Program Information | Activities
“I’m fundamentally a hopeful person, because I know that decisions made the world as it is and that better decisions can change it. Nothing about our situation is inevitable or immutable, but you can’t solve a problem with the consciousness that created it.”
― Heather McGhee, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
Social Justice Scholars 2022-23
The Social Justice Scholarship program began in 1994 as a way for Loyola University to actualize its Jesuit tradition of academic excellence and pursuit of social justice. Social Justice Scholarships are awarded to incoming first-year students who exhibit a high level of academic promise and a demonstrated commitment to community service and social justice activism. The program currently consists of just over 50 student scholars—with an average incoming cohort of 15. Each student in the program completes 45 hours of service work with a community-based organization and participates in educational, social, and cultural activities each semester. The program is administered through the Department of Sociology which is committed to the integration of research and social action.
Social Justice Scholars have contributed over 10,000 hours of their time to a number of service organizations and projects since the inception of the program. These activities have proven to be an excellent way to facilitate the expansion of service learning and research projects within the university. These service opportunities help students develop linkages between the knowledge gained in the classroom and experiential learning gained in the community. Many students work with the same community-based organizations over multiple years. Students service work includes: supporting recent immigrants, tutoring children in math and reading, working in supportive housing services, developing community gardens, etc. In addition, many Social Justice Scholars are involved in community activism around important social justice issues such as food justice, death penalty, and racism.
In addition to community-based work and activism, the Social Justice Scholars Program is a community. Scholars meet once a month as a group to share meal, check-in about service placements, and provide support to each other. The Social Justice Scholars Program acknowledges that working for a more just society requires having a strong foundation of social and emotion support—a foundation that we create through our community.
For questions about the program, contact:
Annie McGlynn-Wright, PhD
Director, Social Justice Scholars
Assistant Professor of Sociology