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Justice Initiatives at Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University 
Main Campus
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

Center Name:
Ignation Center for Jesuit Education

DISCOVER (Developing and Inspiring Scholarly Communities Oriented toward Vocational Engagement and Reflection): http://www.scu.edu/ignatiancenter/partners/discover/

Domestic Immersions: http://www.scu.edu/ignatiancenter/students/immersions/locations/index.cfm 

  • Central Valley, California
  • East Palo Alto, California
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Immokalee, Florida
  • Tuba City, Arizona
  • San Francisco, California
  • San Jose, California

International Immersions: http://www.scu.edu/ignatiancenter/students/immersions/locations/index.cfm 

  • Tijuana, Mexico
  • Nogales, Mexico
  • Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador

Internships and Fellowships: http://www.scu.edu/ignatiancenter/students/internships/

  • The Jean Donovan Summer Fellowship
  • Arrupe Center Internship
  • Arrupe Center Fellowship
  • DISCOVER Ministry Internships

The Environmental Studies Program affords students the opportunity to deal with several issues of justice under the discipline's rubrics of ecology and society, e.g., farm workers and pesticide use, the environmental rights of indigenous peoples, etc.

The Environmental Studies Program

The Women's Studies Program, established in 1980, which in the fall of 1999 will be expanded into the "Program for the Study of Women and Gender", has educated students on issues of gender justice even as it has pursued gender scholarship. The program has supported and funded student participation in a variety of academic conferences over the years where issues of justice were major considerations.

The Women's Studies Program

The Food and Agribusiness Institute educates graduate students in "the equitable and efficient production and distribution of food, a central social justice issue facing our society." Their MBA program for future and returning Peace Corps workers teaches food and agribusiness management in the context of developing nations. Summer institutes bring executive trainees from these nations to SCU for an intense, ten week program.

The Food and Agribusiness Institute

The Ethnic Studies Program offers courses in the Core Curriculum and a seven course academic minor designed to educate students "about the struggles and heritage of peoples of color in the United States. Courses are taught by justice-minded faculty of color who bring together the strength of the discipline of Ethnic Studies, their own community-based experiences, and a clear commitment to challenge students to become active in transforming the society in which they live." Thirty academic courses in a variety of disciplines expose students from many backgrounds, including students of color, to various justice issues from the perspective of historically under-represented populations.

The Ethnic Studies Program

The Law School provides several innovative venues whereby students can study justice even as they bring it about. The East San Jose Community Law Center was started several years ago by students and faculty of the Law School.

The Law School

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, established in 1986, has as its mission to heighten ethical awareness and improve ethical decision-making on campus and in the community at large. The Center promotes ethical decision-making that is guided by moral principles and values, such as respect for persons, justice, and compassion. Concentrating on applied ethics, the Center puts theory at the service of action by gearing teaching and research toward questions and issues of urgent concern to students, professionals, citizens, and business people. The Center displays a commitment to nurturing moral communities through a balance of on-campus and off-campus programs and projects that focus on teaching and research. 

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

The Center for Science, Technology, and Society illuminates the dynamic interplay of science and technology with culture and society. It sponsors and encourages applied research on challenging questions regarding the impact of science and technology on the economy, work and the nature of organizations, education and learning, ecological systems, communities, families and the individual. 

The Center for Science, Technology, and Society

The Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Center for Community-Based Learning facilitates community-based educational experiences for a wide variety of academic programs, e.g., Modern Languages, Sociology, Psychology, etc. Each year, approximately 1,300 students enrolled in 75 different courses participate in this program that places students in 'conversation' with the poor, the marginalized, and the victims of injustice so that SCU students may think and learn about justice both within an academic discipline and within a living, human community.

The Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Center for Community-Based Learning

The Student Reflection Leaders Program, funded by the "Leaders for a Just World" grant from the James Irvine Foundation and sustained by the Center for Student Leadership and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, trains SCU undergraduates in the art of ethical reflection through a series of seminars. These student reflectors then act as discussion leaders in a variety of settings: undergraduate classes, co-curricular groups (e.g., resident assistants, the judicial board, etc.), University regents and high school ethics workshops, where they facilitate discussions of human experience and the attendant dimension of social justice, ethics, compassion, faith and spirituality.

The Student Reflection Leaders Program

The Santa Clara Community Action Program (SCCAP), founded in 1966, is a chartered, student run volunteer organization offering service opportunities in schools, hospitals, special education centers, soup kitchens and the local jail system. Programs such as the annual "Hunger and Homelessness Conference", Special Olympics, and Morning Ministry (feeding the homeless) provide students an important forum for the exploration of social justice questions.


The Office of Housing and Residence Life contributes to student learning about justice-related issues through their judicial conferences, residence hall programming and student staff training. In these three areas, comprehensive efforts are made to introduce students to adult responsibilities for the common good. For example, the training of student staff incorporates an "Urban Adventure", whereby student Resident Assistants, Residential Communication Consultants and members of the Residence Hall Association are immersed in different cultures within San Francisco (Mission District, Financial District, Haight Ashbury, etc.) for a day; then they reflect with staff from Resident Ministers and Campus Ministry upon what they saw, their reactions in situ, and the emergent issues. The insights gleaned are incorporated into programming for the residence halls. Theme floors are also developed and supported, e.g., around such justice issues as community service and multiculturalism.

The Office of Housing and Residence Life

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