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 (CSLC). Activate modules are available on BlackbBoard to help prepare GVSU students for civic engagement. The modules use an intersectional lens to explore the components of civic engagement and help students understand the difference between volunteerism and engaging in meaningful, service-oriented, community-facing work.


The modules are available to all students as either a stand-alone experience or a precursor to participation in a Day of Service. Activate Days of Service consist of civic engagement opportunities developed and coordinated through collaboration among the Social Justice Centers and the CSLC. Activate Days of Service are available for open registration every semester and have three essential features: pre-engagement education and discussion, service learning experience, and post-engagement reflection.

ACTIVATE Days of Service

Days of Service create opportunities for GVSU students to engage with the community through service learning. The number of registrations available for each opportunity are limited based on the needs of host site partners. Interested students are encouraged to sign-up for opportunities early! Days of Service will typically be scheduled for Friday or Saturday mornings, and student participants are required to use provided transportation.  

Examples of host sites for Activate Days of Service include the following: 

  • Grand Rapids Red Project
  • HQ
  • GVSU Sustainable Agriculture Project
  • Grand Rapids Pride Center
  • Kid’s Food Basket
  • Refugee Education Center
  • Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities

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 Alex Montgomery (they/them) at or Marla Wick (she/her) at with additional Activate questions. Marla is the associate director in the LGBT Resource Center and Alex is the assistant director in the Center for Women & Gender Equity.

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