Social Justice Network
The Social Justice Network (SJN) of Dwight Hall at Yale is a coalition of organizations and individuals working for social justice and social change at Yale, in New Haven, and beyond. SJN is dedicated to building a community among those who identify themselves as working for social justice, while helping activists develop skills necessary to achieve this change. SJN is a resource center, providing the space for dialogue and cooperation, creating and maintaining links to other organizations. Click here to learn more about the history of the Social Justice Network.
Social Justice Network (SJN) Membership Coordinator
Becca Steinberg BK ’15
Social Justice Network Member Organizations
Amnesty International is the Yale chapter of a Nobel Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with over a million members worldwide. Amnesty International is dedicated to freeing prisoners of conscience, gaining fair trials for political prisoners, ending torture, political killings and disappearances, and abolishing the death penalty throughout the world. They maintain an active presence on campus, with awareness campaigns, discussion panels, movie screenings, letter-writing sessions, and other activities. They are open to new topics and ideas for action. Every week since Spring 2006, they have sent letters asking for the release of prisoners of conscience; at our table at Commons, they typically get 200 signatures per week on such letters.
The Yale chapter of this international non-profit organization matches Yale undergraduates (called College Buddies) in one-to-one friendships with members of the New Haven community who have intellectual disabilities (called Buddies). While the emphasis of Best Buddies is always on the one-to-one friendships between Buddies and College Buddies, this chapter also hosts a number of exciting group activities and outings throughout the year, including bowling outings, movie nights, Yale sporting events, and holiday dinners.
Black Solidarity Conference
The Black Solidarity Conference was founded in 1994 around the concept of Black Solidarity Day, an event inspired by Douglas Turner Ward’s play Day of Absence. The conference serves as a forum for students of color to exchange ideas and opinions about pressing issues while providing an avenue to network with peers. In the past we have had speakers such as Dr. Na’im Akbar, Dr. Kathleen Cleaver, Aaron McGruder, Spike Lee, Cousin Jeff from Cousin Jeff Chronicles, Tavis Smiley, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, and most recently, Dr. Cornel West.
Black Students Alliance at Yale (BSAY)
The Black Student Alliance at Yale (BSAY) is a multi-cultural organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of Black students at Yale through political action, community action, and social events. Understanding that the world changes for the better through the determined efforts of concerned people, and that we are strongest when we are united, BSAY exists in order to create that unity and foster that change in hopes of furthering the cause of equality.
Elmseed Enterprise Fund
Elmseed’s mission is to facilitate the creation of successful small businesses in New Haven. By providing access to small, low-interest loans and technical assistance, Elmseed seeks to open the capital markets to motivated entrepreneurs who lack the capital or resources to start or expand small businesses.
Fierce Advocates is a social justice organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ and allied people through community service and political action.- Examples of their activities include: a Generation Equality fall conference on Yale’s campus, where about 80 youth served, a Pride Prom spring event at United Church on the Green, where about 100 youth served, and they hold a biweekly youth group on campus.
Harvest’s mission is to ease the transition of freshmen into Yale college by running preorientation trips to organic farms around Connecticut. They bring groups of 6-8 freshmen to organic farms around Connecticut. They provide volunteer work to farmers, get students thinking about sustainability (as it relates to: environment, labor conditions, health, etc. ), and help them to understand where their food comes from.
Jews for Justice
Jews for Justice is a pluralistic community of Jews united by a commitment to pursuing social and economic justice at Yale, in New Haven, across America, and around the world. Jews for Justice’s mission is to build a Jewish community that envisions a just world and to pursue that vision through reflection and action.
Yale Undergraduate Prison Project (YUPP)
The Yale Undergraduate Prison Project (YUPP) promotes prison- and criminal justice-related service, discussion, and activism at Yale.
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A.) de Yale, established in 1969, is an organization of Chicanos of different ethnic backgrounds who have come together in pursuit of social justice, community empowerment and cultural awareness. Our social and political activism is a direct response to the problems that affect the Chicano/Latino population locally, nationally and globally.
New Haven Action
New Haven Action is a non-partisan organization that works on issue-based campaigns in New Haven to empower community members. New Haven Action provides opportunities for Yale students and New Haven community members to work on projects that are beneficial at local and state levels. To foster leadership and creative experimentation, New Haven action lowers the fixed costs of community projects by building institutional knowledge and opening networks and resources to young activists.
