About Change U

Change U is a social justice program offered through the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center at Grand Valley State University. What is unique about Change U is its approach to social justice, in that it looks at the following:

  • systems of oppression in addition to individual injustices 
  • an intersectional analysis of these systems of oppression
  • the rich history of social justice movements in the U.S. and in Grand Rapids in order to provide insight and inspiration on how to organize 
  • concrete organizing skills for the purpose of movement building and collective liberation

Change U consists of mutual and applied teaching and learning facilitated through large group presentation, small group discussion, skill building/sharing, group brainstorming, and the development of strategies and tactics to resist systemic injustice. This social justice program  uses a relational organizing model, which promotes community building and learning from the lived experiences of all who participate. Valuing our deep ties to the community, Change U is free and available to GVSU students, faculty and staff, as well as community members from West Michigan. We seek to develop a critical analysis in order to envision the kind of world we want to live in, to practice that vision in how we organize, and to struggle together for collective liberation. 

Points of Unity

  • We believe in grassroots, participatory democracy as a group and will use consensus as a model for both learning and decision-making during Change U.
  • We are opposed to all systems of oppression: White Supremacy, cis-hetero-Patriarchy, ageism, Speciesim, Capitalism, religious intolerance, imperialism, etc.
  • We believe that the current economic system of Capitalism does not serve the interests of the majority of people and that economic justice must be part of all of our social justice work for the future.
  • We believe in ecological integrity, environmental justice and the urgent need for humanity to prevent catastrophe from Climate Change.
  • We are committed to creating more dialogue and collaboration between social justice sectors and practicing the intersectionality of all social justice efforts in West Michigan.
  • We are committed to understanding how state, national and international policies impact the social justice work being done at the local level.
  • We are committed to building transformative relationships with each other.
  • We are committed to systemic change.