The Social Justice Initiative (SJI) at the University of Illinois at Chicago advances racial and social justice by nurturing intellectual insurgency and furthering the production of knowledge that seeks to change the world by connecting scholars and activists inside and outside of the university with community-based social change agents in our city, country, and globally. We believe that fostering greater justice, inclusion, equity and peace ought to be a part of the vision and mission of public institutions like ours. We are committed to furthering that mission.

SJI has four ongoing program areas. We operate the Chicago Justice Gallery (CJG) on South Halsted Street in Chicago, which hosts exhibitions around various social and racial justice themes that provoke us to think and feel more deeply about issues ranging from gentrification and police violence to health inequality and militarism. The Pipeline to Justice Scholarship and Mentoring Program is a project to support talented and committed UIC undergraduates engaged in some form of social justice activism or community organizing. Chicago Social Justice Lens Film Series is an annual public film and discussion series focused on national and local social justice issues. Finally, SJI faculty affiliates helped to design the Social Justice Minor, which is housed in the Gender and Women’s Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. SJI Minors study the history and theories of social change, and participate in an internship-like capstone project that allows them to test and apply some of the ideas and models they have been researching. The capstone course allows students to work with select community organizations for their final three-credit course.

SJI also hosts workshops, films, discussions, lectures, exhibitions, and conferences that showcase research and scholarship on various social justice and human rights themes. All of our programs encourage UIC students, faculty, and staff to connect with community members and organizers to address pressing social justice issues in Chicago and around the world.

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Mapping Visions for Transformative Change
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