Social Justice - awareness knowledge action

At Southern, we are committed to identifying and addressing systemic barriers to equity, access, and success for all members of our community. We are also committed to constructive dialogues where we treat one another with dignity, respect, kindness, compassion, and civility as we share varying perspectives, with the goal of creating an inclusive culture. By joining social justice and free speech with critical thinking in and out of the classroom, we prepare students to engage with societal issues on campus, as well as in our local communities, our nation and our world.

Collage of two photos, all students

Our Commitment

  • We will provide forums that encourage critical thinking about societal topics impacting our university, local, and global communities.
  • We will provide opportunities to engage in substantive discussions where varying perspectives are welcomed and respected.
  • We will not tolerate hate speech or bigotry in our community.
  • We will identify and address systemic barriers to equity, access, and success for students, both within and outside of the university.
  • We will ensure equitable access to tools, resources, support, and opportunities for faculty and staff.
  • We will hire people who reflect the diversity of our student body.
  • We will initiate and engage in partnerships that improve education, health, cultural engagement, and opportunities to strengthen well-being in Greater New Haven and beyond.

How You Can Participate In and Support Southern's Social Justice Mission

  • Commit to learning, and helping others learn, the tenets of social justice.
  • Create opportunities for honest dialogues that deepen understanding about issues relevant to you in classes and your work area.
  • Respect others’ right to divergent points of view and use critical thinking and knowledge to support your perspectives.
  • Speak up when you hear or see something unjust.
  • Participate in Social Justice Month, campus dialogues, and other multicultural events.
  • Volunteer at non-profit events staged on campus and in your local community.
  • Notice and help all students receive the guidance and support they need throughout the academic year.

What Does Social Justice Mean to You?

Social Justice Month 2019 Highlights


Moving Beyond Diversity: A Syllabus for Faculty, Staff, and the Community

Created by the Racial Justice Pedagogy Project

The resources provided here are intended for faculty and staff to explore in an effort to strengthen their understandings of how systemic racism operates in our lives, communities, and classrooms. This syllabus is part of a larger endeavor for faculty to integrate racial justice pedagogies into our practice.

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Download Syllabus (PDF)

SCSU Campus Climate Surveys

The President’s Commission on Social Justice administered a campus-wide climate survey to identify and describe faculty, staff, and student perceptions and experiences about diversity and the overall atmosphere of inclusivity, acceptance, and appreciation at Southern

We welcome you to review the survey results and to share your activities and recommendations.

Learn more

Top Owl Award

Lapel pin

The Top Owl Social Justice Award is given to recognize contributions in helping our University achieve our mission of creating and sustaining an inclusive community that appreciates, celebrates and advances student and campus diversity at Southern Connecticut State University.

The President’s Commission on Social Justice at Southern is seeking nominations for the Top Owls Social Justice Awards that will be presented in the 2019-20 academic year — one award per month in December, January, February, and March. The Top Owls will be publicly recognized on campus and receive an honorary Social Justice pin. The awards recognize members of the Southern community who treat others with dignity, respect, kindness, compassion, and civility. Top Owls are Southern’s good citizens who are dedicated to practicing social justice in their every day lives.

Learn More


Apply for A Social Justice Grant

The President’s Commission on Social Justice offers annual grants to members of the campus community to support opportunities that value equity, diversity, create a climate of inclusion, and challenge injustice.

Up to eight grants are available for a wide variety of projects, research, creative/scholarly activities, events, and initiatives related to social justice. All members of the SCSU community are welcome to apply, including faculty, staff and students. Interdisciplinary and cross-sector collaborations are encouraged.

A total of $9,000 will be awarded in the amounts of $2,500 (2), $1,000 (2-3), and $500 (2-4). To learn more or to apply, follow the link below. Questions? Contact Suzie Huminski, huminskis1@southernct.edu.


Apply Now


Students at a science booth

One-on-One with President Joe

Learn about President Joe's earliest experience with social justice.


Group Dialogue Guidelines

Interested in bringing social justice topics into your organization's or department's meetings? The social justice committee has developed guidelines and resources to support you as you engage in dialogue around difficult social justice issues relevant to your community.

Download Guidelines (PDF)

Discussion with a group panel