“What matters is not to know the world but to change it.” Frantz Fanon “Give Light and people will find the way.” Ella Baker Deserve your dream - Octavio Paz Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.” -Jane Addams Radical simply means “grasping things at the root.” Angela Davis


SJI student made logo


“to create knowledge that transforms our views of the world and, through sharing and application, transforms the world.”

-UIC mission

...learn more about SJI's mission


Uncivil Rites:Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom

A Book Talk Steven Salaita & Panel Discussion

Steven Salaita Book Talk

In the summer of 2014, renowned American Indian studies professor Steven Salaita had his appointment to a tenured professorship revoked by the board of trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Salaita’s employment was terminated in response to his public tweets criticizing Israeli government policy.

Salaita’s case raises important questions about academic freedom, free speech on campus, and the movement for justice in Palestine.

In his new book Uncivil Rites, Salaita combines personal reflection and political critique to shed new light on his controversial termination. He situates his case at the intersection of important issues that affect both higher education and social justice activism.

Steven Salaita currently holds the Edward W. Said Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut.

Book talk and panel discussion

When: October 12, 2015

Time: 6:00pm- 8:00pm

Location: Student Services Building, Conf. Rooms ABC, 1200 W. Harrison, Chicago, IL

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Black Panther Party Discussion

Thank you for your interest in attending our screening of the Black Panthers:Vanguard of the Revolution. Unfortunately, the screening is sold out. Many people expressed interest in attending this screening and the screening sold out much earlier than we expected. For this reason, we have arranged to have a screening on campus in mid to late November. At that point, we will reach out first to everyone who RSVP'd for next Friday's screening, but did not get a ticket. We apologize that you will not be able to attend next week's screening, but hope you will attend the screening on campus in November.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is a new feature length film by award-winning filmmaker, Stanley Nelson, documenting the impact and significance of one of the most well-known Black Power organizations of the late 1960s and early 70s. Listen below to an interview with film director, Stanley Nelson

Listen below to an interview with film director, Stanley Nelson

Memories of Julian Bond (1940 – 2015)

Keynote Speaker at SJI’s Freedom Dreams/ Freedom Now Conference in 2014

Barbara Ransby Talks with Julian Bond

I first met Julian Bond as a graduate student in the early 1990s when I was working on my dissertation on Ella Baker. I gave a paper on Baker at the Organization of American Historians’ annual meeting. I saw Julian (who I thought of as Mr. Bond at the time) in the audience. The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) veterans are a tough bunch. They don’t mince words and they don’t like folks meddling in their history, unless they are prepared to do enough work to get the story right. So, I was nervous when I saw Julian coming toward the stage after the panel. Maybe I could act like I did not notice him and hurry off in the other direction. But there was no time. He looked right at me, striding with a confident gait, and a purposeful gaze. These were not good signs, I thought to myself. When he finally reached me, he stuck out his hand and said “well done.” What a relief. I moved forward with greater determination to finish the dissertation and then the book. Every time I saw him after that he was friendly, warm, and generous...(read more from Barbara Ransby)

Sawyer Seminar

UIC wins Mellon grant for social justice series

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Social Justice Initiative has been awarded a $175,000 Sawyer Seminar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a yearlong seminar series beginning in January.

The Sawyer Seminar operates like a temporary research center for interdisciplinary exchange in the humanities and social sciences, where faculty, postdoctoral researchers, graduate students and guest speakers participate in intensive study and public programs...(read more)

Social Justice Minor

In the Fall of 2015, Gender and Women’s Studies in partnership with the Social Justice Initiative will offer a minor in Social Justice. This minor will allow students to gain experience working with community-based organizations and provide opportunities for students to combine their experiences with new skills and strategies for future careers in organizing, non-profits, or applying a social justice lens to any professional field. Students who minor in Social Justice will learn about strategies to work toward social change, discuss movement work and link local movements to global ones. Minoring in social justice will entail focusing on critical analyses of social systems and movements that create and perpetuate equality and inequality. Additionally, all minors will complete at least one in-depth community-based learning experience with a partnering organization.

To learn more about the Social Justice Minor, click here.

Interested students please contact Emily at emilywil@uic.edu

First Recipient of the Nesbitt, Carrasco, Unzueta Border Crossing Scholarship

The 2015 Recipient of the Nesbitt, Carrasco, Unzueta Border Crossing Scholarship is Jocelyn Munguía Chavez...read more

"28, 43" A Photographic Exhibit

Over 70 people attended the opening reception for "28/43": Ferguson to Ayotzinapa, a photo exhibition at our new Pop Up JUST Art space at 1255 S. Halsted. Over 140 people have visited the gallery and 6 classes have visited the exhibit.

Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 12 to 5 p.m. and by appointment. To schedule a class or group visit, email sjiuic@gmail.com

Support the work that SJI does!

Click here to donate!