SJN History

  • The Development of the Social Justice Network: 1990s- Present


The Social Justice Network (SJN) was established in 1997. The idea was to create a sustainable, institutionalized network of organizations devoted to social action and social change.

Initially, the SJN was simply a series of monthly meetings at which representatives from organizations such as the Women’s Center, the LGBT Co-op, Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC), and New Haven organizations would discuss how they could collaborate and share advocacy strategies.

In 1998, an SJN steering committee formed. From then on, SJN started to take on more active roles both inside and outside of Yale’s campus. The SJN fund was created to support activist groups. SJN started to send out the Social Justice Network Newsletter and to provide various workshops to foster communication between activists and to help them successfully advocate their cause. SJN also co-hosted wide range of advocacy events, from New Haven local government events to Yale student-led events.

During the first decade of the 2000s, the Social Justice Network worked to expand the amount and variety of member groups in response to the growing diversity of the activists on campus, with more than twenty student member groups.

In 2012, SJN initiated the Social Justice Week, during which the SJN hosted a series of advocacy-related events: panel discussions, speaker events and social events. They also formed 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.

Because of the availability of resources and continuous student initiatives, social justice work continues to be a significant aspect of the Yale experience.

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