What is SJP?
The Social Justice Activist Program (SJP) is a program through the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs designed to create a network of students, faculty, and staff who acknowledge and actively work to combat bias. Further, this community works with those who want to become activists within their community. SJP is divided into three sections, each session lasting approximately six weeks. Participants will engage in intentional conversations and workshops about their own identity and that of their peers and colleagues.
This comprehensive program will be delivered in three distinct stages- Ally, Advocate, and Activist. Each stage will consist of 12 hours of training over six consecutive bi-weekly sessions. In addition, participants must attend two option beyond the classroom experience options. The final workshop each semester is a join-program with all members of the SJP community. During this program those engaged in the Advocate Level give a workshop regarding a local or regional non-profit in which they have done research; a local non-profit leader gives a key-note address; and the community participates in a collaborative arts-based activity to serve as a culmination to their SJP experience thus far.
Why enroll in the Social Justice Program?
The purpose of the Social Justice Activist Program (SJP) is to bring students to a space where they feel comfortable learning about issues of social justice in an engaging and collaborative manner. To fully engage and complete the full aspect of this certificate program, students will enroll and finish all three levels of the program, beginning with the “Ally Level” moving to the “Advocate Level” and finally transitioning to the “Activist Level”. During the course of these three levels, students will participate in the following experiences:
- Experiential Learning
- Seminar Style Readings and Dialogues
- Advanced readings in topics such as:
- Feminist Theory
- Critical Race Theory
- Social Theory
- Queer Theory
- Standpoint Epistemology
- Power, Privilege, and Oppression
- Research Projects
- Service-learning Projects
Each level of the SJP has different topics to be covered in the curriculum. Below are some examples pulled from the curriculum to give you an idea of the breadth of topics to be covered.
1. Ally Level (Level One)
- The problem with helping and social justice philosophy
- Combating Bias
2. Advocate Level (Level Two, upon completion of Level One)
- A Community of Respect
- Community Building
- Working in Solidarity with Communities
- Keeping Current with Trends in Social Justice
- Research Project
3. Activist Level (Level Three, upon completion of Level Two)
- History & Contemporary Visions of Campus & Youth Activism
- Philosophy & Ethics of Activism
- State House Tour
- Service-learning Project
Beyond the Classroom Options
Beyond the sessions within each section, students are expected to participate in two of the beyond the classroom options. Some of the options are found below, however, additional options may become available.
- Safe Zone Ally Training
- Day of service at approved site
- Carolina Intercultural Training
- Develop and present a workshop on social justice for the campus
- Suicide Prevention Training
- Diversity Retreat
- Diversity Dialogue
- Civil Rights Tour
Additional options may be available.
As scholars at the University of South Carolina it is expected that students treat involvement with this program seriously. That means once enrolling and accepting a seat in a section of SJP, it is expected that you complete the level that you are enrolled within. This is an attempt to ensure that all those involved with the program are respectful of the place they have within this program, as well as to ensure all who want to be engaged with SJP have the ability to do so.
Applicants are asked to choose either the Tuesday/Thursday session (1-2 p.m.) or the Monday/Wednesday session (1-2 p.m.) The program is six consecutive weeks beginning in January. Graduation for this program will take place at the end of the semester.
This program is free of charge and open to all students at the University of South Carolina. Applications are now being accepted and may be found here.