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 2017-2018 academic year!



  • Open to Barnard rising -Sophomores, -Juniors, and -Seniors
  • Must have selected into a room or be on the guaranteed assignment list for the academic year. [Students on the non-guaranteed waitlist are NOT eligible for Social Justice House]
  • Must be willing and able to live in the Social Justice House for the entire academic year (616 suites 5A and 5B). Applicants who are planning to Study Abroad for Fall 2017 and/or Spring 2018 will not be considered.
  • Must be in good standing with the College


Participation Requirements

The following are the requirements and expectations for residing in Social Justice House for the 2017-2018 academic year. By signing your application, you are indicating your commitment to meeting each requirement. If you do not uphold these expectations, Residence Life has the option of relocating your room assignment to another location on campus outside of Social Justice House.

In order to build a connected and engaged community, we expect that all members of the House will uphold the following expectations:

  • Reside in one of the 616 Social Justice House Suites
  • Attendance at two monthly one-hour meetings (time and day to be determined at the beginning of each semester by the house)
    • First monthly meeting: leadership and team development
    • Second monthly meeting: focused on activism and social justice
  • Plan or participate in one Barnard, Columbia, or NYC event per month
  • Present at one "first monthly" meeting (leadership) and one "second monthly" meeting (social justice) per semester
  • Return to campus on Saturday, September 2, 2017
  • Attend Social Justice House Orientation Sunday, September 3, 2017

Absence Policy

  • One unexcused absence at a meeting or event is permitted per semester
  • Excused absences:
    • Must notify the RA via email at least 1 week in advance of the meeting or event in conflict
    • Absences will be excused for academic-related conflicts and other conflicts as approved by Residence Life


House Location

Members of the Social Justice House will live in double and single rooms on the 5th Floor (Suites 5A, 5B) of 616 W. 116th St. The Associate Director for the 600s 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.


Application Process

Click Here to Apply!

Applications will remain open until Monday, March 6 at 12pm (noon).

In addition, please select one of the following options:

  • Submit a video (no longer than 5 minutes) where you discuss or demonstrate your particular interest(s) in social justice. Please focus on the attributes and qualities you will contribute to the House as well as what you hope to gain from this experience.
  • Submit a sample program that you hope to plan as part of Social Justice House. Please also include your ideas for publicity.

Either should be emailed to Lizeth Jaramillo ( by 12pm (noon) on Monday, March 6, 2017.


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 2017-2018 academic year?
A: The application deadline is Monday, March 6at 12pm (noon).

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 by Friday, March 10.