Social Justice House

"Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead BC ’23


What is Social Justice?

Dr. Lee Anne Bell writes:

"We believe social justice is both a process and a goal. The goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure. We envision a society in which individuals are both self-determining (able to develop their full capacities) and interdependent (capable of interacting democratically with others). Social justice involves social actors who have a sense of their own agency as well as a sense of social responsibility toward and with others, their society, and the broader world in which we live. These are conditions we wish not only for our own society but also for every society in our interdependent global community." 


What is the Social Justice House?

The Social Justice House is a unique opportunity to take an active role in immersing yourself in Barnard College and New York City through the lens of justice and activism. Dedicated to educating students about the problems and solutions related to contemporary social issues, students will pursue positive change within local and global communities as members of the Social Justice House. Students will learn how to make a difference by engaging in the theory and practice of social justice and interacting with their peers and local activists and policy makers.

If you have an interest in social justice and civic engagement, we invite you to apply for the 2015-2016 academic year!



  • Open to Barnard rising-Sophomores, -Juniors, and -Seniors
  • Currently living in campus housing (or lived on-campus prior to going to an approved Study Abroad program)
  • Must be willing and able to live in the Social Justice House for the entire academic year. Applicants who are planning to Study Abroad for Fall 2015 and/or Spring 2016 will not be considered.
  • Must be in good standing with the College


Participation Requirements

Being a member of the Social Justice House means committing yourself to attending weekly meetings, planning activities, facilitating programs and events, and engaging with your peers, community members, and local activists and organizations in an effort to educate, spread peace, and eradicate injustice. Students will reflect on their experiences through group discussion, peer-to-peer dialogue, journaling, and blogging. Students will also be responsible for creating their own community expectations, values, and identity within their shared living environment.

Members of the Social Justice House are required to return to campus early on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 to participate in Special Interest Housing training (through Friday, September 4, 2015) and help the Res Life office with Res Hall Check-Ins for continuing students (Saturday & Sunday, September 5 & 6, 2015).


House Location

Members of the Social Justice House will live in double and single rooms on the 5th Floor (Suites 5A, 5B, 5C, and/or 5D) of 616 W. 116th St. The Associate Director for Residential Life & Housing will make all housing assignments, using your answers on this application as a guide. Each application is read individually and your comments are carefully reviewed. 

Note: Sophomores who are accepted to the house will more than likely be assigned to the Double rooms, whereas accepted Juniors and Seniors will get preference for the Single rooms.


Application Process

To apply for the Social Justice House, please fill out the application before Wednesday, March 11, 2015 by 12noon.

Application Link

Students who wish to return to the Social Justice House must reapply for the upcoming academic year.

A full application consists of:

  1. Application and Essay Questions
  2. A copy of your current resume in PDF format, uploaded at the end of the application form above

A full review of applications will begin on Monday, March 16, 2015 and candidates will be contacted directly via e-mail regarding their candidacy by Monday, March 23, 2015. Decisions regarding membership for the 2015-2016 academic year, including housing assignments, will be made prior to the first day of Barnard Room Selection (Monday, April 13, 2015).

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact or call 212-854-5561.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can two or more students apply together for the Social Justice House, in hopes of living together?
A: Students must complete an individual application to join the Social Justice House. However, there is a space on the application to list a preferred roommate, if desired. In this case, both applicants must be accepted into the house and list each other as the preferred roommate.

Q: When is the deadline to apply for the Social Justice House for the 2015-2016 academic year?
A: The deadline for applications is Wednesday, March 11, 2015 by 12noon.

Q: When will applicants find out about their housing status for the Social Justice House?
A: All applicants will know whether or not they have been accepted into the Social Justice House before the first day of Room Selection (April 13, 2015).

All applicants should register for Room Selection (between 1pm on March 25 and 1pm on April 1, 2015) in order to get a lottery number as a backup in case they are not selected to be part of the Social Justice House.