Roosevelt Institution at Yale
The Roosevelt Institute is a student-run policy think tank that delivers progressive proposals to policymakers and advocacy groups.
Visions of Virtue
Visions of Virtue is an opportunity for Christian women at Yale to nurture, support and encourage teenage ladies in New Haven and neighboring communities. Visions pairs young women (13-16) with Yale mentors for a 12-week mentorship. Each week, this Christian sisterhood meets for sessions on different topics such as sex, nutrition, education, and relationships. However, unlike existing Yale programs, Visions addresses these issues in a biblical context. Visions of Virtue is an opportunity to share a vision with little sisters in Christ, create lasting bonds with fellow Yalies and enhance personal growth.
Yale Hunger And Homelessness Action Project (YHHAP)
YHHAP is a student-run, not-for-profit organization that works on behalf of New Haven’s homeless community. Through direct service, fundraising, education, and advocacy, we aim to alleviate the immediate effects of homelessness while working to address its root causes and pursuing long-term solutions. YHHAP oversees the operations of nine service projects, which include: 1) No Closed Doors, a walk-in case management agency located downtown where clients can receive assistance with public benefits applications, housing searches, and more; 2) Bringing Relief Every Day (BRED), a group that brings leftover bread products from dining halls to nearby halfway houses; 3) Hunger Heroes, which serves dinner at the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen on Friday and Saturday nights; 4) Kitchen 2 Kitchen, a food recovery project that delivers leftover food from dining halls and restaurants to local soup kitchens; and 5) KeepSAFE a locker program for homeless individuals to store their belongings for long periods of time. Other projects provide services ranging from publishing a newspaper written and produced by New Haven’s homeless population (the Elm City Echo) to providing free tax preparation services to low-income residents (Yale VITA project). In addition, YHHAP has board projects, some of which involve organizing on campus fundraisers (such as the YHHAP Fast) and awareness events, engaging homeless individuals in various fun and pragmatic workshops (Workshops), and organizing events at which New Haven residents can take advantage of free and much-needed services, like dental care (Project Homeless Connect).
(Social Justice Network) The YRP serves New Haven’s refugee population by pairing Yale students with refugees to tutor English, help with job searches, and a number of other tasks.
SJN member groups: There will be two (2) deadlines for funding applications per semester, as determined by the Treasurer.
Non-member groups: Non-member groups can apply for “short-term project funding.” Short-term project is defined as an advocacy project/event within the length of one academic year. Please note that non-member groups cannot apply for “short-term project funding” for more than two consecutive semesters. Non-member groups will be asked to apply for SJN membership in order to receive further funding from us.
Each semester, SJN hosts four workshops in order to help young activists effectively advocate their causes. The topic of our workshops ranges greatly, from how to effectively lobby to how to use social media effectively.
SJN publicizes both on and off campus advocacy events through SJN weekly Newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter. If you wish to advertise an activism-related events, please send us a short description and/or a poster of the event to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Facebook page is also a good source to keep track of advocacy events.
SJN hosts the Social Justice Week, during which a series of advocacy-related events take place. These events include panel discussions, speaker events and social events. Groups interested in co-hosting events together during the Social Justice Week are more than welcomed to contact us at email@example.com.
Partnership with the Greater New Haven Community
SJN has a partnership with High School in the Community, a magnet high school in New Haven with a focus on social justice and law. The SJN Co-Coordinators are working to aid the high school students in developing and pursuing their interest in advocacy, activism, and awareness.
SJN also co-hosts wide range of advocacy events, from New Haven local government events to Yale student-led events. If you are interested in co-hosting an event with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your group wishes to join SJN, please contact us at email@example.com and we will send you an application with more specific guidelines.
Joining the circle of enthusiastic activists?
Advertising your advocacy event?
Receiving news on social activism?
Then please feel free to contact the SJN coordinators: firstname.lastname@example.org
Liaison to the Dwight Hall Executive Committee: email@example.com
Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Workshop/Resources Coordinator: ariana.shapiro@yale.
Financial Coordinator: email@example.com