The Social Justice Education Program at Grand Valley State University works to support and provide transformational self and personal development of all community members, as well as systems, change.

We develop and connect our students, faculty, and staff with programs and services that empower them to learn about the multitude of ways that their intersecting identities inform their understanding of their worldview and role in disrupting or maintaining power and privilege, including ways to confront systems of oppression and to promote social justice by working toward equity.

With an intersectional social justice framework as a foundational aspect of our work, The Social Justice Education Program provides integrative educational experiences for faculty and staff to facilitate critical dialogue around race, gender, sexuality, social justice, and the interplay of identity, power, privilege, and oppression. We nurture collaborative partnerships to foster an inclusive campus environment through student engagement, community building, and identity-conscious leadership development. The program also provides advocacy and support for students, faculty, and staff experiencing interpersonal, intrapersonal, and systemic oppression through connecting them with campus resources.   

Goal Statements

1.    The Program will provide brave spaces for faculty and staff to discuss cultural issues that impact their individual and group identity development.

2.    The Program will support the work of the Social Justice Centers, The Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, and other campus partners; providing cultural programs, workshops, and trainings that promote equity and explore the histories, cultural artifacts, customs, beliefs, and values of the diverse communities at the university and surrounding community within a social justice context.

3.    The Program will create and facilitate opportunities for faculty and staff to become leaders in facilitating intergroup dialogues on social justice issues among their peers.

4.    The Program will support the social justice training of student leaders to represent their organizations effectively and to develop strong programs that enhance the campus community’s appreciation of the talents and skills of students from all identities.

5.    The Program will serve as an institutional resource for information on and related guidance about campus climate concerns as it relates to a sense of belonging among students, faculty, and staff.

6.    The Program will create and facilitate training opportunities for community members, educators, practitioners, businesses, and others statewide as well as nationally who seek to incorporate an intersectional social justice framework into their work.

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Page last modified November 9, 2020