The Center for Social Change and Community Involvement seeks to prepare Lewis & Clark undergraduate students to engage impactfully, both locally and globally, in order to bring about active citizenship and social change.
The goal of the Center is to create a variety of immersive learning experiences, develop skills to bring about social change and action, and to create extensive leadership development opportunities. Opportunities for active student engagement include experiences such as volunteering, service-learning, practicums, internships, and alternative break experiences both in the United States and beyond our borders. These experiences provide a vital opportunity for social change and global learning that promotes:
A critical analysis of and engagement with complex, interdependent global systems and legacies (such as natural, physical, social, cultural, economic, and political) and their implications for people’s lives and the earth’s sustainability (Association of American Colleges and Universities).
A deep commitment to empowering students to become active citizens through civic engagement is at the core of the Center. Our work prioritizes educational experiences and engagement that builds community and helps shape students’ identities and personal choices around both individual and shared values. Since citizenship values and skills are not typically an overt part of the academic curriculum, the Center seeks to enable students to gain the knowledge and experiences to become active and educated members of society and the world. This takes place by creating opportunities where students can explore and understand their identity as an active citizen. Oftentimes, students want to bring about changes to our society but are unsure how they can make a difference. The Center will become a laboratory where ideas and passions, and a commitment to bringing about change, can be incubated and nurtured. This is accomplished through a dynamic process that involves consciousness raising, volunteering, competency/skill development, and community building.
At the heart of the Center is an understanding that social change is an ongoing process that transforms structural systems of inequality, injustice, oppression, marginalization, and environmental exploitation. Social change is possible when individuals join together in social movements and political activism in order to transform the world into a more equitable and sustainable community for all. Each experience supported through the Center will be designed to engage students in a meaningful way that leads to opportunities that channel students’ passion for social change into productive and actionable steps that assist and improve the communities for which we are a part.
In promoting global learning, we aim to empower students to become active citizens and agents of social change in the United States and beyond our borders. The Center will provide co-curricular programming that promotes collaboration and responsible action, and encourages students to actively engage with global learning over the course of their studies at L&C. Global learning is meant to be a cumulative experience, and one that students strive to continue far beyond their time at L&C. In this process of bringing about global learning and social change, students commit to the following objectives:
- To become informed, open-minded, and responsible people who develop cultural intelligence and are attentive to diversity across the spectrum of differences;
- To analyze and understand how their actions affect both local and global communities;
- To impact the world’s most pressing and enduring issues using collaborative and equitable approaches.
College Land Acknowledgement
Lewis & Clark College purposefully reflects on the history of the land it occupies. Prior to the newcomers arriving in this area, the indigenous land of what would later be called Multnomah County was home to many tribal people. We honor the indigenous people on whose traditional and ancestral homelands we stand: the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tumwater, and Watalala bands of the Chinook; the Tualatin Kalapuya; and many other indigenous nations of the Columbia River.
It is important to acknowledge the ancestors of this place and recognize that we are here because of the sacrifices forced upon them. In remembering these communities, we honor their legacy, their lives, and their descendants.