November 05, 2010

Leadership institute seeks members, presenters

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Social Justice Leadership Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, which offers students the opportunity to study social justice issues and get involved, is now accepting applications for members and guest presenters.

The institute is a semester-long Student Development program during spring 2011 for students who want to learn more about social justice issues, delve deeper into these issues, and explore ways they can get involved, make a difference and be leaders, according to Amanda Phillips, coordinator of leadership and involvement for Student Development.

Any fulltime SIUC student can apply for membership and applications are due no later than Nov. 17. Find the application online at Officials will select 50 students for the program, in its second year.

Institute members will meet about twice monthly during the semester at various times, participating in programming designed to enlighten them and provide them with the information and skills to make a difference as social justice leaders. They will take part in workshops, reflective and interactive exercises, group discussions and more as they think critically, learn, hone skills, and examine in depth the existing systems of power, privilege and oppression existing in the world so they can find ways to effect change. This requires a strong commitment from the volunteer participants who will benefit in many ways from the experience, organizers say.

To facilitate this learning experience, the institute’s planning committee is seeking faculty, staff, community members and other students to volunteer as program presenters during the spring semester. Anyone can submit a program proposal in keeping with the goal of helping students develop critical thinking and communication skills with students from culturally different backgrounds.

To get a proposal application, e-mail Devin Moran at or Phillips at The proposals are due no later than 4 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Student Development office on the third floor of the Student Center or by e-mail to Moran.

Institute participants will create a collective social justice agenda within the field of higher education but with a focus on impacting individuals, the institution, the community and beyond. The spring institute will wrap up with a commencement program.

For more information about the Social Justice Leadership Institute or becoming a member or a presenter, contact Phillips or Moran at 618/453-5714 or by email at or Or, visit the Student Development Office on the third floor of the Student Center.