Create a Plan that Connects the Urgency of Thinking,

Your Personal Story, and Meaningful Action in the World.

Social Action Works emerged from the understanding that for our students, it is not enough to follow a passion; it is also not enough to get any job. We need to lead with our commitments, and we need our work in the world to care deeply for what we love.

Social Action Works offers students opportunities to explore creative answers about their professional futures, informed by their passion for a particular field and inspired by their energy to create social change. It prepares students to design a plan for how they want to share themselves and their interests in the world, and it cultivates their readiness to serve as transformative leaders to advance public action.

Get Involved: Join our student-led group “Communities of Purpose” and participate in our speaker series. Share conversations with professionals who have created distinctive careers for themselves engaged in social change. Listen to their stories live or check out our growing digital collection "Stories that Change Us."

Communities of Purpose

Lead and live by design. Your life's work begins now.

Communities of Purpose is a pilot student-led design space where participants coming from diverse fields of study, collaborate to share their personal stories and life experiences, distill intellectual training and skills acquired, and envision professional lives and leadership roles for themselves that advance social change. Students will participate in a distinctive mentoring model that will include colleagues, faculty, community members, and career development specialists. Themes proposed for these Purpose groups include: community health and reproductive justice, popular culture and social media, non-profit leadership, advocacy, the arts and community engagement, education and citizenship, environmental justice and sustainability, globalization, entrepreneurship and business. The first Communities of Purpose groups will launch Fall term 2020. 

For more information and to get involved, contact CLA Advisor Dr. Liddy Detar

Stories that Change Us

“You are your own stories, and therefore, free to imagine what it takes to remain human with no resources… The plot you choose may change or even elude you, but being your own story means you can control the theme. It also means you can invent the language to say who you are and how you mean in this world.”

-Toni Morrison

Stories That Change Us is an annual speaker series and digital story collection, offering students the opportunity to meet individuals who have created interesting and often self-designed careers. Invited speakers and their stories provide conversation for sparking ideas and developing for our students a community network of professionals, activists, and alumni to share their career paths, offer mentorship, and serve as resources. Invited speakers participate in campus-wide lectures, smaller workshops and focus groups, as well as classroom visits.

RiseUp: Creating a Global Network of Leaders for Women's Health

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

Josie Ramos holds degrees in English and Spanish with a Master’s in Literature. She began her career in public health as a volunteer coordinator for Defensa de Mujeres, a Latina-based nonprofit providing support and counseling to victims of domestic violence. She also served on the Board of Directors of Triangle Speakers for four years, a nonprofit education program that works to eliminate LGBT discrimination in schools.  Josie is a founding member of Rise Up and started her tenure at the Public Health Institute over 20 years ago working in Central America and Mexico with youth and leadership programs focused in the area of sexual and reproductive health. Josie leads program and curriculum design, and oversees Rise Up’s monitoring and evaluation strategy, with the goal of capturing the stories and data of programmatic successes and lessons learned. 

Vidhu Prabha holds a diploma in NGO Management, a Master of Science with a specialization in Microbiology, and she is a graduate of the Leadership Institute on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Vidhu manages Rise Up’s Gender Equity Initiative in India. Prior to joining Rise Up, she worked at Population Services International, Oxfam India, Room to Read, and other women’s rights organizations. She has developed results-oriented programs and designed advocacy strategies to advance gender justice and promote leadership, education, and access to water and sanitation services for women and girls. She has also steered policy influencing women’s empowerment, led campaigns on ending violence against women and girls and minimizing gender gaps, and developed strategic partnerships with government departments, NGOs, educational institutions, and media.