Welcome to Bridgewater State University!!! The Institute for Social Justice was launched in fall 2012. It comprises the Community Service Center, the Friends and Mentors (FAM) for Change program, Jumpstart, the President’s Task Force to End Homelessness, and two Residential Learning Communities focused on community service and social justice. One of the Institute’s goals is to offer academic and co-curricular service and engagement opportunities that provide students the training they need to be change agents. Below are some FAQs to help you learn more about the work we do.
How can I get involved in service through the Institute for Social Justice?
Visit our website at https://my.bridgew.edu/departments/ISJ/SitePages/Home.aspx. The Community Service Center offers many programs for students to get involved in. Opportunities are posted on Student Announcements and students can go to our event sign up page to sign up online. You can visit the Community Service Center’s website at https://my.bridgew.edu/departments/CommunityService/SitePages/Home.aspx
What are your main programs?
The Friends And Mentors for Change Program pairs college students up with high school students from Brockton High School. The mission of FAM is to improve youth’s academic achievement, social competence, and avoidance of high-risk behavior by providing influential relationships with caring mentors who work to help the mentees achieve their maximum potential. If you are interested in learning more, contact Kenny Monteiro, Assistant Director, at Kenny.Monteiro@bridgew.edu.
Jumpstart, an AmeriCorps program, has a mission to work towards the day when every child enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. This high quality, early language and literacy program cultivates adult-child relationships in low income neighborhoods in Brockton and Taunton. Bridgewater State University students commit to working 200-300 hours, which includes pre-service and ongoing training sessions, classroom assistance time and volunteer projects in the community. If you are interested in learning more, contact Nicole Mitchell, Senior Site Manager, at Nicole.Mitchell@bridgew.edu.
Monthly programs consist of:
- Serving lunch at The Table, located at Father Bill’s and MainSpring in Brockton
- Serving dinner at Father Bill’s and MainSpring in Brockton
- Delivering food and furniture through My Brother’s Keeper, located in Dartmouth and Easton
- Engaging in activities with children through Big Sisters Big Brothers in Brockton
Residential Learning Communities provide students with the opportunity to live with their peers who are committed to learning more about service and social justice. First year students can sign up, through Residence Life, to live in the Service Based RLC, located in Scott Hall.
Social Action Grants are available to individual students and student groups. They provide up to $1,000 in support of projects that work to promote fairness, equal access and equal opportunity, ensure basic human rights, support diversity, and work to end prejudice and discrimination. Applications and information can be found on the ISJ website.
The Take a Break and Make a Difference program provides students with the opportunity to spend a long weekend at Camp Sunshine, an organization for children with terminal illness and their families. Students can also spend a week during winter and/or spring break engaging in community service. Past issues have focused on poverty, immigrants & refugees, and education.
What are the benefits of engaging in community service?
Through service, students learn about themselves, make connections with their peers and community organizations, gain skills, make positive impact in the local communities, gain exposure to social issues and diversity, enhance their classroom learning, and have fun.