Seeds of Justice

Seeds of Justice is a community-building and leadership development program for 20 selected first-year students in the College. The program provides students with the opportunity to have and reflect on meaningful service and social change experiences, increase their awareness of the complexity of social justice issues (such as healthcare, housing, and education) as they are manifested in the city of Chicago, and practice valuable leadership and community-building skills to guide their work in creating change on and off campus. It runs from the middle of the Fall Quarter until the end of the academic year.  This allows students extended time to explore the history and current status of numerous social justice topics, while also learning about the cross-sectional methods being used to address them in the city of Chicago. During discussions in large and small groups, speaker events, and engaging activities, and in conversation with their own self-directed civic engagement work, Seeds of Justice helps students learn about various social issues and empowers them to use what they have learned to become actors for change, now and in the future, both on and off campus.


Maya Jones Seeds of Justice



Program Layout


The Seeds of Justice program consists of group meetings and individually directed civic engagement work. The 20-person cohort meets as a group from 5:30-7:00 on Tuesday nights over Zoom, beginning mid-Fall Quarter (October 20, 2020). At these meetings the group will engage with community leaders working on a variety of issues and in a variety of areas who will inspire and inform their ongoing work for social change; gain context on these issues through readings, activities, and discussions; and spend time reflecting on and learning from civic engagement experiences. Through these structures, the group will explore ideas of civic leadership and practice the critical thinking and leadership skills necessary to address them, all while building and sustaining community with one another.

Additionally, over the course of the year all participants will be expected to make ongoing contributions to a community organization whose work aligns with their interests. The exact level of commitment to the organization is one which can be negotiated based on the site's need and the participant's availability, but should be no less than 5 hours per month. The nature of this partnership should be to contribute to an existing project, initiative, or a program of that organization. Support in matching with a good-fit project will be provided as needed.

What Makes a Good Applicant?

  • Experience in community service and civic engagement
  • Interest in exploring the root causes of inequities, deepening the quality of their ongoing community service and social change work, and exploring different methods of social change
  • Energized to explore service and civic engagement beyond Seeds of Justice as well, with an interest in joining RSOs or other programs where they can engage with the wider community
  • Demonstrated interest in being part of an intentional, challenging, and supportive community experience, and will be thoughtful about what they can contribute to the development of such a group


Reflections from Seeds of Justice Program Alumni

“Seeds of Justice has greatly increased and expanded my view of Chicago and led me to challenge my preconceptions and assumptions.”    

“Seeds of Justice has helped me develop my personal passions, build a foundational understanding of a wide variety of justice issues, and meet brilliant people who care about the same things that I do.”  


Application Process & Timeline

Online Application Due: Monday, October 12, 2020 (11:59 PM CST). Apply here.

Interviews for Qualified Candidates: Tuesday, October 20 - Thursday, October 22, 2020

Decisions Announced: Friday, October 23, 2020

Student Acceptance Confirmation: Monday, October 26, 2020

First Weekly Tuesday Meeting: Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 5:30 - 7:00PM


*Please note: No Seeds meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 3, the day of the general election.


  • Syedah Cabell
  • (773) 834-2699