Social Justice Leadership

Social justice recognizes the inherent dignity of all people and values every life equally. It calls for both personal reflection and social change to ensure that each of us has the right and the opportunity to thrive in our communities, regardless of our identities. Those who strive for social justice believe in the triumph of our shared humanity.

Social justice leadership is at the heart of a Kalamazoo College experience.

It traces back to the mid-1800s when K leaders James and Lucinda Stone embraced educational opportunities for women and welcomed anti-slavery activists such as Frederick Douglass and Ralph Waldo Emerson into their home and classrooms.

It’s evident in the diverse, inclusive student body, and in the student who model social justice in the student organizations they lead.

It lives in the ranks of K faculty and staff members who incorporate its tenets in coursework, civic engagement programs, and other experiential programs at home and abroad.

Kalamazoo’s long commitment to social justice and leadership development is most evident in the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, made possible through a generous endowment grant from the Arcus Foundation.

The Arcus Center supports initiatives proposed by students, staff and faculty, provides forward-thinking programming, offers fellowships for emerging and veteran social justice leaders, and hosts annual signature events with global reach. The work is rooted in a set of values collectively developed by the College community:

  • Inspire Unity
  • Spark Intellectual Growth
  • Nurture Leadership
  • Build Community
  • Embrace Change

Through the Arcus Center, Kalamazoo College will develop leaders who will engage in civil rights, human rights, and social justice leadership work in our community and around the world.