added in the future.
We trust this blog is a useful resource for active citizens seeking to learn more a tthis time, makes no revenue from this blog or any of these signposts to free online learning providers. reserve the right to amend or add to this blog at any time.
If you have any feedback for us, ideas for additional free online courses by trusted providers relevant to this subject or spot any broken links please do contact us    

You may also like

Learning log of Erasmus Trainee Anna-Lena from Austria after an awesome time working and living in Northern Ireland
Learning Plan of Erasmus Trainee Johanna Zettel from Austria
Welcome to my last blog about learning log from one month abroad in Northern Ireland
Learning log of Erasmus Trainee Romana from Austria after an awesome time in Northern Ireland