Activate: Social Justice Service Learning

Activate is a collaboration between the five social justice centers (Campus Interfaith Resources, Disability Support Resources, Gayle R. Davis Center for Women and Gender Equity, Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center, Office of Multicultural Affairs) and the Community Service Learning Center. The program prepares students for service learning on campus and in the community and helps connect them with opportunities for engagement.


Use your skills and talents to support the one of the social justice centers. Examples include the following:

  • Support a social justice center program by distributing flyers or assisting with set-up and tear-down
  • Transport items donated for a social justice center drive from drop-off sites in Grand Rapids or between Allendale and Grand Rapids Campuses
  • Sort donations to Replenish, a food resource for students


Represent one of the social justice centers around campus. Examples include the following:

  • Write a guest blog post for GVSU Feminist Voices
  • Make a year-long commitment to be an ambassador with Campus Interfaith Resources, Center for Women and Gender Equity, or Office of Multicultural Affairs


Engage with the community through service learning opportunities. Examples include the following: 

  • Participate in a Day of Service—a day-long service project that allows you to engage with one of our many community partners on a short-term basis. Transportation provided.
  • Sign up for one-time community engagement opportunities. The Activate Blackboard site is updated regularly with opportunities throughout the academic year.

How do I get involved?

  1. Complete the online registration
  2. Complete online training in Blackboard (access instructions emailed following registration)
  3. Sign up for opportunities through Blackboard (access after online training, first come, first served basis)
  4. Agency placements may be available on a limited bases. Students interested in an agency placement must attend an additional one-on-one meeting (after completing the online training) with a center representative to discuss interests, qualifications, and potential opportunities.


Activate is open to GVSU students.

It's up to you! You determine the opportunities you want to sign up for and how much time you want to give. Some students may sign up for one event the entire year while others may commit to 5-10 hours a week. Most semester long opportunities are very flexible and will require a 1-2 hour commitment per week.

No, Activate is facilitated online through Blackboard. All Activate members are required to complete the online training before signing up for opportunities. If you're interested in an agency placement, an additional one-on-one meeting is required. All Activate opportunities are posted online through Blackboard.

Yes! We work with professors in many majors to find opportunities that will fulfill your classroom requirement.

Yes, all volunteers are asked to log their hours through the GVSU Service Tracker.

Once you have registered and completed the online training, you are considered an Activate member for the duration of your time as a student. You will only be removed from the Activate Blackboard group if you graduate or ask to be removed.

Contact Sharalle Arnold (she/her/hers) at or 616-331-2748 with additional Activate questions. Sharalle is the Associate Director in the Center for Women & Gender Equity and serves as the Activate program coordinator.

Contact the IT HelpDesk at  or 616-331-2101 for technical Blackboard assistance.