“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 our mission


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




Nobel laureates visit UIC to mark anniversary-WILPF 100




The Social Justice Initiative at UIC welcomed Nobel Peace laureates Leymah Gbowee and Jody Williams to campus Monday to mark the 100th anniversary of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, a group whose first president was social reformer Jane Addams. The nonprofit organization, with 30 international branches that promote women’s contributions to global peace efforts, teamed with the Nobel Women’s Initiative to sponsor the day-long event at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum on campus.

More than 70 invited community activists, philanthropists, academics and campus leaders joined the laureates for discussions of gender peace movements around the world and to strategize ways to bring about greater social justice. Gbowee, a 2011 Nobel recipient from Liberia, told the group that the celebration and Addams’ legacy as the first U.S. woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize brought two principles to the forefront: human rights and nonviolence. “When Jane Addams started the work that she did, I can just imagine it was not trending,” said Gbowee, a peace activist who help end the second Liberian civil war in 2003. “She began the entire conversation of people’s rights and that states should pay attention to it.” While addressing social justice progress, UIC historian Barbara Ransby reflected on the contemporary efforts of young people. “I am very uplifted by the brilliance, the courage, the determination to really build off the foundation of so many women who began fighting a hundred years ago,” said Ransby, director of the UIC Social Justice Initiative. “The spirit and legacy of those fights are very much the ground and foundation in which young women today are not only envisioning a better world, but demanding and making a better world for themselves and their communities.”

Those at the conference collaborated to develop a U.S. Peace and Freedom Statement that will be delivered next month during the league’s centennial congress at The Hague, Netherlands. Closing remarks were delivered by Williams, the first UIC Social Justice Initiative fellow, who received a Nobel Prize in 1997 for her international campaign to ban land mines. Other speakers included Eric Gislason, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost; Astrida Orle Tantillo, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Steve Everett, dean of the College of Architecture, Design and the Arts; Terry Mazany, Chicago Community Trust president and CEO, Jennifer Scott, director of Hull-House Museum, and Mary Harrison, U.S. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom section president. -

See more at: http://news.uic.edu/nobel-laureates-visit-uic-to-mark-anniversary#sthash.uCCW2IGd.dpuf

Here is a slideshow with pictures from the day.




"28, 43" A Photographic Exhibit Opening

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. Gallery hours are 12-5 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 12- 3 p.m. on Saturdays thorugh March 1, 2015. Please stop by.

To schedule a class or group visit email sjiuic@gmail.com

Over 140 people have visited the gallery and 6 classes have visited the Exhibit.

Below is a slideshow of some pictures of the opening night. Photo credit: Emily Williams & Ivan Arenas.



Twitter Town Hall

On January 10th activists, scholars and historians gathered on Twitter for #Selma2Ferguson, a national digital forum on the fictional “Selma,” the real Selma, lessons from struggles in Ferguson and beyond. Participants shared information, thoughts and ideas on the top down views of Black history, linked the past to the present movements and weighed in on racism, sexism and movement building then & now.

With over 1,928 Tweets with 1,793 contributors the conversation reached over 2 MILLION Twitter users. Please check here for the Storify of the conversation.

Featured Tweeters included:

Barbara Ransby @BarbaraRansby Robin D.G. Kelley @RobinDGKelley

G, Zoharah Simmons @GZoharah Brittney Cooper @ProfessorCrunk

Rosa Clemente @rosaclemente Mariame Kaba @prisonculture

Donna Murch @murchnik Alondra Nelson @Alondra

Jasson Perez @IolaElla Asha Rosa @ashapoesis

Page May @May20p Gary Younge @garyyounge

Along with the Selma town hall, Barbara Ransby was interviewed by the UIC paper. CLick on the link below to see the article. http://news.uic.edu/is-historical-fiction-true-to-history


Forum on Ferguson

On December 1, 2014 a forum on Ferguson was held at UIC co-sponsored by SJI, African American Studies, the Chancellors Committe on the Status of Blacks, Gender and Womens Studies, the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, Insititute for Research on Race and Public Policy and the Jane Addams Hull- House. Below is a bibliography and resource list of articles and events that were mentioned at the Forum.













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