The Social and Environmental Justice program is designed specifically for students who take seriously the idea that an educated person is one who embodies a sensitivity to the social, ecological, and moral challenges of our time. Moreover, it is centered towards individuals who, through structured study and practical field work, act to make a constructive difference in our world.
The program is open to students from any major or concentration and is grounded in the conviction that in a world plagued by conflict, war, and manifold forms of degradation, both human and environmental, "true peace," as Martin Luther King, Jr. put it, "is not merely the absence of tension—it is the presence of justice."
Justice, however, is not present where there is a disregard or contempt for human rights. For that reason the Social and Environmental Justice program fully endorses the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948. In addition, due to the indivisible link between humans and the environment, the program is committed not only to respecting and promoting basic human rights but also to affirming and actualizing environmental imperatives.
The Social and Environmental Justice program aims at developing students who are aware of our world's major challenges—e.g., poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, war, slavery, and all forms of human and environmental degradation—and who are committed to addressing these threats to the common good in the most constructive ways possible.
SEJ minors are required to complete a field work project as a part of their course curriculum. The goal of this experience is both to enhance the well-being of another people or place and to deepen students' understanding of the world in which we all live.